Local Artist…Martine Emdur from Bondi
Introducing this month’s cover artist (and former cover star), Bondi’s marvellous Martine Emdur…
How long have you lived here? I grew up here, so it’s been fifty-odd years now. I’ve attempted a few moves away, even as far as Rose Bay, but I always feel most at home here.
What’s your favourite beach? It’s hard to pick between our locals, but some of my favourite spots are in-between – the caves and rock pools.
What’s your favourite eatery? I’m a big fan of M Deli. It’s in my street and saves me from my kitchen skills. Lox Stock & Barrel is a favourite too, and Ode is my go-to for a glass of wine. I love the vibe there, intimate and personal.
Best thing about the Eastern Suburbs? Rolling hills, cliffs, the ocean and beaches. I was driving down Bondi Road the other day and as soon as the water came into view a whale breached. Surely that’s a ‘best thing’?!
How would you describe your art? Expressive realism; my interpretation of snapshots in time that I find intriguing, curious, beautiful or otherwise. A sense of intimacy is often present, I love the space between two bodies. The suggestion of love and connection is strongly hinted at in my work.
Where can people see your work? At the newly opened Twenty Twenty Six Gallery in Bondi. We just opened at 17 O’Brien Street. You can also visit our website at twentytwentysix.gallery.
Who are your artistic inspirations? I don’t look so much to other artists, more to using mother nature as my backdrop and inserting the human form in there. That said, I definitely notice and appreciate many artists, and perhaps bits leak into my process, although I wouldn’t consciously study and imitate another artist’s work.
What are you working on at the moment? I had an unfinished exhibition that was headed to LA that was to be curated/opened by Gavin Rossdale of Bush fame. It was cancelled due to COVID so I’m exhibiting that body of work here. The first finished half is hanging in Twenty Twenty Six now and I’m working to complete the other half to hang next.
When did you discover you had a gift for your craft? I always fantasised about pursuing a creative path from very early on, I was always drawing and doodling. I had a lucky break selling a sketch for $50 when I was living on Dunk Island many moons ago and things snowballed from there.
Did you study art? I started at National Art School, although I didn’t stay long. I didn’t have the patience to go the hard yards with the studying of facts and history, etc. I just wanted to be rolling around in paint, so I quit and did just that. I did a couple of term courses at Waverley Woollahra Art, which was fantastic and provided the info I needed.
Any words of wisdom for young aspiring artists?
Make lots of work, make it all the time, keep it moving, make loads of mistakes, throw things out, paint over things, put works aside that are blocking you, and come back to them with fresh eyes. The more work you make, the sooner you will see your own style coming through. Be considerate as to who you take advice from. Other people’s visions may not suit your direction, so pluck what you need out of everybody’s two cents. Develop a thick skin with criticism, understand that’s one person’s perspective and may not be relevant. Be persistent.
What’s your favourite thing about what you do? Painting rocks my world, so that would probably cover it! Sharing a studio with other inspiring creatives is a big plus. Starting a gallery from nothing has been a wild learning curve and such a great experience. It’s a high risk venture and it’s added a huge spark. However the gallery progresses, I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to learn what I’ve learnt so far.
Any other words of wisdom for readers of The Beast? Wisdom? Meditation is good. Note to self: get back into it!