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Erica Elgin is an emerging artist practicing on Wurundjeri Country, Naarm/Melbourne. Her abstract multi-plate etchings on paper contemplate the natural world with great sensitivity, aiming to deepen our connection to and appreciation of plant life. 

Erica’s floristry and horticultural training has nurtured an intimate understanding of plant life grounded in detailed consideration and appreciation of flora. This bond to plant life emerges through her artistic practice where observations of plants are translated into emotional geographies through intaglio techniques. The core desire of her fine art practice simultaneously aligns with her floristry and horticultural objectives of bringing greater awareness and deeper connections to the indispensable presence and intrinsic value of plants. Her printmaking practice garners inspiration from plant life that she personally connects with and is inexorably drawn to in her everyday life. Erica seeks to celebrate these significant — yet often trivialised or blind — interactions with plants, with her plates created either en plein air or with reference to attentive personal documentation from her encounters. 

Her practice seeks to represent the emotive effects and captivating details of nature through evocative multi-plate etchings where vivid colours interact with varied tones and textures. She employs abstraction as a tool to reach into the subjective realm of emotion, feeling and sensation to unravel set ways of seeing and experiencing flora. As a result, Erica’s etchings employ textural and painterly aquatints, flowing with movement rendered with saturated colours and rich gradients. These elements act as tools to move the viewer into a space of empathetic connection, where plants are seen under a new lens in order to encourage a deeper and more attentive appreciation of the constant presence of flora. Her etchings not only aim to induce a new viewpoint within the viewer, but also endeavour to forge deeper connections and fresh sensitivity to the value of plant life. Erica’s practice calls awareness to the indispensable role botany plays in the wider ecosystem, ultimately drawing attention to the increasing distress the natural world is under as a consequence of humankind’s disregard. 

Her etchings have been shown across Australia in numerous group shows and art prizes, such as The Fremantle Arts Centre Print Award, The Burnie Print Prize and fortyfivedownstairs' Emerging Artist Award, as well as achieving a highly commended printmaking award in The Blue Mountains Art Prize. She is a graduate of Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology’s Honours program majoring in printmaking, following completion of her Bachelors degree in Fine Art at the Queensland College of Art, Brisbane, and time studying printmaking internationally at Aberystwyth University’s School of Art, Wales.

Currently Erica practices from Firestation Print Studio, Naarm/Melbourne where she is working towards upcoming projects in 2023 and beyond, such as art prizes, group exhibitions and a solo exhibition. Bridging art and floristry, Erica is currently releasing weekly floral bouquets as part of an ongoing ephemeral body of work. These bouquets are available for sale at Firestation Print Studio each week.

Selected work available at The Space Gallery + Workshop and Firestation Print Studio.

Follow along on Instagram @ericaelgin:

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