ART IS MY JOY, IT MAKES LIFE MAGIC.
WITH IT I AM VULNERABLE, FEROCIOUS, PASSIONATE, BROKEN; A POET & A WARRIOR
An artist and a writer, Tara Winona's art celebrates a love affair with nature. Tara seeks to capture the spirit of nature, to give her a voice; to tell the story of being alive and her own journey through life.
Personal stories are woven into Tara's work, expressions of life changing events. Her paintings of wildlife become self-portraits, a vehicle to tell a story. Animal portraits emerge from swirls of paint, emotions and memories flow - until the boundaries between creature and artist become blurred.
Working with a minimal colour palette, Tara seeks beauty in simplicity, leaving space for the imagination. She paints with watercolour and acrylic inks, the unpredictable nature of the materials a dance of flow, co-creating with chance. As if life is expressing itself.
‘My art is an invitation to connect ... with nature, to each other. And to the deepest, truest parts of ourselves.'
WHEN I LOOK INTO AN ANIMAL'S EYES, MY MASKS FALL AWAY. I AM LEFT REVEALED. IT IS THIS SENSE I HOPE TO CAPTURE WITH MY ART
PAINTING WITH LIGHT ....
Originally Tara trained as a graphic designer in Australia. She became a creative director for son et lumière mulit-media spectaculars internationally. She creates concepts for and directs shows using projection, lasers, lights, fireworks, performers and special effects.
The bright lights of the world called, and in 2000 she moved to Italy as a creative director ‘just for 18 months’ ...
Many character building experiences and several years later, she created shows around the world, made homes in Milan, Paris and London, learnt a couple of extra languages and how to say thank you in at least thirty. Tara also won a number of awards for her shows which can be seen here www.tara-designs.com.
'There is a magic to multi-media shows, I love the synergy of light and music, the ephemeral beauty of their dance, painting with light.'
THE CALL TO PAINT ...
Tara had a wake up call. Crossing a road, she was hit and almost killed by an off-piste policeman. In the months afterwards, when she couldn't walk, she had plenty of time to think.
'I don’t think you choose art, I think art chooses you. As I lay in my room, healing, watching Parisian life in the street below, I had a moment of clarity. Yes I had this amazing job concepting and directing shows around the world. But there was a pull inside me, a feeling that there was something ‘more’; that I should be an artist. It was a turning point. A case of if not now when? What if the next policeman succeeded? I had to do my art.’
Tara moved to London and got an art studio on the banks of a canal on Johnsons Island, snatching moments between shows to explore her art.
'Something clicked. Suddenly the missing piece in my life fell into place. I was down at the studio painting every second I could. I dreamt paintings when I was away on shows. Inspirations would wake me up in the middle of the night, sleeting through my brain.'
I DON'T THINK YOU CHOOSE ART. I THINK ART CHOOSES YOU
'When I first got my studio, I was travelling a lot for shows all over the world. I noticed how little people were connecting with the environment and it had a profound effect on me. I was born in the wildness of the Canadian Rockies and grew up in the vast nature of Australia. I saw with clarity that if you haven’t experienced nature, how can you make choices which protect it?
A Canada Goose was nesting on the river bank of my studio. I was drawn to paint her. I began dreaming watercolour owls. And so I began painting animals. It felt as if a part of my soul was being communicated through their eyes.'
Tara's Blue Nature series was born and she started to think about exhibiting her work. She was part of an open studio exhibition in 2012. The feedback and how people responded to her paintings was wonderful
- and almost all of her pieces sold. She felt she had found something that touched an important chord.
JOHNSONS ISLAND STUDIO, LONDON
In 2014 Tara's work was picked up by galleries in the UK. She has since had successful solo shows in galleries in the west end of London and Covent Gardens. She has exhibited widely across the UK, in the Netherlands and Australia.
She won the Outstanding Artist Award at the 2015 Tunbridge Wells International Art Fair and Editors Choice for the book '101 Artworks of the Animal Kingdom'. She is proud that her work has also been able to raise funds for charities she feels strongly about.
In 2017, Tara and her partner felt the pull of blue skies and family in Australia and they decided to experiment with living in both places. Now she splits her time between her studios on Johnsons Island in London and overlooking Sydney Harbour at the Headland Artist Precinct in Australia.
HEADLAND ARTISTS STUDIO, SYDNEY