This is the creative home of Natalija Brunovs.
Designer, photographer, film maker, artist, teacher, deep thinker, drawer, spiritual seeker and one crafty lady.

I blog therefore I am!

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Entries in armidale (6)


The Making Of: Hot Chocolate

Have you been thinking about hot chocolate lately?

I think you will after this.....

Very cold winter days in Armidale have inspired many to enjoy one of the four (fairtrade and organic) hot chocolates that neram harvest restaurant makes.

I just so happen to know the chef. So I thought we should make a 'making of' film and play with my new Canon 5D Mark III! This is our day's work... yum yum, get warm!

[current mood] Paul Kelly & Patchouli


A Personal Art Tour

I have the wonderful fortune of continuing to attract work that involves artists. It's becoming somewhat of a forté - photographing and filming artists. I love it because I am really quite the art critic deep down. I believe I know what is good art and a real artisté when I meet one. However what I enjoy most is the insight into different artist's lives, being inside the studio and work of an artist and connecting with their personal stories and drive. Artists are just people but the difference often is in how they engage with the world, more emotionally literate, more aesthetically alive and they often create homes and spaces that fulfil me.

I simply enjoy their company.

The Glen Innes Art Gallery received CASP funding (Country Arts Support!) with the support of Arts North West, with which they were able to engage me as a photographer to work across the New England regional to photograph artists, venues and galleries as part of the Country Arts Escapes website. The new site gives visitors a sense of who they can visit so they can map out an art escapes tour of their own.

I had to drive between places like Tamworth, Glen Innes, Inverell, Armidale and Tenterfield and for a couple of legs I had the lovely company of budding photographer Gemma Tann whom I mentored on the road and between pies.

Come and travel with me through some of my visits...

First stop, Tony Sevil.

I resonated with Tony very much. He loves collecting junk and holding it up as art. He showed me how a piece of burgundy suede sitting on a strip of red plastic was just oh so lovely and he felt there was nothing more he could do to make it any better. And I related to this! It provided the perfect contrast and naturalness and so why construct anything further?

Tony gave me eggs and offered tea as he showed me all the junky treats that lined his walls and floors. Below is the train made of junkyard parts. 

I then went to the old homestead Saumarez. I had full reign of the two floors full of old hand carved wood, antiques and wallpapered living rooms, all laid out as it were when it was occupied in the 1800s. Very ghostly, very real.

Now we go to David MacKay. His work is meticulous. He draws detailed illustrations of nature and when I asked if he had a background in botanical illustration, he told me he did. It made sense that his work was so near perfect yet also much better than perfect - if you know what I mean? That's the beauty of illustration over photography.

What I like most about artist's studios in the unintentional arty pieces that lie around that tell more of the story. I like to create my own art in a photography - like watercolour squares against gum leaves. Perfectly edible I think!

To another very physical-artist... we go to Francois Jaggi, a French sculptor in Armidale.
We wandered around his property like a treasure hunt, finding artworks in the misty recesses of hedges and garden beds. I loved the contrast of metal and foilage.

Next stop Tamworth to drop into Andrea Bruno's studio. It was both an artist studio and a workshop space where people could converse over art and cigarettes. Paint everywhere and it felt very European.

Further out of town lies Edelweiss Gallery where their specialty is glass - vases and lamps.
I've always found glass fascinating in itself and I admired how this gallery could exist in an otherwise farmland-scape and have an array of unique arts and crafts for visitors to explore.

The sweet Annabel Hoskins art is on the wall at Edelweiss and so we headed to her house to check out her paintings.
I took a few photographs and she gave me a hundred old records she was going to get rid of anyway. Exchange always thrills me!

Way off the beaten track was Forest to Furniture. It is a gallery in Tenterfield that features wood works, painting and ceramics. This was my favourite piece - however I do have a penchant for original, organic, phallic kind of things.

I loved dropping into Glen Innes' regional art gallery and spending time with the folks there. I thought they made wonderful sculpture in themselves as they posed in the shafts of light coming through the window.

My time with artists and venues is as much about our interaction as it is the images. I love to understand the places, what is important to them, what typifies them and thus was truly represents...

Here is Inverell's regional gallery - not so far away...

And a close up of Nicci Jones working on a pot.

Then I drove down a sweet country lane near Armidale to discover The Orchard Studio.

I do like the non-traditional representation of artists. Here is Julia taking her artwork back inside.

And Studio 91 in Manilla was a shop front and studio in one. I love seeing funky shop windows in old country towns. It gives me hope that fresh ideas can grow in old places.

And last stop, Rhonda. And her home based gallery. Rhonda moved me! She opened up about her life story of personal trauma turned into the discovery of herself as an artist late in life - and her genuine contentness with living alone and managing her life as she does without the need for others. She was very very kind and trusting towards me and spoke with such golden words and stories I wanted to record them into a film! And perhaps perhaps I will.

