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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 art (27)

Friday
Aug092013

Relax

When I'm five days into a holiday I find my relaxation zone.

Finally I can lie poolside and gaze at the patterns of the water, the colour of my toenails and listen to the sound of mystery birds. I don't even want to look at my phone. I want to soak up the ambience. Everything... slows.. down.
From this space I find my truths.

What emerges in the relax space is the realisation of the things I really want to do.

In Ubud, Bali, I realised for the upteenth time that I want to be an artist, I want to create with my hands and heart because this is the thing that feeds my soul. Damn words make it sound so hippy and trite. But if you can relate to the feeling of knowing your passion and knowing it's the purpose of your existance, you know you don't have any other words for it!

Do I have to intellectualise it? Nup, I'm just going to create!

I've been back 4 days and I'm holding on as much as I can do this feeling. I have to outsmart my future self who just gets stuck into work work work and not enough play... so...

I've enrolled in a ceramics course and produced my first wheelthrown 'pot'. It was just delicious letting my yoga experience and breathwork guide my hands to create form with steadiness and mood. I want to rush out and buy a pottery wheel immediately. Maybe I will because they don't take up much room really and the tools are very simple!

I started reading about natural dyeing and took inspiration from my friend in the forest of New Orleans who is using local leaves and barks to colour cloth and wool. So I started with tumeric, next stop beetroot and then I move into eucalyptus.

And just now I painted a wooden sign I bought as a constant reminder to get into my RELAX zone. I chose tropical blue water colours and gold glitter.

[current mood] Gado Gado & 1950s jazz

Tuesday
Jun052012

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

Sunday
Jun032012

What do you see in your dreams?

I have really vivid dreams. However they also so wildly complex that words can't really explain them. I'm sure you relate. Dreams are more than what you see, more than feelings, they are knowings and illogical pieces of puzzles that don't make sense in any sentence.

They are so quickly lost upon awaking as well but I really consider that because I experienced the dream that my body and subconscious retains that experience so it is significant what we dream about!

I also have some odd visuals in mine - which I thought were unique until I walked into an art exhibition somewhere in the world where a man had paintings of his dreams and I SAW my OWN dream visuals, faceless swaddled babies and beings with two mouths... now that was weird and now I feel less weird. haha.

My boyfriend started a drawing competition at his restaurant and each month I come up with the theme.
This time I chose 'What do you see in your dreams?" It seemed open to many possibilities of interpretation.

I wonder what people will do with an A4 sheet and a pack of crayons?

And then I came back from a holiday to see the walls donned with dreams of wildness, beauty and hope.

We have had so many brilliant contributions. The theme works!

Here is a close up...

Now for next month.... wonder what I can come up with.

[current mood] Other People Cooking & The Two Broke Girls theme

Saturday
Jun022012

Wasted Potential

Here's a thought.

What is worse? Capacity unrealised or no capacity at all?

It hit me as I unloaded all the books stored in my van's cupboards. It's like a library in there… a library of art books.
It was the watercolour book that did it really. Oh yeah, I pictured how other folk would have relished in a Saturday spent applying washes of hue to toothy pages and practicing that art. Yet it didn't occur to me as an option for myself today. Instead I cooked, ate, made a fire, drank coffee, did design work, playing ipad games, ate more, browsed the net and then unloaded the van's library.

I know that I have great capacity with art. I just suffer the probably common trait of not really buckling down to anyone thing, or as seems to be the case, any of them. I just buy the book with a romantic intention and then, barely touched, it stares from the bookshelf, "Tut tut nat. Here I am, another waste of your unrealised potential."
It blows.
I think perhaps I might find relief in believing I had no potential. I had little capacity. I could just get on with my usual bunch of meaningless tasks without any guilt about the unborn artist genius inside of me.

[current mood] Pomegranate & Smashing Pomegranates in Fruit Ninja

Saturday
Apr282012

Artist Mini Docs Launch

I left my job as a media producer with ABC Open late last year just as I wrapped up the production of this series, Artist by Artist.

This was another one of Solua Middleton and my 'babies' that we got off the ground in our year of being B1 and B2. (First two to start).

I want to share with you these 10 films and the process because it was one of the most powerful, precious and successful things I have done in my life based not only on my own personal experience but the feedback I had from the artists involved. It all went well beyond our expectations in terms of personal growth and reflection on ourselves and each other.

The Artist by Artist process

Put 10 artists of different disciplines in a room for two days.

Take them through listening and sharing exercises to discover the depths of each others story.

Teach them the basics of storyboarding, camera shot styles and script writing.

Team them up with an unsuspecting partner and tell them they are making a film on each other.

Then spend the next 3 months in production and editing of these 8 mini docs!

The artists operated as directors of the films and I picked up some of the gaps in skills.
Most of these are my cinematography and many are my editing with the artist's direction.

So without further ado - I here by launch my unofficial online screening of Artist by Artist.

Please grab your drink of choice, snack of choice and enjoy the mini docs on artists by other artists.

Evangeline by Lin from ABC Open Sunshine Coast on Vimeo.

 

Lin by Evangeline from ABC Open Sunshine Coast on Vimeo.

 


 

Kim by Pat from ABC Open Sunshine Coast on Vimeo.

 

Pat by Kim from ABC Open Sunshine Coast on Vimeo.

 


 

 

Christine by Peter from ABC Open Sunshine Coast on Vimeo.

 

Peter by Christine from ABC Open Sunshine Coast on Vimeo.

 


 

Janna by Karuna from ABC Open Sunshine Coast on Vimeo.

