With a focus on femininity, escapism, desire and sexuality, artist and photographer Dina Broadhurst combines mixed-media collections using photography, collage components and the addition of dramatic 3D elements to create perfectly poised images. Immediately identifiable, Dina Broadhurst’s body of work evokes a visceral response to natural beauty, and is quite simply, magnificent. X-Files talks to the Sydney-born creative and mother of one about her fine art origins and her commitment to collecting and archiving.
What is your formal background?
I have a degree in Visual Communications and studied Fine Art at UNSW as well as a Diploma in Interior Design. I majored in photography. That was a long time ago now, so I basically had to relearn everything. And of course, that was all film photography and now I shoot digital. All the programs retouching etc is all self-taught with online tutorial and trial and error to get the final look I’m after.
Was the passage from interior to art an effortless one, was it a natural fit?
Art is what I always did in my “off-time” every single day and spare moment. And although now I can see how interior design certainly shaped me to understand shape, proportion, composition, colour, tone etc. Dealing with clients, spaces, environments, and measurements definitely also helps when I am recommending sizes and how my art will be finished. Also gaining my love and experiences with materials including my favourite natural materials such as stone, marble and metals. But to create the art. That is all from within and highly emotional. That’s something that can’t be taught.
How do you define your signature style?
I am an appropriation artist who works in the medium of photography and digital art. I also used mixed media, found objects and play to create finished pieces that start like a puzzle and slowly edit and piece together.
Talk to us about your creative process of collage, photography and dramatic 3D elements.
I collect everything I can find hunting on a daily basis [just by] being intrigued and inspired. I know things will eventually come into play through one work or many. It could take years for me to rediscovery it or find it’s fit. So, I have collections of everything. From tiles to dolls legs to crystals and paints. These items are stored, organised, pulled out onto a table when inspiration hits. And the puzzles of memories emotions and experiences start to come to life. Then digitally these get rearranged again. Cropped edited transformed and saved into many versions until one really resonates with me and I decide that it is a finished piece I am happy to share with everyone
What has been your favourite project to date?
Having a solo show with Westfield Chermside where my work was made super-sized throughout the centres opening over three levels of commercial retail space was mind blowing. My largest work there measured 6 meters high and over 22 meters long. I completed over 60 works. To be given scale like this to work with was like nothing else.
Does your profession impact your philosophy on style?
My style is very simple and paired back and I find it very much reflects my fashion style. I love anything shiny too as I am very attracted to shine in my artworks, in things I find, in things I notice and pick up on the street. Reflection and allure are both big themes in my work and I always find some special detail in a fashion item draw my item. Something that’s unique and eye catching.
Who or what has been the biggest design, art or cultural influence for you?
What are your interests outside of the art and design?
I love travel, escaping to remote locations, reading books, movies, playing scrabble and Rummikub with my son and disappearing in baths for hours. Anything visually stimulating, even walking the streets rather than driving is such a pleasure as I will always see something new each time.
How essential is it to exhibit as an artist?
Sharing your art with people and hearing its effect on others or inspiring them is what it is all about. But there are also so many new avenues to show your work in this day and age that the traditional gallery model can now be so much vaster. It’s an exciting time.
What are your favourite gallery experiences around the world?
I love contemporary art. The MONA in Tasmania is incredible. I also love The Bunker in Berlin. And I recently went to an exhibition by RONE at an abandoned Art Deco mansion in Burnham Beeches Victoria that was just such an incredible experience, it’s such a shame that it only exists for the rest of this month and then it is gone forever. I want to go to Marfa Texas and Japan next!