Emma Hack

Australia 1972

Photography, Body Art


Emma Hack
Emma Hack
March 13, 2016
Art somehow explains a lot that's happening in the world right now. Feel free to contact me at nikola.milosevic777@gmail.com

The ability to successfully camouflage human body, to hide it and yet emphasize its beauty is probably the strongest quality of Emma Hack. One of the most famous and recognized Australian artists, she’s chosen the unique combination of painting on canvas, body painting and studio based photography for her mediums. The final form is a photograph, but so much happens before it’s all captured in an instant. The Australian flora and fauna, as well as the Oriental influences, are the primary source of inspiration for Hack. Welcome to the world of realism, but a magical one indeed.

The unique combination of painting on canvas, body painting and photography

Emma Hack - Owl in Woods II - Wallpaper Owl II, new artist on facebook in 2016, culture of the prize works in collection around the world
Emma Hack – Owl in Woods II / Wallpaper Owl II

Photography Is The Main Part

Her style could be categorized as body painting based installations, but don’t forget about the photography. Even if it’s ‘only’ the finalization of the hard work and takes a lot less time (in comparison to the painting), it’s the photography that the viewers see in the end. If they are not lucky enough to be in one her exhibitions and actually able to see live models. She is best known for her Wallpaper series that lasted between 2005 and 2010, and in which she used the truly remarkable designs of the late Florence Broadhurst to camouflage her models.

She used the remarkable designs of Florence Broadhurst

Emma Hack - Papyrus II - Exotic Bird III
Emma Hack – Papyrus II / Exotic Bird III

Somebody That I Used To Know

If you’re among almost 750 million people who saw the video for Gotye’s Somebody That I Used To Know and wondered who was behind the body painting, seek no more. Altogether, it took incredible 23 hours for the video to be completed. Hack worked closely with Wally (Gotye) on the design of the background, reworking the image so it could work perfectly with the camouflage elements she is known for. The artwork of Gotye’s father, Frank de Backer, was the inspiration for the background.

Director of the video, Natasha Pincus, wanted the bodies to appear to be in a relationship while blended with the background, at which point the Kimbra will begin to leave the relationship while the paint disappears from her body. It was very different from Hack’s ordinary work, where she creates in a calm environment with her regular models. The video was alike a commercial work, where the client’s wishes are in the first place, and that kind of pressure takes an emotional toll on Emma.

Gotye - Somebody That I Used To Know (feat. Kimbra) - official video, 2.35, image copyright gotyemusic
Gotye – Somebody That I Used To Know (feat. Kimbra) – official video, 2:35, image copyright © gotyemusic

Patience and the Right People

Emma knows how hard her work actually is and just how much patience it requires. It takes anywhere from 8 to 15 hours to paint, depending on how complex the design is. That why she’s given up on the idea of working with famous people, and only seeks the right models to work with, and when she finds them, it tends to grow into a long lasting relationship.

In 2014, she opened her own gallery and studio in Adelaide, and in the same year, she launched the Emma Hack Art Prize, offering both money and the opportunity for young south Australian artist to exhibit. In 2015, the theme was ‘Humanity in the environment’. All the artwork submitted were available for sale, and a part of the proceeds was donated to the Australian Marine Mammal Welfare and Rescue Organization (AMMWRO).

With the plans of moving into the 3-D photography, Emma doesn’t think of herself only as a body-paint artist anymore. In the last decade, her work has evolved. It was about the images in her mind she wanted to create and capture. Imagery is everything, and the job is completed when she captures the wanted image.

She plans to move into the 3-D photography

Emma Hack - Mothered Connection - Wired Tapestry - All The Power To You, new type of culture in 2016
Emma Hack – Mothered Connection / Wired Tapestry / All The Power To You

Between Panting and Photography

Hack explores the relationship between painting and photography, submerging her painted models into the playful, dreamy background. Even though they are almost perfectly camouflaged, the form of the body and its beauty can still be seen, and those are the moments she wants to capture and immortalize in her photography.

She is represented by The Cat Street Gallery in Hong Kong.

Emma Hack lives and works in Adelaide, Australia.

