POCKETS OF permanence

Emma Ikin has cast a wide net for the artworks in her new exhibition, Pockets of Permanence.

A visual artist, sculptor and theatre-maker, Emma drew on all her considerable skills to create the pieces including six large transparent or fine mesh nets with stitched lines on each representing stories and places.

“The lines create a map and layers of time. You can represent a drawing with an extra dimension of things from the present, past and future,” she said.

It is designed to be viewed from various angles so those observing can obtain different perspectives.

Emma said she gained inspiration from the way landscapes and urban spaces could hold memories throughout their changing histories and topographies.

“I enjoy the urban spaces of the Frankston CBD – often they are unremarkable and forgotten, but I’m interested in celebrating the stories of these places that once held so much optimism and hope for a brighter future.

“These ideas are presented as a site specific installation using large panels of stitched mesh to represent the stories, geographic locations and time.

“I like the idea of sharing the inconsequential stories that make up our own personal geographical histories. It could be the place of an intense emotional experience, an overwhelming joy, a difficult conversation or an interesting interaction.”

She said Pockets of Permanence started as a visual art project with an opportunity to learn about the history of Frankston, adding: “It took me to near and far places and created a kind of ritual of embedding my memories into the landscape through walking the same pathways over and over again.

“During the standstill of the lockdowns my horizon became my solace, where the vagaries of nature played out almost as if on a theatre stage, but underlying it all was the magnetic pull of certain places I could see in the distance, almost always mountains, which inspired an irresistible desire for exploration and motion.

“So in the freedoms in between lockdowns, the project took me on a journey by foot through Boon Wurrung, Wurundjeri and Wathaurung country around Port Phillip Bay, to the top of Mount Kosciuszko, to cave systems and to the vantage points I saw on the horizon.

“Each time with the intention of looking back at Frankston, to try to understand the version of ourselves left behind in the places we call home.

“I spent many hours reading stories of the various people who have called Frankston home over the years, mainly the artists, architects and visionaries. Not all is recognisable in the work but it has created a rich bed of inspiration and renewed connection to this beautiful landscape.”

Emma has a background in fine art and sculpture. She has spent many years designing costumes for theatre, circus and dance and has worked as a costume maker for many of Australia’s theatre, dance and opera companies.

Emma has designed and produced work for the Melbourne Fringe Festival, the Design Festa Gallery Tokyo, the Brisbane Festival, the Melbourne Fashion Festival, the Frankston Arts Centre and Biennial of Contemporary Art Buenos Aires and has been a participant in Craft Victoria’s Artist in Resident program.

Emma’s Pockets of Permanence exhibition was made possible thanks to an Artist Project Grant from Frankston City Council as part of the Relief and Recovery Package, which the Council created to help Frankston City recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

She said receiving the Arts Grant had provided a huge boost, adding: “I feel really passionate about the arts and creative community so for Frankston to recognise and support local artists at this time is wonderful. It’s a real privilege to be able to keep contributing to the creative culture of Frankston.”

See Pockets of Permanence at Frankston Arts Centre’s Cube 37 venue from Thursday 1 September to Saturday 1 October. It can also be viewed from the street front 24/7 at the Glass Cube, 37 Davey St, Frankston. A video created as part of the project can be viewed at Cube 37 during the exhibition and also online.


Peninsula Essence – September 2022