We hear from the lovely Katrina Ginis, an artist hailing from Melbourne, Australia, who chats to us about art, inspiration, and organised chaos.
Interviewee/Artist: Katrina Ginis | Interviewer: Milly Arsic
North: When did you first get into art?
Katrina: Art, in its various manifestations, has been an integral part of my life for as long as I can remember. I have been drawing since I could hold a pencil and grew up idolising artists and adoring the time I spent in galleries. I consider art a vital aspect of my existence and my identity. As time passes, it becomes increasingly apparent that I cannot be fulfilled as an individual unless it occupies a central role in my life.
North: What are your biggest hurdles?
Katrina: My health is probably the greatest hurdle I must negotiate. I suffer from a debilitating chronic illness and as a result I am often exhausted and in pain as well as being very physically weak. It can be incredibly frustrating when I long to be engaging in my creative pursuits but my body will not oblige. Even on good days, I am unable to work for extended periods and need to take frequent breaks. Therefore, my works are very time consuming and laborious to produce.
Additionally, like many young creatives, I feel that finding financially remunerative opportunities to engage with the visual arts and gain recognition for my work as well as platforms to exhibit it publicly, very challenging.
The current creative climate is also somewhat unreceptive to the aesthetic I employ. Greater value seems to be placed upon conceptual, video and installation art which are considered more avant-garde.
North: What themes do you explore in your work?
Katrina: In general, there are no set, prescriptive thematic preoccupations which I align my work with. However, certain series do address specific concerns.
‘Becoming’ investigates the fluidity and ambiguity of sexual identity and the performative nature of gender, whilst ‘The Feminine-Archetype and the Individual’ explores femininity and ideals of beauty in relation to the female body.
North: What inspires you?
Katrina: My sources of inspiration are many and varied. They can be both aesthetic and conceptual. I often draw upon literary, historical and mythological references as well as contemporary sociocultural issues in order to create my works. My pieces are also informed by my love of reading and the written word, film, the theatre and the works of other artists. Personal experiences and the beauty and infinite complexity of the natural world are also endlessly inspiring. Inspiration can be found in the most unexpected places. The important thing is to be open minded and receptive enough to appreciate it when it presents itself.
North: How do you think your art style has developed over the last few years? And how would you describe it?
Katrina: I like to think that my artistic output is acquiring more depth, complexity and nuance as I progress. I believe the pieces I have been producing over the last few years demonstrate a level of insight and originality in addition to increased proficiency with my chosen media. Aesthetically speaking, I would describe my works as being of a representational nature with an emphasis upon traditional technical processes associated with painting and drawing.
Conceptually, my works manifest a preoccupation with notions of beauty, identity and transitory, liminal states. I endeavour to employ time-honoured artistic methodologies to produce works which have a distinctly contemporary sensibility in order to challenge and engage in a thought provoking dialogue with viewers.
North: Describe your current studio and the kind of space you like to work in.
Katrina: Personally, I feel that natural light is an essential element of any environment I am endeavouring to work in. I am lucky enough to have it in abundance due to the windows in my current studio space which look out onto a lovely garden. They enable me to connect with the natural world despite being indoors and allow me to observe the changing of the seasons. I would probably describe my work space as organised chaos. Though it may not appear neat to an external observer, all my materials are at hand and I know where everything is.
North: Where are you hoping your work will take you?
Katrina: Ultimately, I aspire to produce a body of work and a creative legacy which I feel is meaningful, significant and contributes something of value to the world. I would like to attain a greater level of mastery in relation to my preferred media and explore hitherto untraversed artistic avenues as part of a perpetually evolving creative journey.I would also like to acquire gallery representation and exhibit more extensively as well as eventually having some of my pieces become part of permanent art collections.
Katrina is studying an Arts/Visual Arts degree at Monash University, Melbourne. In 2015, Katrina was a finalist for the Manning Art Prize, and was awarded the Tolarno Hotel’s annual acquisitive prize the same year. In her spare time, Katrina enjoys reading, watching films, attending exhibitions, museums, the theatre, opera, ballet and public lectures.