Interview with Natasha Bieniek, Boyd School Studios

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    21 June 2016


    We took a moment to talk with painter Natasha Bieniek, who has a studio in Boyd Heritage, Southbank; one of the buildings managed by Creative Spaces. Natasha is a full-time painter, and has been working in her studio for two years. 

    What do you love about your creative space? 

    It’s nice to be a part of a community. Painting full-time can be quite isolating; I like that there’s movement and creativity around me, but my studio also allows me to fully concentrate on my work in an individual sense. It’s a bonus to get the best of both worlds.

    What’s a typical day in the studio like for you?

    Most days are spent behind my easel working on miniature oil paintings. I’ve been painting on a tiny scale for the past six years. It’s a meticulous and intricate process and it continues to keep me engaged. This is mainly due to the painting’s complexity and challenges that arise on a day-to-day basis.

    What are you currently reading?

    I usually like to read one non-fiction and one fiction book simultaneously. At the moment, I’m reading Stephen R. Kellert’s book, Birthright, People and Nature in the Modern World, which relates to themes illustrated within my current series of paintings. I’m also reading Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, I love novels that transcend you into another time and place.

    What are you currently listening to?

    I listen to a variety of podcasts while I’m working. I’m particularly drawn to podcasts that use methods of old-school story telling. Some favourites include, This American Life, Beautiful Anonymous, Serial, Casefile and Modern Love.

    What are you currently watching?

    I’ve just started watching John Le Carre’s The Night Manager. It’s a riveting spy drama, which begins in Egypt during the Arab Spring. It’s compelling on many levels and takes the viewer on a fictional journey.

    What are some upcoming projects you are working on?

    This year marks many exciting new projects. I’ve recently finished a commission for the Warrnambool Art Gallery, which will be revealed later in the year. I’ve also just exhibited at Art16 London with my Melbourne-based gallery; Dianne Tanzer Gallery & This is No Fantasy. My work is also featured in the Fleurieu Art Prize, on now at the Samstag Museum of Art in Adelaide. My forthcoming solo exhibition will take place in November at Jan Murphy Gallery in Brisbane and will include ten new paintings. 

    How has your creative space informed your practice?

    My studio is a place of endless productivity. The abundance of natural light along with the high ceilings and modern amenities create an ideal working environment. It’s also nice to be situated within a building of both historical and cultural significance. For me, Boyd Heritage is like an oasis amid a sea of high-rise developments and chaos of a thriving city. 

    Read more about Natasha Bieniek here


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