When somone you really admire invites you to collaborate on a project, it’s kind of hard not to feel giddy with glee. I managed to remain cool as a cucumber as photographer Natasja Kremers spoke of her idea to marry photography with illustration in some creative way, but inside I was squealing like a small child.
Natasja is a high profile wedding and portrait photographer here in Perth, and is often flown around the world to photograph modern lovers getting married. Eager to delve into some of her own personal projects, Tasj wanted to explore photographing nudes, digitally and on film. The resulting images were gritty, textural and oh-so beautiful.
This is where the panic set in. I had to paint directly on top of these lovely images and I can’t tell you how angsty the first connection of paint to paper was. I think I painted a whole goldfish whilst holding my breath. But soon jitters were replaced with calm as I painted bears, blooms, birds and bees; it was a solid four months of living in what felt like a fantasy world. It was a wonderful experience seeing the narrative of the original image change once the illustration was overlayed – transforming it into something entirely different.
Natasja and I made the decision not to frame the artworks behind glass as we wanted the texture of the paper and paint to shine through. With a little experience in the power tool department, we were determined to make some magnetic wooden hanging frames to display the pieces at the exhibition. We set up a mitre saw and electric drill on my kitchen table (rookie error), and had a lot of fun constructing (not so much fun cleaning up the aftermath).
We created twenty original pieces for the exhibition, plus a special piece that was auctioned off on opening night with all proceeds being donated to Breast Cancer Care WA.
It was a complete joy working on this exhibition with Natasja. It takes a huge amount of courage for an artist to hand their work over to a fellow artist to add their own ideas, so I thank Natasja for trusting me with her beautiful work. And for the extra-salty dutch liquorice she shared during exhibition-sitting duties.
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I would like to extend a huge hurrah to our exhibition sponsors. Their support has been invaluable in allowing us to showcase our creative work.
Wine: Blind Corner
Floral Design: Natural Art Flowers
Music Composition: Olivia Davies
Technical setup: OMG Production
Key Partner: Osborne Park Renault
Print Partner: Perth Pro Lab
Grazing Table: Tiffany Keal
Models: Alexandra Cohen and Imogen Castledine
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