In high demand, Emily Crockford is top of the pattern-based pops

Emily Crockford with Creative Hoarding COS. Photo by Katherine Griffiths care of Studio A.

Emily Crockford with Creative Hoarding COS. Photo by Katherine Griffiths care of Studio A.

Emily Crockford is a bright, punchy, pattern-based artist who undertakes large and physically demanding work. Create NSW spoke with Emily to learn about her recent projects and to find out what she has in the pipeline.

Will you be celebrating International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD)?

IDPwD is a special time for people with Down syndrome and it makes me and my friends feel good.

On the day I am going to be making a speech in the city [at private forum for IDPwD] and that will be awesome. I would like my speech to be filmed.

Your work was recently exhibited at Home – an exhibition that was part of the Big Anxiety Festival that looked at the concept of what makes a home. What did you create for this exhibition?

I imagined Sydney Opera House with the fireworks – bang, bang, bang, and champagne for a happy New Year – and created a disco house. The house I created is made of tiles and mirrors with reflecting lights and has many colourful circles. It lights up like fireworks.

Tell us about the 39 metre mural you created last year, which was commissioned by Westpac for its Concord office.

I designed trees with a mandala design in the middle – a mandala is a Sanskrit circle – a spiritual and ritual symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism, representing the universe.

Within the mural I also created a large lorikeet with big eyes.

To create the mural I needed to use and stand on a scissor-lift, which I was scared of at first, but I got over it.

There is a documentary of me painting the mural on ABC iview. It feels so great and awesome to have created it.

You work across a range of artforms, painting and creating patterns. What do you like about creating art?

I just do it. I love art and in my dreams I am colouring in and making cool designs. I love murals and different places and I make people happy – and they enjoy my art.

You often collaborate with other artists. What drives you to collaborate?

I love working in exhibitions, meeting artists, and making more ideas. I like collaborating because it means I make friends including Rosie Deacon who I love and met through a joint project. I want to keep collaborating with her and with new friends. I would also like to work with artist Florence Araniego next.

You’ve had a lot of success recently. Why do you think you are in demand now?

People love it and enjoy it. I go with the flow with fuzzy patterns. I am popular because I am a superstar.

What are you working on next?
My next big project is painting a mural for WestConnex M5 motorway pedestrian underpass, curated by Cultural Capital, and in partnership with WestConnex. It is big. I am not nervous at all.

I am also working on a Christmas decoration wreath for the window display at the Australian Design Centre.

I will take a holiday after this…I need a big, big break.

Who is your inspiration right now?

Emma Johnston at Studio A. She makes me so feel strong with my artworks and practice.

What advice do you have for artists trying to crack into the sector?

Just do it! Set goals.


Emily was recently featured in the documentary series Art Bites: Studio A. You can watch it now on ABC iview.

Create NSW is passionate about creating real opportunities for people with disabilities to break into and sustain careers in the arts, screen and culture sector. We will be back with more initiatives and opportunities to level the playing field for people with disability in 2020.

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Image: Emily Crockford with Creative Hoarding COS. Photo by Katherine Griffiths care of Studio A.