THERE is an unnerving quality to Emma Margetts’ latest collection of work.
The Fremantle artist has dropped children and animals into a series of dream-like landscapes stylised in the form of late 19th century portrait-style photographic images for her new exhibition, Savage Garden.
Margetts said her paintings explored humanity’s separation from and superiority over nature by positioning children in a “questionably imperialist” relationship to their animal counterparts.
“I loved the phonetic juxtaposition of the two words ‘Savage’ and ‘Garden’ – with the violence of savage and the tranquillity of garden I thought it summarised something poignant about the brutality and beauty of the world and humanity,” she said.
It is a double opportunity for the artist, who will use the exhibition both as a means of getting more of her work out into the local arts scene and as a fundraiser for Animals Australia.
“As art making can sometimes be a slightly egotistical endeavour, I find adding an altruistic or humanitarian purpose to my art making helps give it meaning and purpose to me,” she said.
“I choose Animals Australia because there are a lot of animal paintings in this show as well as paintings that deal with the relationship between humans and animals, which is sort of a metaphor for humanities relationship to the planet.”
Savage Garden is at the Moores Building Contemporary Art Gallery from November 11 to 25.