Creatively and artistically inclined, Michelle Atzemis’ art making naturally evolved from her background in graphic design and screen printing. From designing wedding stationery and fabric panels (which she used to produce bags, cases and cushions) she moved in to painting small-scale acrylic paintings on pieces of freestanding reclaimed timber.
Primarily intuitive, her art making process begins with rough expressive coats of paint, in which she builds on layers with thick, heavy strokes. She prefers to paint on boards than on canvas so that once dry, she is able to scrape back part of the paintwork revealing hidden layers, textures, markings and hues. This process of scratching below the surface of the paint layers is akin to her intention of scratching below the surface of the Australian landscape, depicting hidden layers of visual and poetic meaning.
Atzemis’ studio window faces out to the Australian bush, its omnipresence and changing nature intrinsically influencing her subject matter. Although abstract, her style is considered in its mark making, and expressive in its execution. The reduction of forms to abstract motifs is reminiscent of the same principles of the great Australian artist Fred Williams. As Atzemis does, he too sought to portray the underlying bones of the Australian landscape.