Thank you for such a brilliant journey with my camera. I hope you enjoyed it too.

Country Art Escapes is proudly funded by The Country Arts Support Program. CASP is  is funded by the NSW Government through Arts NSW and jointly delivered by Regional Arts NSW and Regional Arts Boards throughout NSW.

[current mood] Pictionary Pants-Peeing & Burnt Fig, Honeycomb and Caramel Ice Cream


30 days of commitment

30 days has September, April, June and November.

I still use the rhyme to work it out.

I am making a 30 day committment to blogging. I made a list of all things I would commit to for the thirty days of June however I already scrapped two of them today (meat and coffee) so I think I'll just stick with the blogging (and maybe the meditation)...

I'm in Armidale and I have experienced my first real autumn. I am FALLing in love with this season as I witness a real sense of change! (you don't get that in Perth). Here I know the trees are sucking in their energy for the winter and letting their leaves colour and drop to the earth. Every day there is change, every beauty is fleeting, the aesthetics of it are actually attacking my heart. I think that's why I'm a photographer because I am physically effected by beauty and I feel like my heart breaks if I don't capture it.

Here I grabbed my iphone and took an instagram snap of a tree in Tenterfield. The lady of the house barked at me for intruding on her property but it just had to be shot!

I lose my breath seeing sun shining through a red tree on a hill setting it aglow, the sunset gradients of colour in just one tree, the dance of yellow poplar leaves shaking and falling and the autumn carpets of golden hues that line sidewalks.

And now as winter approaches it's just the last of single orange leaves hanging on greying branches.

I ran around the New England Regional Art Gallery today taking photographs to convey what is left of my autumn.

 [current mood] Pecan Pie & The 6ths



I've been spending the better part of February jamming.

And by that I mean fingers deep is crystal coloured jellies! Right from handpicking blackberries to gelling it up with sugar and packaging it with love and stripy twine.

Rowan took me down the garden path to the freshest of berries. He showed me the slightly matted blackberries at the tips of the bunch - for jam supreme.


We were alloted aisles 1-7. They were flush with ripe juicy packages as it's been quiet on the berry farm because of a very rainy New England.

Once I got those jams all bottled up I took Rowan's established style and finished it off with string. A different colour for a different jam.
Purple is for plum.

I just want to look at backlit jam all day
on wooden boards and with words made of string.

I'll let you know how business booms when we sell them at the local Armidale and Bellingen markets.

Here's my poster artwork dedicated to our jams at Neram Harvest, Armidale.

[current mood] Portuguese Tarts & Jazz-like music


30 Ties and No Occasion

This is the third participant in The Occasion project that I started in Armidale, NSW. I only managed to get through 3 people in my week as artist in residence at NERAM. But I will continue on as I travel around Australia... starting conversations about why we hang on to objects and ideas and fantasies and helping people seize the day and USE their things for a photoshoot.

I loved working with Hadley. He's one of my fantastic new friends in Armidale. Hadley has 30 ties he's been imagining wearing when he becomes a 'professional'. Years later, those ties haven't seen the fluorescent light of a day in the office.

Donating his ties to the occasion project was certainly a PROCESS as much as an outcome, as Hadley explains in the video piece below.

The Occasion: with Hadley from Neram on Vimeo.


Hands up if you want to take part if you're in Perth, Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Sydney, Armidale or Melbourne! I'll be in those parts over the next two months and I'd love for you to find an object that you are saving for a special occasion and use it in an everyday or unique way.

Got something? Email me.

[current mood] Old Funk & Cherries


The Occasion project: Lauren

Lauren Upjohn for The Occasion project.

I've been given the opportunity to be an artist in residence at NERAM in Armidale, NSW.

Heard of Neram? It's the absolutely under-rated New England Regional Art Museum which has the most impressive collection of Heidelberg era art in a regional area. It also runs education projects as well as touring and selling exhibitions. And not to mention the incredibly delicious and gourmet café I could LIVE IN! Neram Harvest.

As part of my residency I'm doing a project called The Occasion. And I'm setting up this blog for other artists to do residencies!

I've been thinking about this Occasion concept for a while. I think nearly everybody has some object they hang on to for a special occasion. We often buy these objects with a future fantasy story attached to them.

And it sits there, being un-lived. A tangible expression of not being present. Not seizing the day!

For example I bought this 60s swirly dress from an op shop for this fantasy party I might attend where I need to dress retro... 3 years on, no such party has occured. So if I were part of this project, I would pop on this dress and just head out for the day, do my shopping and enjoy the dress in the everyday occasion. I do the same thing with tea cups, stationery and shoes...

My first photographic subject is the horse riding country gal, Lauren Upjohn.


Here is the video I made of Lauren's Occasion.


The Occasion: with Lauren from Neram on Vimeo.


[current mood] Croissants & Camomile Tea with New Arty Friends on Squeeky Chairs