One gets the impression that it must be exhausting being Amy Longworth. The Brisbane-based artist has her fingers in many pies, working across installation, drawing, collage, sculpture and video and collaborating with the fashion, music and film worlds.
Filed under the rather ambiguous umbrella of ‘new media’, Longworth’s large-scale projections and installations create immersive environments providing endless scope for interactions with tangible and intangible space.
They are both seductive and entrapping, drawing you into a vortex of light and colour which can soon become disorienting. Participants are invited to explore these spaces, dizzying in their range of angles and fluorescent colour lit under black lights.
“The idea of constructed space is important to me. In a sense, the installations are a way of exploring the power of light to create space – as projections, from a light source, or in reflections,” she says.
Amy’s delicate drawings have graced everything from fabric design – for Brisbane label SOOT – to album covers and band posters.
However, in her recent work, the painstakingly intricate lines and forms which populated her drawings have left the white page and become immersive installations that create an encompassing environment for the viewer.
“I’m interested in looking at the way people interact and operate differently in these spaces than they would in a normal space. Any environment that I create – whether it’s drawing, or an installation – I want it to be both a utopian space which feels protective, and a disorienting space that feels entrapping,” she says.
She describes her practice as all about play, and one can’t help but be drawn into the parallel world she invites her audience to inhabit, filled with vibrant colours and jarring angles.
Her works explore the power of light within a space, and the way sound and space can alter an experience. When encountering her work, it is clear that she has given deep consideration to how people are going to be engaging with the work and the emotions it will evoke.
Amy is currently hard at work on the upcoming campaign film for jewellery designer Holly Ryan’s latest collection, and says she hopes to explore the medium further.
“I’m still in the stage of fitting out how all the things I do fit together – I’m really interested in collaborating with people from different areas like fashion. I think that there’s so much overlap, and with something like the campaign films things I’m working with like colour, rhythm and sound can be applied so well to that medium,” she says.
“The way fashion is now, it’s less about trends and much more about emotions or expression. So I think a film is the perfect way to get that mood across.”
In the future, Longworth’s plans only get bigger, with ideas to work on an even larger scale and engage more with members of the public.
“Sometimes it looks like I’m doing a lot of separate things, but really all my work, whether it’s fine art or commercial, is exploring the same ideas and aesthetic,” she says.
“These days it’s so easy to do it all – there’s no need to pick one path and stick to it. One week I’m really into one thing, and the next it’s totally different!”