Emily Crawford is an artist who explores the world through her fingertips. Hailing from Perth in Western Australia where she attends Livingston Adventist Church, Emily spends time in her home studio almost every day, creating art for clients and refining her own unique style.
With a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts, Emily says her creative practice stems from life influences and experiences.
“My passion for art comes from my upbringing as an Adventist Christian, my struggles with anxiety and depression, and . . . my degree,” she says. For Emily, the qualities she needs to create are “an unceasing curiosity to know why people do what they do, a chunk of compassion and empathy, a litre of story-telling, and a dash of sarcasm and humour to sprinkle on top.” These layers of personality and meaning are also reflected in her practice of creating each artwork.
“[I] build upon the first marks with something else. Often, I’ll start drawing, then add paint, embroidery or block printing. It comes out in different ways depending on my satisfaction or the desires of a client.”
Communicating important messages is a core—albeit difficult to balance—part of the art-making process for Emily.
“It’s a complicated space to be in sometimes, trying to express important topics in my art without overstepping boundaries or over-sharing. However, that’s the beauty of being an artist; you can go down the rabbit hole and learn to see the world in a new light.”
In a recent series, Emily drew on questions from her childhood to depict female stories from Greek mythology.
“Growing up I always got confused and a little annoyed with how the Bible portrayed women. Very few of those women were the kind of people you would see as typical heroes. But as I’ve grown older and learnt more about the context of the period these ancient narratives were born from, I saw parallels and found relatability in their experiences to those of contemporary women.”
By drawing parallels between identities and human experiences, and through the act of creating itself, Emily says she finds connection with God.
“I’ve always thought that God is basically the first artist in our known existence. And in giving us life, the ability to create and be creative is passed through to us.”
Emily likes to imagine that when she’s creating, she’s tapping into God’s creative power in some way.
So where to from here?
“I can’t say for certain what God has in store for me. However, I hope that my work will continue to develop into greater art; and that people connect, discuss, learn, relate and take a piece of it with them.”