Artist working in Boyd School Studios
Natasha Bieniek (b.1984, Melbourne) is renowned for her miniature oil paintings. In 2015 she was the winner of both the Wynne Prize and the Portia Geach Memorial Award, two of Australia’s most acclaimed awards. Bieniek’s paintings are meticulous in their execution and demand close inspection. Her portraits draw on notions of the past and present, linking the ancient tradition of 16th century miniature painting with present-day image culture. She is a four-time Archibald Prize finalist and in 2012 was the winner of the Metro Art Award.
Bieniek has exhibited across Australia in notable public galleries including the National Portrait Gallery (Canberra) and the Gippsland Art Gallery (Sale). She has been a finalist in a number of painting prizes including the Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship, The University of Queensland Self-Portrait Prize and the Redlands Art Award. Bieniek was named runner-up in the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize in 2012 and was awarded the Nino Sanciolo Art Prize, a scholarship to study traditional painting techniques at the Accademia d’Arte in Florence in 2006.
Her most recent solo exhibition took place at one of Australia’s largest art fairs, Sydney Contemporary. In 2014 Bieniek also held a solo exhibition at Art Basel Hong Kong. Bieniek is represented by Dianne Tanzer Gallery (Melbourne) and Jan Murphy Gallery (Brisbane).
How do you use your space?
My studio is a place of endless productivity. I spend each day hunched over my easel creating tiny paintings that will eventually receive a public audience. The slow and painstaking nature of my work demands a high level of concentration and my studio at Boyd Heritage provides the perfect painting environment. My studio features a beautiful old fireplace that I like to fill with indoor plants, bringing an element of life into the space. Most days are spent in total work mode, but I always look forward to my lunchtime sandwich from the café downstairs.