Featured image copyright © australianbodyart

Images copyright Emma © Hack.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2015Bloom - Feast Festival ExhibitionEmma Hack Gallery, North Adelaide, SASolo
2015Generation Next - NEW WORKSEmma Hack Gallery, North Adelaide, SASolo
2015Great Southern LandEmma Hack Gallery, North Adelaide, SASolo
2015Emma HackGallery One - Gold CoastSolo
2015NEW WORKSAdelaide Fringe Festival, Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide, SASolo
2015SNAP! Crocodile CultureRockhampton Art Gallery, QLDGroup
201425 Days of ChristmasEmma Hack Gallery, North Adelaide, SASolo
2014ChinoiserieEmma Hack Gallery, North Adelaide, SASolo
2014EdenAdelaide, Town Hall, King William St, Adelaide, SASolo
2014SALA ExhibitionEmma Hack Gallery, North Adelaide, SASolo
2014Emma HackRebecca Hossack Gallery LondonSolo
2014Emma HackLinton and Kay Galleries, PerthSolo
2014Emma Hack Pop-Up Gallery - New WorksHyde Park, SA, AustraliaSolo
2014Emma Hack Art PrizeFringe Festival Program, Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide, AustraliaSolo
2014Emma Hack, New WorksFringe Festival Program, Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide, AustraliaSolo
2014Emma HackRebecca Hossack Gallery New YorkSolo
2014Mixed worksSeaview Gallery, Queenscliff, VICSolo
2014Melbourne Art FairCube Contemporary Art Projects, Booth A102Group
2014The Act of SeeingTown Hall Gallery, Hawthorn, VICGroup
2014Hong Kong, Pop-up exhibition and drinksThe Cat Street Gallery ANNEX, Hong KongGroup
2014New Botanica works, Asa Contemporary Art ShowRetrospect Galleries, Conrad Hotel, Hong KongGroup
2014AAF SingaporeRebecca Hossack Gallery StandGroup
2014Affordable Art Fair Hong KongThe Cat Street Gallery, Hong KongGroup
2014London 14Rebecca Hossack Gallery, LondonGroup
2013Florence WallpapersSignature Prints, Sydney, AustraliaSolo
2013Mixed WorksEmma Hack Pop-Up Gallery, Hyde Park, AdelaideSolo
2013Mixed WorksBluerider Art, Taipei, TaiwanSolo
2013Mixed WorksThe Cat Street Gallery, Hong KongSolo
2013Treasured Tiles and mixed worksSeaview Gallery, Queenscliff, VICSolo
2013Beautiful WomenCatherine Asquith Gallery, Melbourne, AustraliaSolo
2013Treasured Tiles and Blue and WhiteJune Frances Keevil Gallery, Double Bay, NSWSolo
2013Mixed worksPOP UP GALLERY @ 124 King William Rd, Hyde Park, AdelaideSolo
2013Treasured TilesCatherine Asquith GallerySolo
2013Mixed worksFringe Show Adelaide Convention CentreSolo
2013Blue and White-POP!Retrospect Galleries, Byron Bay, NSWSolo
2013Blue and White-POP!Seaview Gallery, Queenscliff, VICSolo
2013AAF SingaporeRetrospect GalleriesGroup
2013AAF HamburgRetrospect GalleriesGroup
2013AAF StockholmRetrospect GalleriesGroup
2013Asia Contemporary Art FairRetrospect GalleriesGroup
2013Taipei Art Photo ShowBluerider Art GalleryGroup
2013AAF NYCRebecca Hossack GalleryGroup
2013ART AspenRebecca Hossack GalleryGroup
2013ART HamptonsRebecca Hossack GalleryGroup
2013Treasured TilesCatherine Asquith GalleryGroup
2013Brussels Affordable Art FairRetrospect GalleriesGroup
2013Milan Affordable Art FairRetrospect GalleriesGroup
2013Hong Kong Affordable Art FairRetrospect GalleriesGroup
2012Mirrored WhispersElements Art GallerySolo
2012Feast Festival ExhibitionAdelaide AirportSolo
2012Mirrored WhispersAP BONDSolo
2012Emma HackHenley Festival (UK) - Rebecca Hossack Gallery Solo
2012Emma HackFrances Keevil Gallery, SydneySolo
2012Mirrored WhispersCatherine Asquith Gallery, Melbourne VicSolo
2012The Journey 2002-2012 - 10 year retrospectiveAdelaide Convention Centre, SASolo
2012Mixed worksSeaview Gallery, Queenscliff Gallery, VicSolo
2012Group Christmas ShowFrances Keevil Gallery Group
