Emma Febvre-Richards

Emma Febvre-Richards

Senior lecturer, Whiti o Rehua School of Art

Emma Febvre-Richards is an international multi-media artist whose research sits within the expanded practice of drawing. Using ‘Drawing is Thinking’ to combine traditional mediums of rendering with advanced technology (software programmes, laser technology, digital printing, film making) and other disciplines (sound and neuro-science) to explore how codes of our environment, culture and art creation inform and influence brain function, memory and experience.

She has exhibited in New Zealand, France, China, The Netherlands, England, Australia and the Pacific, published in journals of standing and is a co-founder of Drawing Open: an international research community, involving six international art schools; Massey - Wellington, AUT – Auckland, Wimbledon – London, Syracuse – New York, Federation University - Victoria and Villa Arson – Nice.

Emma is a senior lecturer at Whiti o Rehua School of Art at Massey University Wellington, New Zealand, having studied in England and gained her Masters of Fine Arts in France.

  • Expertise

    Borders of drawing, painting, technologies, disciplines, cultures, environment, design and fine arts. Using computer and laser drawing, mapping, scholastic and mental codes, human thought processes, historical and contemporary rituals, art science collaboration.

  • Research Highlights

    Human Terrain (2012). Ecole Superieure d’Art d’Aix-en-Provence, Aix-en-Provence, France.
    Five bodies of laser cut and etched paper works that investigate how, by engaging in the ‘primal’ gestures such as scrunching and folding the paper surface with overlapping and layering in two and three dimensional space, we can gain a greater understanding of the mind’s intricate thought patterning. Tonally translating gestures into millions of circular laser cut out organisms that explore the constant adaption, absorption, retrieval, re-positioning, organisation and embroidering of the strata of the inner and outer human landscape. Exposing how brain function is influenced by our environment, personal history, culture and behavioural factors.

    The Humanity of Drawing: an artist’s journey. Drawing Out Conference 2012, Chelsea College of Art and Design, The University of London, London, UK.
    A conference paper that discusses how linear methodology of technology can be understood as being pivotal to accentuating rather than denying the true meaning of the ‘human touch’ in drawing. Challenging the ‘givens’ of the visual mind by examining in detail the interrelationship between software programming, human codes such as language (verbal and written) and cerebral mapping that create the multi-layering of the human experience.

    The Rituals of Control: Paper Works, The Blue Oyster Project Space, Dunedin, 2011.
    Three bodies of work that use sequential processes of laser technology and computer software to explore how society has come to value structure, logic and analysis over spontaneity and the primal sensual self. The work examines how childhood art creations and verbal ‘outpourings’ are exchanged for formulaic systems of dialogue, script, numeracy and technology.

    Living Close: Le Contenu, Centre D’Art,Noumea, Noumea, 2008.
    A solo exhibition of twenty floor-based sculptural works that explored historic and contemporary human habitation. By sourcing maps of Ngaio, Wellington from 1900, 1945 and 2002, wooden aerial quarter acre section miniatures were constructed that illustrated how European colonisation has affected our relationship to the landscape and resulted in a suburban pattern of ownership.

  • Qualifications

    BFA(Hons) (Beaux Arts d’Aix-en-Provence, France)
    MFA (Beaux-Arts d’Aix-en-Provence. France)

  • Supervision

    Maria O'Toole
    Visual Literacy: Drawing the Future


    Primary supervisor: Prof. Anne Noble
    Co-supervisor: Tim Brennan
    Advisor: Emma Febvre-Richards