I acknowledge the traditional owners of the land in which I study and work, the Boonwurrung and Wurundjeri peoples of the Eastern Kulin nation and pay respect to their elders past and present. I acknowledge that this is land that was never ceded.
Within Fairbairn’s painting practice is an influence of nature, where she explores the metaphysical philosophy of ecology and her own body. The result is something akin to art as meditation; each consideration of process, colours, gestures playing out until the artist finds a resolution. The works reveal themselves in active gestures or layers of paint. They reveal a belonging, connecting Fairbairn’s time in the landscape, and evolving within nature. Spending time in nature becomes a meditation on being present in the moment, a feeling that comes through in her paintings, each gesture a methodology of grounding - Emma Kate Wilson
‘As a painter, there is an irresistible and magnetic pull towards the discomfort of the new, utilising paint to process and explore.Transparent layering is important to allow hints at the history of the painting actions. Re written, overwritten, redacted and altered, I seek to bring atmospheric aspects to the act of painting, focusing on the activation of the surface through the transcendent visual language, utilising systems of abstraction to address metaphysical issues. The resulting abstractions often reference the landscape as place, both as external and internal locations and as portals to enter into, beyond the veil of the mundane. These residual forms of painting by their nature, confront outdated ways of relating to land as commodity or mere object. The process of painting, places me inside a shifting temporality. My body and psyche transmit through the hands and onto the surface. I am then free to re-create her own mythologies. These compositions reveal the conceptual and visual processes of layering: imbuing the work with a personal experience of place, dream states and the contemplation of re-written and obscured histories.
Being born and living in Australia, any work referencing land and place will invariably evoke the complex issues surrounding place in all the ways in which it is currently unresolved in a socio-political context and my own struggle with this. It is my desire that by making art through abstracted painting, I can be part of a conceptual meeting point to create positive change in the way in which we relate to place and each other.
Ember Fairbairn has based herself primarily in Melbourne and Queensland, satisfying her love of contemporary culture and the need to be immersed in remote parts of nature. Fairbairn’s practice focuses primarily on painting and she holds a Masters in Contemporary Art. Ember is based in the Yarra Valley.
Her exhibiting history spans from 2001 in both solo and group shows in artist run spaces and commercial galleries in Melbourne, Sydney, Singapore and New York. Awards include The 2020 Athenaeum Club visual Arts Research Award (2020), Gogo Art Series Award (2019) , Art150 Travelling Scholarship (2019), The Ravenswood Art prize for women (Finalist). Residencies include Montsalvat Art Centre and Yea Arts Festival.