Exerpt from the essay 'Emma Langridge: Unfinished Journey' by Andrew Gaynor, which appears in the book "Unfinished Journey" by Ken McGregor, MacMillan Art Publishing Australia, 2006.

"This book documents recent journeys to far-flung destinations throughout the world by thirteen Australian artists charged with the mission of recording their experiences in their own unique artistic terms. Each artist contributes ten or more images of the art works they subsequently created. This is a big exciting book which offers a rich array of images, travel tales and telling insights into the minds of artists as they create images based on travel impressions."


Emma Langridge’s paintings create a classic visual conundrum. Physically, they are composed of few elements – line, proportion, colour, support and medium – but visually and perceptually, they resonate with incredible complexity. There are no figurative elements included which might otherwise provide a viewer with the necessary frisson experienced whilst contemplating the differences between a subject in reality and its re-creation in paint. Instead this sensation is provided purely by the formal relationships created by the aforementioned five basic elements and their reaction to each other.

Due to an optical interplay involving gridded, overlapping lines, Langridge’s works are often compared to those of the British-born artist Bridget Riley. However, Riley’s works have their genesis in her interest in the visual communication of relationships between colour and the representation of sensation or experience, whereas Langridge has a far more architectonic approach. Well versed in art history and theory, her inspirations may also be found in a wider catchment area that includes geology, mathematics, architecture and music, particularly electronica. She is fascinated by the concepts of accretion and layering, of sedimentary deposits that build up to a final product which is as much an object in itself as it is the revealed x-ray of its own history.

"It’s all about measuring time and measuring the paintings, like sedimentary layers, this idea that you build something up and these things get trapped in the layers and they sort of mark what time you did it. It’s like a reporting, or an objectification of your time. And I wouldn’t want to have any real expectation of what it should look like at the end anyway. Not until that very last point."