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Emma Lindsay


Emma Lindsay is a visual artist whose practice has focused on the representation of extinct and endangered Australian birds. Emma received funding to undertake a self-organised two-month research and professional development residency at Point B Worklodge in Brooklyn, New York.

Emma undertook research at major international natural history museums including the American Museum of Natural History, the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University and the Smithsonian Institute. The research conducted in these museum collections has extended her practice through investigation of the concept of the natural history museum as a landscape for extinction.

Workshops in Japanese woodblock printing and paper pulp making were also undertaken, and Emma participated in two New York exhibitions: American Australian Association Reception in October and the Point B Open Studios November Edition in November.

Emma standing in front of her work


October to November 2014 


New York

Arts Queensland contribution

$6000 – Individuals Fund


  • Emma was able to meet a number of Australian and international artists and develop artist peer networks and contacts in galleries while in New York.
  • Developing new skills in Japanese woodblock printing and papermaking was a feature of Emma’s New York learning experience. 
  • Emma was able to inform her work on endangered and extinct animals through her visits to the New York, Washington and Philadelphia natural history and art museums. 

Learnings and reflections

Emma planned before her trip what she wanted to see and experience to make best use of her time and offers some suggestions for others contemplating a similar journey: 

I learned a lot from this activity. I undertook a lot of detailed research into New York online before I left – seeking information on artists, art galleries, exhibitions and art workshops on offer. This meant that I had a clear focus and plan to work, research and learn while in New York.  

I was surprised how exposure to many different types of contemporary and old master paintings in the flesh reflected or influenced the way I was working. My interest in portraiture has increased in representing extinct birds and animals, and I also undertook a side portraiture project of the influential people I met while in New York. I now see how my practice will extend past my currently simple representational strategies into projects that engage more with art history and contemporary practice by introducing narrative or homage to the existing art canon. 

I have learned that to be able to compete in the New York art world, you need to be ready to be challenged and constantly strive to better your work by looking at those at the top of their vocation. You need to have an exhibition ready to go if the opportunity to exhibit presents itself, and have your best work available. 

It is important to see art all the time, to be seeking peers who work in your discipline and to develop a tough skin that enables you to persevere despite criticism or lack of response, to be committed to your practice 100%. This residency opportunity has clarified my commitment to my painting and photography practice, and to constantly testing and developing new skills in the studio. The residency has also clarified that I want to live and work in a major art city like New York for a few years in the early stages of my career to push my work and network to a highly professional level, so that I can then return to Australia and pass that learning and skills on to my peers and new emergent creatives looking to live and work as artists. 

Contact for further information



Photographic documentation of art made, exhibition installations and residency experiences are posted on Emma’s Instagram, blog and Facebook accounts:

A pdf version of the case study (PDF) (366.11 KB) is available.

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