Emma Buswell


1991. Attadale, Perth, Western Australia.

Lives & Works

East Fremantle, Western Australia.


Emma Buswell is an artist, curator and writer fascinated with systems of government, economies and culture, particularly in relation to constructs of place, identity and community. Her current work takes its inspiration from the matrilineal hand craft and knitting techniques passed down from her grandmother and mother, as well as a contemplative investigation into the nature of kitsch, ephemera and national identities.

Recent exhibitions include a solo exhibition at the Art Gallery of Western Australia titled Emma Buswell: Selected Knitted Works curated by Robert Cook in 2020. Fair Isle, curated by Katherine Wilkinson for DADAA, as part of the Perth Festival in 2021. She was the 2022 TILT artist at Goolugatup, Heathcote and in that same year was the winner of the 2022 Joondalup Invitational Art Prize and awarded a Highly Commended in the Churchie Art Prize in 2022 at the IMA, Brisbane. She was a finalist in the Ramsay Art Prize in 2023 and featured as part of the 2023 Australian Fashion Week in a showcase of Australian designers as part of the We Wear Australian x Afterpay runway, showing at Carriageworks, Sydney.

Her work is held in the City of Joondalup Collection, the City of Melville Collection, the Art Gallery of Western Australia Collection, the University of Western Australia Art Collection, Artbank and several private collections.

Artist Statement

Responding to the theme of IOTA24 exhibition Codes in Parallel, my work for the exhibition continues an interest in representations of women's labour through art history and the use of storytelling and personal anecdote to talk to contemporary anxieties on precarity and risk.

Constructed as two large scale knitted “tapestries” The Pool will draw from the mythology of Narcissus and Echo from Ovid’s millennia old text Metamorphosis and will use representations of this fable throughout art history to draw parallels to contemporary anxieties around current political systems and anxieties.

This myth documents the origin of our understandings of both an echo and what we now know as narcissism, from the word narcissus. In the myth, the feminine Echo is punished for her outspoken “chattiness” and cursed to repeat only the last words uttered by those around her, losing her ability for independent and free speech. In her melancholy she encounters and falls in love with a young Narcissus, a beautiful youth doomed to fall in love with an image of what he can’t have, his own reflection. The dilemma of these two circling figures in the mythology sets up a scenario for talking to contemporary concerns of the echo chamber and the narcissistic tenancies that are entrenched within our current political class.

Acknowledgements & Collaborators

Represented by Sweet Pea Arts

Exhibiting at

John Curtin Gallery

JCG is one of WA's foremost public art galleries and curates the Curtin University Art Collection, located at Curtin's Bentley campus.


Curtin University, Building 200A, Kent St, Bentley WA 6102