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Local Artist Spotlight: Emma Ikin

Monday 21 December 2020

Emma Ikin, Frankston City Council Artist Project Grant recipient

Emma Ikin has cast a wide net for her upcoming artwork. A visual artist, sculptor and theatre-maker, Emma will draw on all her considerable skills to create ‘The Pockets of Permanence’

The artwork will feature six large transparent or fine mesh nets with stitched lines on each representing stories and places.

“The lines will create a map and layers of time. You can represent a drawing with an extra dimension of things from the present, past and future,” she said.

Her artwork is made possible thanks to an Artist Project Grant of up to $4000 from Frankston City Council. It will be designed to be viewed from various angles so those observing can obtain different perspectives.

Emma said she gained inspiration from the way landscapes and urban spaces could hold memories throughout their changing histories and topographies.

“I enjoy the urban spaces of the Frankston CBD – often they are unremarkable and forgotten, but I'm interested in celebrating the stories of these places that once held so much optimism and hope for a brighter future,” she said.

“These ideas will be presented as a site specific installation using large panels of stitched mesh to represent the stories, geographic locations and time.”

Emma said she aimed to connect with locals to about some of their memories that are attached to particular places in Frankston City as part of the project.

“I like the idea of sharing the inconsequential stories that make up our own personal geographical histories. It could be the place of an intense emotional experience, an overwhelming joy, a difficult conversation or an interesting interaction.

“I imagine these stories, either shared or not will create a rich layer of collective geographical memory to this project.”

Emma has a background in fine art and sculpture. She has spent many years designing costumes for theatre, circus and dance and has worked as a costume maker for many of Australia’s theatre, dance and opera companies.

Emma has designed and produced work for the Melbourne Fringe Festival, the Design Festa Gallery Tokyo, the Brisbane Festival, the Melbourne Fashion Festival, the Frankston Arts Centre and Biennial of Contemporary Art Buenos Aires and has been a participant in Craft Victoria’s Artist in Resident program.

She said receiving the Arts Grant had provided a huge boost, adding: “I feel really passionate about the arts and creative community so for Frankston to recognise and support local artists at this time is really wonderful. At the moment when a lot of opportunities for artists have disappeared, it's a real privilege to be able to keep contributing to the creative culture of Frankston.”

Emma said the art project would enable her to explore Frankston on a deeper level. “I’m looking forward to making connections with people in the community and to being a part of the group of talented and diverse local artists also creating projects as part of this grant scheme.”

Frankston Council has significantly expanded its Community and Business Grants program this year to support up to 16 artists and creatives.

This was a result of the $6.434 million Relief and Recovery Package, which the council created to help Frankston City recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The arts grants are designed to help artists and those working in creative industries to pursue their passion while delivering culturally important work to the community.

They included Artist Project Grants each up to $4000 for eight artists to develop new works that can be presented online, on location or at a venue when restrictions allow.

There were also a further eight Creative Industries Professional Development Grants, each up to $2500, to support artists via further training, career development activities, mentorships and workshops.

Arts grant recipients must complete their projects by June, 2021.

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