Dr Emma Lindsay is an Australian artist, based in Brisbane, Queensland. Her paintings and interdisciplinary projects interweave elements of personal fieldwork encounters with research sourced from the fields of art, extinction studies, history, ecology and environmental science.
Recent paintings explore the artist’s physical and emotional responses to disappearing species seen in global natural history museum archives and remote/urban locations (National Parks, World Heritage Areas, Zoos and Wildlife Refuges). Each work recreates a rare intense moment of encounter made with a unique, threatened or extinct species in an environment, using slow layers of paint, mark making, emotional memory and time in the studio to resurrect the individual again in an ecocritical portrait.
Lindsay’s art projects respond to overwhelming contemporary scientific data and personal experiences regarding the Earth’s sixth mass extinction event, climate change, and the environmental impacts of human activities in the Anthropocene, raising critical questions about our fraught symbiotic relationship with an increasingly fragile and disrupted Biosphere.
Lindsay was awarded her BFA (2007) and BFA First class Honours (2009) degrees from the Queensland College of Art, Griffith University, and was awarded the QCA Godfrey Rivers Memorial Medal and the Art Theory Honours Thesis Prize. Her practice-led PhD (Visual Arts) was awarded through RMIT Melbourne in 2016, and the final Extinction Project exhibition included the Extinction flock painting installation: 29 painted proxy specimens of extinct Australian bird specimens based on fieldwork documentation undertaken in restricted-access natural history museum archives in England, France, USA and Australia. The paintings were exhibited as part of the inaugural World Science Festival Brisbane 2016 program, seen by over 61,000 visitors. Later acquired for the University of Queensland Art Museum Collection (UQAM), the Extinction flock installation featured in the 2017 UQAM exhibition ‘The Dust Never Settles’ curated by Michele Helmrich. Researchers and the public are able to view the paintings by appointment with UQAM.
The artists’ most recent solo exhibition, Great Barrier Reef | Anthropocene Project, made by invitation for Artspace Mackay, was shown November 2017- February 2018. The paintings, single channel video, photographs and research blog revealed symbiotic species relationships encountered during field trips made over 9 months down the length of the Great Barrier Reef ecosystem, and documented the effects of plastic pollution, Cyclone Debbie, and major coral bleaching events of 2016 and 2017 seen at various sites. Lindsay’s work has also featured in the national and state (Qld) travelling exhibitions Animal Fanfair (curator Karen Tyler) and Bimblebox (curator Beth Jackson), and in the 2017 edition of |not|fair| Melbourne (curators Ash Crawford, Tony Lloyd, Sam Leach).
Recently, Lindsay was selected as one of 20 global artists for The Dean Collection‘s inaugural 2018 TDC20 St(Art)up grant program, and is currently working on a new exhibition Life on Earth, opening on World Environment Day at Metro Arts, Brisbane, 5-15 June 2019.
Overall winner of the 2016 Moreton Bay Art Awards, Lindsay has been a finalist in the 2018 Sunshine Coast Art Prize, Churchie Emerging Art Award, Redlands Westpac Art Prize, and the Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize. The artist has been awarded residencies with BAER Art Centre Artist Center (Iceland), Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Hill End Murray’s Cottage Residency, Artspace Mackay, Point B Worklodge (New York), and the Sonoran Artist Residency (Arizona). Since 2009 she has also been awarded major grants from the Australia Council, Australian American Association, Arts Queensland, Brisbane City Council, and an RMIT Post-Graduate PhD scholarship.
Emma Lindsay’s work is held in the public collections of the UQ Art Museum, Moreton Bay Regional Council, World Museum Liverpool, Queensland Museum, Baer Art Center (Iceland), and in private collections in Australia, Canada, Iceland, Switzerland, Germany, UK, and the USA.