Artist Spotlight #51: Rebecca McEwan

screen-shot-2017-01-10-at-2-04-28-pmRebecca McEwan

According to Rebecca McEwan, the material used in an artwork is just as important as the artwork’s subject. In her latest exhibition with fellow graduates of the Adelaide College of the Arts, you can understand her point as she utilises bees wax and wooden bee frames to create an installation that is both bold and delicate. In our latest spotlight, Rebecca tells us why she feels lucky to be working in the Adelaide art scene.

Q: Hello Rebecca! Can you please tell us a bit about yourself?

A: I am an emerging Adelaide based visual artist who has just completed a Bachelor of Visual Art and Design. While drawing forms the basis of my practice, my work often explores 3D forms and presents itself as installations or sculptures. I have recently become a beekeeper which has proven to be an exciting but steep learning curve and an endless source of material for my most recent work.

screen-shot-2017-01-10-at-3-02-45-pm‘My tears flow Nectar’ (pollen tempera, charcoal)

Q: Who inspires you? What inspires your art?

A: There is no specific person or artist who inspires me but I do gain inspiration from people who are deeply passionate about their interests – I love to tap into that passion and use it within my work. So much of my inspiration comes from the natural environment and the way in which we engage with it on a physical and visceral level.

Q: Do you have a preferred medium?

A: I tend to start with charcoal and then see where that leads me. I have a love of textures and enjoy the process of allowing materials to speak for themselves and lead me in new directions.

screen-shot-2017-01-10-at-3-03-01-pmUntitled (charcoal, pencil, pollen tempera)

Q: How would you describe your style?

A: That’s always a tricky question. I have been told often that my work is easy to identify as it has a sense of fragility and quietness about it no matter what medium I use or the form it takes.

Q: Can you please describe your artistic and creative process i.e.: from lingering idea to putting it into practice?

A: Unfortunately, or fortunately, I need time and space to allow ideas to develop, but once they have settled in they become all-consuming. It then becomes all about research as I like to explore ideas from many angles, often turning to literature and text to deepen my understanding of the concept. The next stage is experimenting and playing with materials. I have learnt that so many positive, unexpected outcomes occur at this stage which usually end up informing the work in ways I never anticipated.

screen-shot-2017-01-10-at-3-00-44-pm‘When the Bees Speak, Nature Whispers Secrets’, detail (gampi paper, pencil, ink, gold coloured wire, wooden bee frame)

Q: Where do you see your art practice taking you in the next five years?

A: Next year I intend to complete an Honours program in Visual Art. This will help me really focus and consolidate my learning from the past six years of study. In 2018, I will complete a 3-month residency at Sauerbier House in Port Noarlunga. After that …. we’ll see, hopefully I will be well and truly established in my practice and looking for other exciting and challenging opportunities.

Q: If you could recommend one artist, who would it be?

A:I have recently read Surrender by Australian artist Joshua Yeldham. His paintings and carved paper images are mesmerising and are deeply embedded with stories of the natural world and his personal experiences.

screen-shot-2017-01-10-at-3-00-20-pm‘When the Bees Speak, Nature Whispers Secrets’, detail (gampi paper, pencil, ink, gold coloured wire, wooden bee frame)

Q: What is your favourite gallery?

A: This year I spent a wonderful day at Heide Museum of Modern Art just outside of Melbourne. I love the fact that so much history and art is embedded in the gardens and houses on the property. It is a perfect blend of Australian modern art history, architecture, beautiful gardens and of course, art.

Q: Where can we find more of your work?

A: I currently have work in the Adelaide College of the Arts Graduation Exhibition in Light Square. You can also find me on Instagram and my website

screen-shot-2017-01-10-at-3-01-42-pm‘When the Bees Speak, Nature Whispers Secrets’ (gampi paper, pencil, ink, gold coloured wire, bees wax, acrylic sheet, wood, wooden bee frame)

Q: What’s one thing you would change about the South Australian art scene?

A: I am really excited about the proposal of a contemporary art gallery being purpose built in Adelaide. Nick Mitzevich and the Art Gallery of South Australia have worked so hard in the last few years to make world class, contemporary art accessible for the people of South Australia and make Adelaide a cultural destination, a contemporary gallery would just take it to the next level. In response to the question, there is nothing I would like to change, instead, I feel privileged to be emerging as an artist at such a significant time of change in the Adelaide art scene.

Masya Zabidi

One thought on “Artist Spotlight #51: Rebecca McEwan

  1. I enjoy the wholesome approach of Rebecca’s art. I feel privileged to have an original in my home and look forward to her future pieces.


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