Daniel Emmerig (OS 2012)
Allens law firm and artist, Sydney, Australia
After school I jumped straight into a combined law and fine arts degree at the University of New South Wales. It was a new degree which was offered for the first time that year. Two people chose to do it. After a year, the other person transferred into commerce.
University was a constant bouncing between two extremes – the legal, where clarity and reason are king, and the creative, where a constant demand for justification can kill a spark.
In my fine arts practice, I majored in painting and printmaking. I first got into printmaking thinking it was great economics to be able to make one artwork, which you could sell over and over again. I later realised that the great opportunity of printing was in the markmaking power of the media – nothing looks as harsh in black-and-white as a woodcut.
My best memories of university are of spending endless afternoons in the printmaking studios working on etchings, woodcuts and lithographs, trying to get the details perfect on every edition in every series. Often, great Australian artists like Elisabeth Cummings and Reg Mombassa would wander in to use the university studios. Even apart from the creative element, the craft of printmaking is a joy in itself to learn.
I also spent some time on exchange at Sciences Po in Paris, studying law, and in Japan, for art. I’m currently studying a Master of Laws at King’s College London.
At the moment, I’m a solicitor at the law firm Allens in Sydney. I still use art as a rest, a pursuit, and as chicken noodle soup for the soul. At the core, art teaches awareness, the skill of approaching something new with a ready and open mind, and this can be transferred into situations in every walk of life.