What inspires me?
How did I get here?
What am I working on?
Emily McGregor combines the perceptual languages of installation, sculpture, drawing, performance, photography and video to explore transformation.
From Australia's east coast, McGregor draws stimulus from the fluctuating nature of weather, sea and ozone-charged air, where change is constant.
An ongoing theme for McGregor is the study of movement. Observation sessions include those generously granted through multiple residencies with the Pre-Professional Year at Sydney Dance Company. McGregor has collaborated with dancers who recorded movements in clay and created video work using ghostly layers to convey duration in an extended present. Additionally, she has transcribed map-like traces of motion at dancers' rehearsals – either recording them as drawings in situ or alternatively distilling and marking from memory, at times employing sound recordings as a catalyst.
Other interdisciplinary works reflect on the slow time and perceptions of plants or express the fugitive marks of time and the elements. She has also delved into researching the territories of consciousness and the subconscious, interested in the manner in which formative experiences can influence us here and now.
McGregor invites the viewer to notice what they are noticing and to shift attention toward that which is often overlooked. Her mission is to inspire and be inspired, emanating joy, while evolving and transforming her output through collaboration with values-led initiatives. She is committed to an ecology positive practice, choosing both sustainable materials and adaptive reuse wherever possible.
Following on from an established career in fashion and media as a recognised stylist and creative consultant, McGregor chose to transform her creative endeavours, by evolving into professional art practice. A graduate of the Bachelor of Fine Art program at National Art School, Sydney, McGregor was awarded the Clitheroe Foundation Master of Fine Art Scholarship in 2015. She completed her MFA postgraduate studies in 2017. Other awards include the Mark Tedeschi QC Prize for Art History in 2013 and Mansfield Ceramics Writing Prize in 2015. She was selected as a finalist in the Tom Bass Prize for Figurative Sculpture in 2018.
Commissioned by Willoughby Council in Sydney, McGregor held solo exhibition Morphogenesis in 2016. She held her second solo show in 2020, exhibiting the material works of her ECDYSIS project, which explores the realms of the subconscious and exuviates old stories and personas.
The audience-funded Mutualism Project was to be a durational piece running through 2020, particularly inspired in response to the collective grief of the previous summer's bushfires. It has been on hold in light of global events. A values-led project, exploring reciprocity, curiosity, joy, inspiration, kindness, willingness and generosity, McGregor planned to visit places where mutualistic relationships thrive amongst humans and with our beyond human kin, to learn, contribute and document the process. In so doing she hoped to experience and generate healing, re-awakening to the wonders of life and the best in humanity. Witnessing the tumult of events locally and globally, McGregor feels such initiatives to direct change energy positively are more vital than ever. The proposed project is transforming and recalibrating, with hopes of launching in the near future.