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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    Why People Photograph
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    Intimate Communion: Awakening Your Sexual Essence
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Entries in projects (33)


Indian Doorways

I love doorways.

I love people.

So imagine how I feel about people in doorways...

Here are some photographs from Rajastan, India of people in doorways.



Picking up the pieces of January

Hey remember me? I use to blog n stuff on this site.

Well life has been getting in the way - and it's been really interesting, so interesting that i had to ask my boyfriend if he was real and if this was a dream? It's just that I'm so out of my usual context that it's causing some kind of existentialist crisis...

Well then he pinched me and said "See! It's not a dream" but that didn't prove he was real so I pinched him back!

I'm living half my life in Armidale NSW, with my little office set up in the corner of a beautiful restaurant, designing fun things.

and then I flit back to Perth every month to shoot weddings and hang out with my family...

Sometimes I look through my phone to remember who my friends are (helps with guest lists for parties) and sometimes I look at the photos to remind myself what I've been up to.

Here are some reminders of my life that has been...

The chalkings for the production of artwork for Andrea Gibbs and her upcoming show 'The Allnut St diaries'.

The finished artwork.

The insanity that was me collecting dozens of Greek and Italian props for a wedding photobooth.

And the results...

Then there was the 'photographer that cared too much' deal sealer when I made a huge green triangle cake.

With my mother.

For the Greens Party member's magazine.

My company (Seedpod) is now the design and editing team for Green Magazine which will relaunch in 3 months.

So the upcoming months will see me busier still but I am now reading David Allen's 'Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress Free Productivity' to get more of a meditative grip on my working life.

[current mood] Haruki Murakami & Greek Salad


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


Old Chooks and Dolls

Grannies, zulu dolls and a whole lot of "The Nat on the farm goes click click click".

(Quote from a song to get a child to pull a happy face for my camera).

This is my life right now. Most of it anyway.
I've been putting in the hard yards in the last week working on a book for the Uthando Project. (and woman on a mission - the radiant Georgia Efford).
Today was spent adjusting photographs, conceptualising the layout and borrowing mum's sewing machine to make stuffed letters.

I stuffed up the stuff, but it was just to show how we'll do the cover type for:

100 dolls

Then exceptional artiste, Lynne Tognolini, started blanket stitching some felt letters which are looking super sweet.

I'm doing most of the photography and the design of this book which is due to print in two weeks. (!)

Here is a sneak preview.

The book will feature words from organisations in Kwa Zulu Natal - South Africa about the state of human affairs, children's lives and how dolls made by multicultural Australians are making a real impact in the lives of families.

Photos above supplied by NGOs in KZN

The book will feature a range of portraits of the doll makers from Australia, from all different backgrounds.

And all different ages

I suggested we mix up the portraits by asking people to bring their own background fabric, something with meaning to them.

Each maker will tell us a little about their childhood experiences.

The book will tell us the power of these little dolls to enable a child to grieve, express, understand and feel the love. The doll 'experience' runs deeper still as the makers teach other makers, here and in South Africa. The dolls are also used as a medium to teach psychology principles to caregivers and highlight the importance of play for a child's growth - and as a child's right.

To quote Anne Sorenson "I've got the doll addiction, but it's a good addiction to have".

The book will have all the patterns you need to sew or knit dolls from babies to grandmas to warriors.

Essentially, it will be a resource for organisations around the world, as it presents a template for making culturally relevant dolls and how to work with the caregivers and communities.

To find out more about the Uthando Project visit www.uthandoproject.com

You can even buy my documentary film there for a $10 donation. I made it a couple of years ago in South Africa.

For now, I'm head down in the book, but there is always time for some music and dancing on set.

[current mood] Pills Shaking in the Bottle & Leftovers


Back to the Good Old Days

I've been picking flowers lately... in the middle of the weekdays.

I have fond memories of living in Cottesloe, Perth in 2009. I was existing in a sunbeam of light. At the beach every day, even in the rain, wandering leafy alley ways, making discoveries, picking fruits and flowers.

I then thought other parts of Australia might offer me a life I was missing out on. So I got in a van and travelled with two German backpackers and dedicated beetroot juicer across this vast country.

And of course, Oscar... who went from black and white to a burnt umber all over.

I stopped in the hinterland of the Sunshine Coast with the vision to live on acreage and do art... somewhere around this point I was tempted into a job. A real 9-5 kind of job. A job too good to overlook.

I took this job as a media producer with the ABC and made films and stories with the community of the Sunshine Coast. I started meeting amazing people, old folk, artists... I made friends.

I helped create stories that were tear-wrenching, belly-laughing and simple beautiful. These have been shown on tv, online and on air.


Anzac Day: Our Meaning from ABC Open Sunshine Coast on Vimeo.

My favourite story of which will always be Bill, who is travelling with dementia.

I even co-produced a national Indigenous project with resounding success called 'DreamBox'. Capturing the dreams of hundreds of our country's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

But there was no time left for, literally, smelling the flowers... let alone picking them.

I realised I had led myself astray from the initial vision. I started to crave my earlier freedom, my ability to create when and where I liked, being in close proximity to the beach and to a constant flow of sunlight... which naturally leads me to enlightenment.

