At first glance, Tautology (after Morandi) appears to be a quiet tonal study of a small collection of bowls and bottles. But as the work of Sydney-based artist Emma White, this photograph represents a rather more sophisticated investigation into the nature of representation and our understanding of the objects of art and everyday life.

White’s work is multi-disciplinary, taking in sculpture, installation, video and photography. She is probably best known for her meticulous replicas of commonplace objects and office supplies rendered in fimo clay, such as her Delaying Tactics for the Intuitive Researcher, which presented the contents of the artist’s desktop reproduced in fine detail. The photographs that accompany her sculptures are artworks in themselves, and serve to focus our attention on the imperfections, lumps and wonky lines that our eyes and brain somehow gloss over when we ‘see’ the objects being represented.

In this particular photograph White has crafted a miniature still life tribute to the work of Italian painter Giorgio Morandi, and through photography has amplified the painterly quality of her craft.

Based in Canberra, White has exhibited widely across Australia and is held in a number of private and public collections including MCA Australia, Artbank, AGNSW, and the National Library, Canberra. In 2012 White’s work was included in the UTS Gallery exhibition Swedish for Argument, with a scale rendition of the ubiquitous IKEA allen key.


Janet Ollevou
Assistant Curator (Collection)


Emma White