Her distinctive glossy prints with an artisan touch are hanging in some of Australia’s most fashion savvy homes. Contrary to what her Instagram of tasteful provocative pictures may suggest her life as an artist has experienced a trajectory beyond luxury into a world of desire and iconography. If you haven’t already, it’s time to meet Dina Broadhurst, writes Cameron Pine.
Growing up around magazines full of supermodels like Christy Turlington, Stephanie Seymour, and Kate Moss, Dina Broadhurst had an appreciation of style fused with a fuss-free upbringing from a mum that wore no make-up and never went in the sun. This allowed her to develop a distinctly paired back yet luxurious approach to style – something well reflected in her work today.
Dina has been making art since she was a little girl and now, 45, she lives in an eclectic Sydney harbourside mansion (that is also her leased creative space) that her and her boyfriend Max poured thousands of their own money into to bring it up to standard. Sydney photographers and fashion crews are scrambling to use the home for photoshoots and events. Named Casa Studio, the space is notorious for fun and creativity, whether it be enjoyed by her family and friends for a party or multi-national brands further transforming it to better execute their creative vision.
Fast forward to (almost) 2022 and Dina represents warmth, creativity and approachability but yet has still managds to create a curated selection of iconic prints and silhouettes that suit any situation and trend, globally. We catch up with Dina on how she feels about the business of art in 2021.
INSTYLE: How are you feeling about the art industry this year?
Dina Broadhurst: I’m so excited and passionate about contemporary art and how self-directed you can now be with the help of social media opening up a whole new global audience. I’m also engrossed in the new digital art space on the blockchain in the form of NFTs and I have been collecting and watching the space grow for some time now. It’s exciting to work on my first NFT (nonfungible tokens) collection due to release before the end of year. In 2022 you will need your MetaMask wallet ready to get these new pieces!
IN: How have you approached your art or profession differently in the last two years?
DB: I actually haven’t changed much, other than to continually learn and develop new styles AND techniques and refine my skills constantly. I add to my repertoire with the constant fascination of discovering new materials and applications, but the day to day running is the same, just getting more and more hectic and trying to manage my time as efficiently as possible to keep up as I grow.
Living and working from home in one combined space has been incredible for this, and luckily worked so well in lockdown too, creating a space that was so adaptable to be able to paint in any room on any surface and move furniture and items around to suit the job at hand has been an absolute blessing.
IN: Have you seen a change or increase in people’s demands since COVID?
DB: Absolutely, I feel people became more focused on their home environment and wanting to create a place they can both live and work from and be inspired by. Naturally art and objects in the home gained more importance, allowing the mind to travel without physically being able to go many places.
For my business it only increased demand and in regards to photoshoots and campaigns we were lucky enough to come up with creative solutions to get product sent to my home studio and sometimes even myself as a model and muse to still bring such wonderful visions to life that are created with the smallest teams and resources. Sometimes this brings out the most creatively as you can really immerse yourself and not have distractions.
IN: Describe your first piece and how did you get into this space?
DB: My first piece was a series of eight gauche paintings I did during my final year at school. I appropriated by painting and altering the colours of eight images from Madonna’s SEX book, photographed by Steven Miesel, as well as added collage elements, which were also painted from various product advertising pages, piecing these cut outs over the top, editing and altering the image below and it’s message, to create an entirely new scene.
IN: Your style has often been described as a bit ‘Helmut Newton’ – have you steered away from this?
DB: I am obsessed with Helmut Newton and it’s a huge compliment. His work has such a powerful sexuality to it but I feel like as a man he produced from his subjects as if they were performing for him or with him watching. I love the way he tells a story of the woman at centre stage of the fantasy. I definitely feel like the woman I portray also holds that power and commands the attention in the image and to give the model or subject that pedestal and empowerment, to make her feel as wonderful as she should feel, is everything to me.
IN: What remains core to your brand?
DB: Mystery, desire, confidence, luxury, sexuality, reflection, and layers, as well as iconography that heightens these themes such as florals, glitters, gold foils, water and flesh.
IN: What has been your signature of 2021?
DB: Splash paintings and taking black and white photographic ink colouring techniques into a new contemporary light with newfound techniques. Rewinding I would have loved to have been in the digital NFT space earlier.