Artist: Emma Milburn

Artist Profile

8Shamrock Hut3

Emma Milburn Mixed Two

Emma Milburn’s paintings depict elements that are influenced by the natural environment of South Island and wilderness areas and our human interaction within this.  “As a Wilderness Search Dog handler and Visual Tracker, I spend a lot of time in the environment and often end up being dropped in remote and isolated areas of the South island.  It is important to be aware of the environment that we are deployed in as there is a need to be acutely tuned in to this and to analyse the detail along with the ‘big picture’,  staying focussed for extended periods of time in all conditions.”

Colour, shape shine, shadow, contours ,movement along with smell become part what has been a changed view of the environment. As an artist the idea of the visual tracking was exciting and intriguing, and has so many parallels with painting - texture, colour, shadow - like abstract painting the edge of a print is a hint to represent what it signifies.

There are also parallels between wilderness and urban environment with elements of this combined.  Spending a lot of time playing and writing music also brings an awareness of the interaction between space time and repetition. 



Emma Milburn was born and educated in Christchurch, until moving to Dunedin to attend Art School.  She started painting and exhibiting in 1990 Dunedin, then starting showing in Christchurch and Auckland.

Playing in bands and recording music, which has brought about a musical influence within her visual art and paintings alongside a passion for food.

She has been working at the Dunedin Public Library for 10 years, and currently the Digital Outreach Coordinator which involves working with community and cultural groups recording a digital history.

Most recently she has been involved in Search and Rescue for 9 years and have been an operational Wilderness Search Dog handler for 5 of those years, which has led to a lot of callouts and searches in the lower South island. There are a lot of environmental influences in Emma Milburn’s work, from this time spent in the environment.

A keen tramper with a love of the outdoors which is where involvement with Search and Rescue stemmed from, and this involvement has become big part of her life and the visual aspect of this experience has contributed inspiration in her artwork.

Artist Gallery

Artist Exhibitions

Emma Milburn,  Jacqueline Morren

Thursday 31 Aug 2017 - Wednesday 27 Sep 2017