SO I quit.

And it feels soooooo good.

I feel my groove coming back, my creativity directed to me and specific beloved projects.

I am taking back the fact that life should feel like a holiday, that time is the most precious commodity, that I have a creativity that needs to be honoured in my own art. Life can be simple yet rich.

Expect blog posts about all the little things that are back in my life, at all times of day, and from anywhere in the world.

flowers in focuses

 [current mood] fresh juice, detox pills and the sound of a waterfall


Cranes on a Plane

My friend and fellow earth-lover, Ilka Blue of The Last Tree came up with the idea to send Japanese Tsunami victims 1001 paper cranes.

Ilka wrote:

Senbazuru is the art of folding one thousand origami cranes. As the legend goes, you will be granted one wish by a mystical crane.

So I am going to make cranes as a way of connecting to the victims of these catastrophes. I am inviting anyone who wants to join me to make as many paper cranes as we can to send to the people of Japan as a heart gesture and a sign of the prayers and love we are sending them.

As per my reputable style, I took up the notion with vigor but not action... until the deadline was upon me... and the second reminder email had come through...

BUT I was leaving for Cairns without a second to spare!


I took my ten cranes in my suitcase and a packet of origami paper.

I made ten more in the back of the car on the drive to the airport...

I utilised my folding tray table as the name intended.
I reminded my co-traveller how to do it so we could double-our-lot.
But this wasn't going to be enough. So I made an announcement on the plane...

There was a group of restless school students that were keen to learn.

Nothing like a little learning activity to make the time fly.
I think they should offer such things as part of the in-flight entertainment!

And so I was able to fill up a box at the post office in the tropics, for a flight back to Ilka, and then a flight to Japan!

These cranes sure do get around.

[current mood] Almond Butter & Holly Throsby


A space to dream

As part of my job at ABC Open I created a space called The DreamBox with my Gold Coast colleague, Solua Middleton. We took our Box to the Bumehla Festival yesterday and invited people to chalk-up their dreams and be photographed.

I glued sequins in constellations on a backdrop, actually cut out the boards with Solua's dad and we donned sparkley top hats as 'The Dreamcatchers'.

The results are gorgeous. And I see the dreambox as giving people permission and encouragement to dream. Someone said he liked that we were listening to people's dreams.

I think chalking up your dream and having it photographed may help it come to life. Maybe next time we'll print them out, laminate them so people can keep them in their backpocket.

All the DreamBox images are on Flickr.

[current mood] Dried Peach & Dan Sultan


The best craft day ever

I often contemplate being an arty crafty teacher and when I tell people about it they often say I should avoid the school system and just do it in my own way. This seems a tad daunting to me and I end up action-paralysed for fear of floppery.

BUT! I took a baby step and asked my young neighbour if she'd like to come over weekly for a craft afternoon. A great idea in theory and then I realise I really needed to have some solid ideas and get home early from work...

So of course I got her started on the giant pom pom...I had to keep her going with food. Sort of part of the deal with this one, as it felt a bit like enforced craft-labour.

and once that was done.. mmm, I ran out of ideas. oh...

But before the plate was clean I recalled my teenage love of paper-making and out came the kit and I sent her off to collect flower petals.

Whilst I made a haphazard attempt at pink dye using beetroots (and ultimately many drops of red food colouring).

Then we put the soaked paper into the blender with stacks of water, the pulp went into the sink of more water so we could slip our deckle in and out...

And yet it still came out cardboard-thick! And so the paper sat on my coffee table for a few weeks...

Until I was called over to her house for a Christmas craft session. Apparently it was 'sad' that I didn't have any decorations. Not a bauble in sight at my house. And so, my god, I actually think I've made something kind of original. It's the ubiquitous christmas lantern but USING our homemade thick paper with petals.

I'm absolutely in love with these. I get a rush of endorphins when I look at it.

The food dye drops we put on the paper and the dried petals create gorgeous tints of colour.

And so I went to my old sheets of paper that I made when I was 14. (And had kept ever since...) and I found me a little Monday afternoon craft... just for me.

I think I've hit my peak with craft days...

[current mood] The National & Greek Table Wine (in Red)


Pass on the Pom Pom

Every guest from the last month contributed to The Giant Pom Pom.

[current mood] No Wheat Diet & The Shining


Three Reasons to be Grateful

We've been throwing around a few ideas at ABC Open for community photography projects. One we discussed was Reasons to be Grateful. You'd take a photo of something you're grateful for today. And write a little if you like.

It's always good to test the ideas out on yourself. So here are my 3 reasons for today:

If you want the details:

Collecting Driftwood in Dalkeith: Was grinning at my shadow on the road as Mercedes whizzed past. Found a secret cove I'd like to have a secret picnic in. Only route in is by ankle deep water.

Yoga Toes: My toes really spread now. All the ladies at yoga had different vibrant coloured polish. As only a 9.30am class on a weekday would...

Dad at his Desk: Home to visit and dad is ever-reliably sitting in his office doing god knows what in his retirement... but he's there and I love him more than anything.

[current mood] Wasabi Peas & Mama Kuma (the book)