There’s a deft lightness of touch to Emily Ferretti’s wonderfully economical oil, watercolour and pencil-on-paper works. The young Melbourne artist’s solitary domestic and organic objects are so delicately realised they seem suspended between the dreamlike and tangible.
“I always like to single out an object and remove it from context,” she muses. “I feel that by isolating something, you can give it more weight.”
Indeed, there is an unassuming, nonetheless poignant, quality to Ferretti’s Small Worlds, which runs alongside the photographic works of Sydney artist Emma Thompson and a divergent collaborative installation by Adam John Cullen, David Mutch and Yake Weiss at West Space. A snake-like garden hose shares wall space with the rings of a tree trunk; a pinecone seems to lose itself in the white blankness of its backdrop; netting and wicker become things of great fragility and beauty.
“I almost think of these works as little portraits,” offers Ferretti, whose show follows on from the stunning oil-on-linen works of her Light Hold exhibition at Sophie Gannon Gallery in May and a recent artist residency in Paris. “I like to draw the audience into these elements, textures and patterns that they might otherwise overlook. I’m interested in that idea of how things around you form who you are and live on in your memory.”
That said, there’s an inherent simplicity to Ferretti’s work. “It’s something quite unspoken,” she says. “My whole practice is about keeping things simple and kind of humble – it’s not a dense thing.
“I always seem to talk about that idea of intuition,” she continues. “As a maker, I definitely believe in not over analysing something that is in essence quite simple, because that simplicity can also be quite potent.”
Emily Ferretti’s Small Worlds runs until October 2 at West Space.