2012Group Christmas ShowCatherine Asquith Gallery Group
2012(ART Fairs) SingaporeRetrospect Gallery Group
2012(ART Fairs) HamburgRetrospect Gallery Group
2012(ART Fairs) MexicoRetrospect Gallery Group
2012(ART Fairs) AmsterdamRetrospect Gallery Group
2012(ART Fairs) TorontoRetrospect Gallery Group
2012(ART Fairs) NYCRetrospect Gallery Group
2012(ART Fairs) StockholmRetrospect Gallery Group
2012UnknownSeaview GalleryGroup
2012UnknownRebecca Hossack, New YorkGroup
2012UnknownVue Privee, SingaporeGroup
2012Various Art Fairs UKRebecca Hossack GalleryGroup
2011UtopiaAP Bond, Stepney SASolo
2011Mixed WorksLethbridge Gallery, BrisbaneSolo
2011Emma HackLondon Art Fair (represented by Rebecca Hossack Gallery)Solo
2011Emma HackAffordable Art Fair, New York (represented by Rebecca Hossack Gallery)Solo
2011Birds of PreyAP Bond, Stepney, SA Solo
2011Wallpaper Mandala and Birds of PreyFrances Keevil Gallery, Double Bay, NSWSolo
2011Wallpaper MandalaSeaview Gallery, Queenscliff, VicSolo
2011New and Past WorksART Melbourne, Royal Exhibition Buildings, Carlton, VicSolo
2011Festivite 2011Catherine Asquith Gallery, Melbourne, Vic Group
2011London Art FairRebecca Hossack Gallery Group
2011Affordable Art Fair SingaporeRebecca Hossack Gallery Group
2011Group ShowFrances Keevil Gallery, Sydney, NSW Group
2011UnknownSeaview Gallery, Queenscliff, Vic Group
2011Unknown19 Karen, Gold Coast, QLD Group
2011UnknownElements Gallery, Dalkeith, WA Group
2010New worksGallery 139, SASolo
2010New WorksObscura Gallery, East St Kilda, VicSolo
2010ART Sydneyrepresented by Frances Keevil Gallery, NSWSolo
2010Emma HackElements Art Gallery, Dalkeith, WASolo
2010Past worksCessnock Regional Gallery, NSWSolo
2010Art Melbourne 10Royal Exhibition Buildings, Carlton, VicSolo
2010Native and Exotic MandalaPenley Estate Winery, Coonawarra Arts Festival, SASolo
2010New and Past WorksART Melbourne, Royal Exhibition Buildings, Carlton, VicSolo
2010Exotic and Native MandalaFrances Keevil Gallery, NSWSolo
2010Native MandalaManyung Gallery, Mt Eliza, VicSolo
2010World Body Painting FestivalAustriaGroup
2010Summer Group ShowManyung Gallery, Mt Eliza, Vic Group
2010Group ShowFrances Keevil Gallery, Sydney, NSW Group
2009New Works & Past DelightsGallery 139, Adelaide, SASolo
2009Art Sydney 09Royal Hall of Industries, Sydney, NSWSolo
2009New Works & Past DelightsFrances Keevil Gallery, Sydney, NSWSolo
2009New Works & Past DelightsObscura Gallery, Melbourne, VicSolo
2009Past DelightsSALA Festival, Burnside Village Shopping Centre, Adelaide, SASolo
2009Art Melbourne 09Royal Exhibition Buildings, Carlton, VicSolo
2009Panoramic BodiesAdelaide Airport, SASolo
2009Fashion as ArtManyung Gallery, Mt Eliza, Vic Group
2009Works on PaperFrancis Keevil Gallery, Sydney, NSW Group
2008Recent WorksArt Images Gallery, Adelaide, SASolo
2008Art Sydney 08Royal Hall of Industries, Sydney, NSWSolo
2008Retrospective WorksSALA Festival, Dare Hair, Adelaide, SASolo
2008Retrospective WorksMelrose Gallery, Melrose, SASolo
2008Retrospective WorksBrunswick St Gallery, Melbourne, Vic Group
2008Retrospective WorksArt Moments Gallery, Sydney, NSW Group
2008Retrospective WorksMarie Hart Galleries, Adelaide, SA Group
2007Body Painting BroadhurstThe Arthouse Hotel, Sydney, NSWSolo
2006Yoga CollectionThe Arthouse Hotel, Sydney, NSWSolo
2004Adelaide Cabaret FestivalThe Arthouse Hotel, Sydney, NSWSolo
2004Adelaide Cabaret FestivalAdelaide Festival Centre, Adelaide, SASolo
2004Erotica ExoticaGreenhill Galleries, Adelaide, SA Group
2003Retrospective worksThe Arthouse Hotel, Sydney, NSWSolo
2003Retrospective worksFAD Gallery, Adelaide, SASolo
2002Petal CollectionGreenhill Galleries, Adelaide, SAGroup