 

Karuna by Janna from ABC Open Sunshine Coast on Vimeo.

 


 

Greg by Cindy from ABC Open Sunshine Coast on Vimeo.

Cindy by Greg from ABC Open Sunshine Coast on Vimeo.

 [current mood] Sydney Corner Deli Smells & Science Themed Parties

 

Tuesday
Mar062012

Just do it. From one artist to another.

Here is a short film I just finished about Tanmayo. An artist who lives in Buderim on the Sunshine Coast.
She's an abstract artist with a grounded yet spiritual approach to her life, which she expresses through her art.

It was one of those jobs which you start and then you come across a bump, a little hill that seems just not quite as surmountable as you hoped. So then you leave it for a bit, and then a bit more... meanwhile that hill just keeps on growing. Every week, every month that you avoid facing the challenge it turns that little bump into a mountain.

Reminds me of when I tried to jump off a tall jetty last month. If I'd just run and jumped I would have been fine but instead I lingered on the edge, sizing it up and the fear of it just chewed me up til I crawled away from the edge and took the stairs.

So what did it take for me to finish it?

Well if I'm completely transparent it was Tanmayo saying "I'll pay you to finish it". I absolutely could not accept this as it was intended as a gift. I then realised I had no other choice but to let go of my expectations and as Nike once said 'just do it'.

And typically it just flowed together like magic and in two short days it was done.

Oh me, oh my, the brain has a lot to answer for!

[current mood] Sneaky Stolen Chocolates & Lavendar in my Button Hole

Tuesday
Feb142012

Getting My Art On

It's hard to avoid art when you live down the road from a gallery... and spend most days in it's cafe.

I'm taking an avid interest in print making since I attended a weekend course at NERAM with Basil Hall of BHE. He's a superstar teacher and print maker doing lots of work in Aboriginal communities and running courses in places like Greece.

It was my first experience of etching on tin and using acid baths, aqua tinting and a printing press.
Here are tin plates soaking in acid solution. Eating away the design to create an indent that the ink will fill.

I loved discovering this process!
However with my innate self-criticism and perfectionism which truly comes out when I'm learning a new thing... I was pretty grumpy as I created some 'art' and found myself quite disappointed with my weekend's work.

But I kept telling myself "I'm learning and the outcome isn't important". (ie shut up brain).

In the last few hours of the weekend I grabbed a fresh plate of tin and a needle and quickly scraped this picture on to it. It's based on a photo I took of myself sitting on a beach in Exmouth, WA.

Far better than the hours of work I'd done previously, so I have one thing I'm happy to share.

Still, I felt a bit sad after my course because I am actually disappointed by my level of skill. I realised that I've always felt mediocore with art despite considering myself an artist... to be perfectly honest!

I can do the occassion impressive thing but ultimately my work is far from the talent of artists I respect. And that's a frustrating thing, to know what is good art and be unable to create it.

But someone said to me "Isn't it a case of practicing?" And I said, "well, with a bunch of talent too!"
But then I thought that without the practice, how would you know if the talent wasn't laying in there, just a bit dormant, just a bit hidden by lack of skill?

This caused me to feel hope and a drive to really practice.

I grabbed a piece of lino in the afternoon sun yesterday and sketched a bunch of pencils and an old leaf.

Then I sliced out parts pretty swiftly, seizing the moment of inspiration. I painted it and squashed it on paper...

and today I took a sketch pad on a walk around Blue Hole, the incredible gorge that lies just ten minutes out of Armidale. I sketched what I saw when we stopped.

So I'm researching, collecting, looking, playing. I can stop criticising myself.

I can simply be pleased that I am practicing, regularly. Giving my talent a chance to be discovered. (TBC).

[current mood] Crunchie Bars & Falling Water

Thursday
Dec222011

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

Saturday
Dec102011

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

Thursday
Sep012011

I'll take a photo of your teapot, for your teapot.

I love shooting things that I love. Such as this artwork 'Tea Brake' by Kim Schoenberger.


It seems I only shoot things I love... 

such as delicious food, photographed so well I want to eat it.

and old men, with their faces of wrinkles and hearts all melty. I just want to cuddle their quirky selves.

and then, of course, love ceremonies... where the beauty of the occasion inspires me with every shot.

and then, there is art!

Art that when I photograph it, I get so excited, I want it!

I had the privilege of taking photographs of Kim Schoenberger's assemblages. She makes them from discarded materials she finds in dumpsters and such places. The way they come together is some sort of magic. Unsuspecting pieces just fit into each other, Kim tells me. She seems to always find what she needs. And the pieces form, in many ways, themselves.

I set up my 'mobile studio' in her studio. Using a white table as a reflector. That's why they "pay me the big bucks". ah ha....

Keeping Afloat. You can see Kim uses clay with her metal pieces, to bring that earthy feel into form.

Domestic Duties - I saw this as a little robo-maid.

Be Love, Love Me.

I love this one too. Reminds me of an indigenous symbol - Wandjina. Or something of ancient, biblical symbolism. Those are clay-made bones, sticking out.

I met Kim through the ABC Open project Artist by Artist. You can watch this short film made on her, by children's book author Pat Flynn.

I did the cinematography and editing. Pat wrote the script and directed the piece.

Kim by Pat from ABC Open Sunshine Coast on Vimeo.

 

I HEART Kim and her work!

And what I find most excellent is the swapping of things for things - as opposed to money for things.

I chose the teapot as a little barter for a discount.

Now I need to find some fresh vegetables and some kind of shelter to photograph. That way I can really survive on this barter economy!

[current mood] home made muesli bars & kookaburras