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5 Creative Questions with… Artemisia Cornett

In January, I curated for myself a month-long art festival. It took me to many places, including the Louise Bourgeois major restrospective; two painting workshops (with Ben and Sally Ryan and Heidi Lai respectively); a canvas stretching session with an artist friend, Jen Hsieh, and a studio visit with another artist friend, Kean Onn See.


After the studio visit, Kean Onn and I ventured into DRAW Space, Newtown, where both of us were struck by the intricacy of the drawings by Artemisia Cornett. I'm quite sure I remember Kean Onn asking Artemisia if she uses any magnification when drawing; she does not. This was astonishing - Artemisia's details are rendered to an extent that feels beyond the limits of human eyes and hands (well, beyond my own hands and eyes at the very least). In an age of AI art, seeing brilliant draughtmanship - the kind of finesse you would associate with an Olympic fencer - was wonderful. My favourite piece featured a rabbit on the moon, a motif I associate with the Asian diaspora. It was beautiful, it was elegiac, it must have taken so many hours to do.


A drawing by Artemisia Cornett. Image courtesy of the artist


Artemisia Cornett is the 25th in my series of creatives to take five questions.


When my creative process is stuck, switching things up and going back to direct observational drawing helps a lot. I'll often find something that I want to turn into another drawing or stumble on a little technique that makes the drawing process easier. If I'm feeling stuck, it usually means it's time for a life drawing class 😂


The weirdest thing about being a creative human is... I don’t know if it is weird per se, but a quirk regarding being a creative human that I appreciate is how much we come to know about things outside of our primary interest to fuel our creativity. We become researchers and knowledge keepers as much as we are tradespeople. I did not expect to be learning about animal husbandry at 23, but it makes responding to pastoralism in my work easier when I have that perspective to draw from.

Another drawing by Artemisia Cornett. Image courtesy of the artist


The most unusual object in my house no question, is this robot. Apparently it was part of a City of Sydney Christmas display in the early 2000s, my dad fished it out before it went to disposal and it has remained here ever since. I have known it my entire life, and seeing it get smaller over time as I grow has been surreal.


I celebrate my achievements with a nice debriefing chat, whether with a close friend or family member. Usually that is enough and the most satisfying.


Something in the world that already exists that I wish I had created is... the game Hollow Knight, specifically the visuals by Ari Gibson. I mean, it’s one of those things where I don’t know if I’d love it as much if I was the one to make it, but if that was the one project I could put my name on, that’d be it.


Artemisia Cornett's work appears in an upcoming group show, DETAIL, at DRAW Space in Sydney from 7 March 2024. Find out more about Artemisia Cornett at ‡INKLINGS‡ (inklingsart.com.au). More about artist-run initiative DRAW Space here: DRAW Space.

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