Art & Culture Interviews

The Beauty Of Simplicity: Interview With Artist Dina Broadhurst

By Claudia Siron

Artist and Collector, Dina Broadhurst, has been described as ‘Helmut Newton meets Kim Kardashian’. Using a fusion of elements in her fine prints and photography including femininity, escapism, fantasy and luxury – as well as a focus on the changing female social landscape – the artist creates subtle messages through simple imagery, and ultimately speaking to women through a unique form.

Both nationally and internationally recognised, the Sydney-based artist has been featured in a number of galleries and exhibitions across the country including “La Puissance” group show exhibition at the Comber street Gallery in Sydney. In a chat with Dina, she revealed to ele her philosophy with art, her sudden bursts of motivation at random moments, and her overall influences that come to mind when producing her work.

Via Instagram

How would you describe your overall style of art, photography, and fashion?

I’m actually relatively laid back and simple when it comes to my overall sense of style. I do like pops of things I find interesting, but overall it’s quite ‘stripped back’.

How would you describe your philosophy with art, as well as your influences?

My art is very personal. It speaks an emotional journey of myself and things I‘ve come across and things I’ve seen. There are a lot of subliminal elements that I take in from relationships, my surroundings or experiences – from watching a film to travelling somewhere extraordinary in the world. It has to be fresh, new, and something that invigorates me. It doesn’t necessarily have to be far away, but a new location does spark new ideas for me and introduces new ways of seeing. 

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My inspiration and motivation does also come out at random moments. When I look back at it, it’s interesting that I start to see where the influences originally came from, but at the time when I’m creating the works, it just comes out without any conscious thought. It just happens organically. Sometimes it’s in the middle of the night when I get a cookie or some yoghurt and I suddenly think ‘I’m going to do that right now!’. And if I’m not feeling right when I’m in the studio, I just have to hold off and wait and not push myself.

A noticeable part of your works are the people’s faces being hidden by objects like flowers, brands or they’re simply facing away. Is there any reason for that?

There’s so many ways you can read into it. There was no real reason actually, but I think it started as a comfort thing and to portray a sense of mystery and allure. Taking away someone’s face takes away everything. The eyes are the window to the soul, so removing this feature forces one to look within themselves. 

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What other elements do you keep in mind to maintain a sense of consistency within your ‘style’ or ‘brand’ so audiences know immediately it’s a ‘Dina Broadhurst’ fine print?

I always like to go back to things like nature – that’s definitely something that I feel keeps me grounded. There’s use of florals, water, and nudity. I like things stipped bare and in its most simple form. For instance, I feel clothes confuse things for me, so I like to take things away to bring back the rawness and the organicness.

Something else I keep in mind is the element of luxury – that sense of desire and that mission to attain. I like to strip back luxury to its bare form as well. I find the way it presents itself is a part of the allure and that’s what draws me in. I love the craftsmanship, the specialness of it, the fact it’s lasting and high quality, and that you can hand it down like an heirloom – that’s the appeal of luxury for me. It’s all in the making.

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Is there an era you play with in your creations?

I love the 60s because I love pop. I love plastics and perspex and all those new materials that came into play around that time. Anything shiny!

What about a favourite iconic woman from that time?

Sophia Loren. I love her body, her shape, her attitude to life. My mum is Italian, so that part of me definitely comes out a lot in my social media and work. We spent a lot of time on that side of my family, cooking at home and the family interaction – that whole part of my background is quite prevalent in my art. It’s very emotional, very expressive, very passionate.

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On social media, how do you mix your personal life and work life?

On Instagram I like to show all the positive parts of my life. Obviously I have bad days like anyone else, but I don’t like to show that. I like my social media presence to embody the spirit of something beautiful like a coffee table book. I’m honest and I’ll open up with my friends and family about personal parts of my life, but I just don’t like my social media to be a reflection of that. It’s more representing a picture story rather than an emotional story. 

Describe the type of woman who appreciates and purchases your art.

They have a confident personality, they enjoy contemporary vibes and they’re very much into photography. I’d say they’re also quite house-proud. They’re into collectables and they would make it a special purchase when it comes to buying art. They’d save up for it. They’re the type of women who achieve their goals and have a very clear direction with where they want to be and what they want out of life. 

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You appear to be quite house-proud on social media with posts of your interiors, views from your home, as well as working in your studio. 

I am very house-proud. I love beautiful things and I also love change and mixing things up. I don’t like to be too precious with my things either. I like to have them out on display and move them around. Animals and kids come over, and they’re fine to play with things. I just like using everything I have rather than tucking it away. 

Do you ever like to play with seasons when it comes to redecorating at home and creating artworks?

Not entirely. In summer, for instance, I’m more inclined to use ideas from my surroundings – this being outdoors. Inspiration would be drawn from my time at the beach, collecting shells and rocks. Those elements would definitely come into my work. In winter, I would use a lot more ideas from materials you would find indoors (specifically in the home or in the studio) like paints, glitters, gold leaves – things I have on-hand and aren’t collected because I’m not out and about as much. More elements that are man-made for winter, and more organic findings in summer.

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Do you have a personal favourite of your works?

It changes all the time, but at the moment it’s a piece I created with a woman with all sorts of spray paints dripping down. I just love it. I love all the colours blending together even though they’re all such different gradients and tones. The blend looks so good to me.

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What is your current vision at the moment?

At this current moment, I’m very much into colour and how it works side by side. I like using a very limited palette and trying to find palettes that work together in unexpected ways – like with my dripping work – to see how colours blend well together, as well as finding ways to create different effects. And then on my photographs, doing more painting where it can’t be corrected digitally.

Follow Dina on Instagram to view her latest works or visit her website here.

Want more? Click here for our interview with Photographer, Graphic Designer and Cookbook Author Viola Virtamo and here for our interview with Mukti Organics Founder, Mukti.

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