Interviewing Emma Maye Gibson was a beautiful experience. Her grace, strength and conviction dazzled me as much as her alter ego does.

I am a Performance Artist.

I always wanted to be in theatre, to act and make things. When I realised the ‘normal world’ wasn’t for me, I found my own voice through feminism. It happened really naturally.

What did you study?
I studied Media and Communications and have just finished my masters at COFA.

What have you been working on?

I’ve been in a show at Belvoir with Sisters Grim. It’s a queering of the opera La Traviata, Looking at the George Brandis classification and the value of art in our society. In the workshop process we were looking at making Opera. We are these advertising executives who used to be artists. Kind of crystallising capitalism and evoking ideas about art having rules.

And I have a solo show – called grumble sex clown saves the world which will debut at Perth Fringe.

What does the term create or die mean to you?

I think that could be a quite literal reading for me.

I have the need to create things in an oppressive world. But what we’ve done here, it’s about creating stories and connecting with people, it’s a place for fertile ground.

I consider myself a clown as well. I wouldn’t be laughing so hard if I wasn’t so deeply serious about it. Create or Die? It’s Love and Anger.

I think I do take it quite literally. If we lived in fascist society and they burnt books and art that would be a real death for me.

Creation is giving people agency.

Part of Portraits and Conversations Series
~ Interview by Deb Morgan , Portrait by Chrissie Hall ~

Get to know Emma’s other half, Betty Grumble here: