Artist Spotlight #67: Dana Kinter

Dana Kinter. Photo credit: Elle Dawson-Scott

The hip retailer, Gorman, has been cannily educating their wearers on Australia’s flora and fauna through Dana Kinter’s colourful and striking designs in their latest collection. In our latest spotlight, Dana tells us about her plans to take her works interstate, and the Australian artist who inspires her.

Q: Hello Dana! Can you please tell us a bit about yourself?

A: Hello, I am a practicing artist living and making in the Fleurieu Peninsula, inspired by my surrounding natural environment and a treasured Encyclopedia of Australian Birds handed down to me by my Grandma. I love to draw, paint, and make ceramics. I have studied visual arts, graphic design and currently, ceramics. I think it’s really important to keep evolving and enhancing my practice. I really love my natural environment and am a grower for Trees for Life.

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Honeyeater and Protea painting

Q: Who inspires you? What inspires your art?

A: I am inspired by early 20th century Australian and Indigenous art, religious iconography, Japanese culture, and everything Art Nouveau.

Q: Do you have a preferred medium?

A: I use pencil and acrylic on timber in paintings, preferring to work on a series of woodblocks at a time, using foraged treasures and views from my backyard studio. Recently, I have begun working with ceramics, carving and painting my feathered friends with a distinctive focus on colour, line and form.

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Magpies and Wrens on ceramic

Q: How would you describe your style?

A: Contemporary Australian landscape.

Q: Can you please describe your artistic and creative process i.e.: from lingering idea to putting it into practice?

A: I always have a gazillion ideas! But I will let a colour theme and design or type of feeling I am trying to evoke or a particular native flower, brew in my mind for a little time, then pretty much draw straight onto my timber, sanding and rubbing pencil until I get it just right. This always takes the longest. Then it’s a matter of exploring different techniques to create layering on the artworks. Usually I will work on a series at one time, layering them all about my studio (floors, tables, counters, etc.) jumping from one to the other, allowing a fresh look each time I return to a painting.

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Honeyeaters on woodblock

Q: Where do you see your art practice taking you in the next five years?

A: I am working towards doing some big design/art markets interstate this year with a focus on following up on exciting opportunities to get my artworks represented in more interstate galleries. I also plan to do another solo show that will present my paintings alongside my ceramic works.

Q: If you could recommend one artist, who would it be?

A: At the moment I am revisiting the works of Australian artist Joy Hester. The ink portraits especially inspire me; I love the simplicity of the brushwork and the emotion she portrays.

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Banksia and Bird

Q: What is your favourite gallery?

A: I would have to say the National Gallery of Victoria. I made a special trip last year to see the Andy Warhol and Ai WeiWei exhibition and it was amazing and such an inspiration to explore.

Q: Where can we find more of your work?

A: In April, the Winter 2017 Gorman artist collaboration collection, ‘Dana Kinter + Gorman’, was released. You can find my artworks beautifully represented on the full range of Gorman clothing and homewares. I am currently working away in the studio towards a stall at the next Bowerbird Bazaar this month.

And in exciting news, SALA (South Australian Living Artist) has invited me to be one of 10 South Australian artists for a group exhibition for the SALA festival in July/August. This will be a really big exhibition at the Adelaide Airport.

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Dana’s design on a Gorman garment

Q: What was the best film you watched in 2016?

A: My favorite film for 2016 would have to be ‘Amy’, the Amy Winehouse documentary. I saw it at the gorgeous Palace Nova. I have always loved her soulful music and it was really interesting, but very sad, to see the struggles and highs in her life. Such an amazing talented lady.

Masya Zabidi

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