Still Waters Run Deep
The semi-abstract paintings and still lifes of Melbourne-based artist Emily Ferretti are animated by a quiet assurance and emotional honesty rather than painterly gimmicks that stem from the desire to be seen.
Emily Ferretti’s studio is down a quiet street in Northcote, tucked inside a former furniture factory in between weatherboard homes and picket fences. Its exterior is nondescript, camouflaging its function since it was converted into artists’ studios years ago. Ferretti is one of the building’s most longstanding residents. She’s kept a studio in the building since 2004 during her undergraduate days as a painting student at the Victorian College of the Arts.
It’s a crisp autumn morning but inside, it’s surprisingly cosy. Ferretti greets me warmly as I take in the vastness of her studio, which is filled with dozens of paintings of varying sizes and in various stages of completion. There’s even room for a framing area, where piles of wood and empty frames await. While it is a working studio, there’s an enchanting quality about it that makes even a pile of messy brushes and palettes appear picturesque. It’s no surprise that Ferretti’s work and studio has been documented by several high-profile design blogs, an association which can be a mixed blessing. It can be difficult to make peace with this online success, as the typecasting it attracts can interfere with an artist in the early stages of their career.
Despite the attention, Ferretti is humble and even a little wary of how things are presented online. Graduating in 2006 – a year before Tumblr launched, in what is loosely bookmarked as the beginning of new media in contemporary art – Ferretti is largely disengaged from social media, a decision that must no doubt perplex numbers flocking to Ferretti after reading the many features about her online. Apart from a... Subscribe to read this article in full
Prefer a hard copy? Visit our subscription page to purchase single printed back issues.