Over the past two years, I have developed a body of work titled Absorption, painting scenes from the inside of people’s homes around Australia. Some of these people I knew prior to beginning this project, but the majority were complete strangers who I convinced to let me peer into their homes, most with the email subject, “May I paint you?” As it turns out, few people say no to being a muse.
I didn’t always explain right away that I wouldn’t be painting them, but rather their stuff. The seemingly insignificant corners of mess that you’re often unaware you keep. The items in your bathroom cabinet, on your kitchen benchtop, or your bedside table. They say a lot about your beliefs, your personality, and your rituals. I call them Indirect Portraits.
This ceramic piece is based on a painting from the kitchen bench of my Baba. My Baba is the type of woman that doesn’t really know how to tell jokes, make polite conversation, or indulge in the luxuries of life… but with bare hands, she can pull a tray of pork and potatoes straight out of the oven. She lives on the old family orchard in country Victoria in a town called Shepparton, after she immigrated from Macedonia in the 1960s.
For as long as I can remember, Saxa salt has been a staple in her kitchen, along with the jar of roasted peppers that she still grows, picks, roasts, and hand peels. Jars fill her fridge, pantry, and garage as well as our luggage every time we visit.
Natalie Popovski AKA Nat Pop is an artist based on the Gold Coast who has been exhibiting for the last 4 years. She is also the co-founder of Mint Art House, a collaborative studio in Burleigh made up of 13 artists.
Her ongoing body of work, Absorption, is driven by an innate curiosity in humans. She uses the mundane as a way to highlight subtle nuances in individuals.