‘Sediment Songs’ represents Emma Walker’s intuitive translations of different experienced environments. Carved and painted on board, the works channel the vast native landscapes the artist has walked through in Central Australia as well as Walker’s home on the coastal fringe of Northern New South Wales. The geographic and topological nuances of these diametric landscapes are buttressed against the artist’s poetic vision of the world, in which landscape, memory and the subconscious are connected through texture, tactility and surface.
The abstracted landscapes in ‘Sediment Songs’ emerged organically, merging and mingling with the artist’s memory in a fluid process of revelation and concealment. For Walker, they are in a perpetual state of becoming – nascent formations that resist fixed and finite meaning. From ancient landscapes of sea, rock and sky to the microscopic patterns and rhythms that power existence, the works allusively move between the micro and the macro in a formative dance.
Walker’s works are as much about the process of painting as they are with visually imprinting the Australian environment. Their unique imagery emerges from a combination of experimentation and automaticity, each mark growing from the next in a catalytic reaction that emulates the geological occurrences that cause continents to move and shorelines to reshape, etching on the faces of rocks, rivers and ravines. Each work percolates for months, layer upon layer applied on timber, scraped back, sanded, gouged, glazed, grinded at and re applied. In this way, every painting embodies a history of process and time. ‘They have been plagued by uncertainty and enlivened with the delights of discovery’, says the artist, ‘I have tried to leave them all at a stage that reflects some kind of completion but I also feel as if they have no end.’