As a child the best birthday parties were usually the ones that had a piñata. I mean, what could be more exciting than a papier-mâché donkey decorated with crepe paper hanging off the clothesline that erupts candy? Nadia Hernandez’s work reminds of a piñata – it is bold, colourful and explosive.
Nadia is a multidisciplinary artist and designer working across illustration, collage, textiles, graphic design, painting and prop making. She’s a versatile creative whose expertise extends from designing skateboards to making Venezuelan folklore puppets, painting murals and building a painted life size baby elephant sculpture from scratch (yes, truly). Besides her client-based work for ALAS sleepwear, Assembly, Golden Age Cinema & Bar, Press Books, and The Standard Store to name a few, Nadia also regularly exhibits her wood cut sculptures and paper collages.
These days Nadia is based in Sydney and works out of her St. Peters studio, but she was born in Venezuela and grew up in Arizona before settling in Australia a decade ago. As a child she says she was ‘crafty’, and always had an interest in folk art and various craft techniques. After originally undertaking a degree in fashion design, she pursued graphic design, which turned out to be a light bulb revelation. ‘Graphic design allowed me execute every wild idea I had in mind!’ Nadia explains.
Inspired by the many places she has called home, Nadia’s work references cultural motifs, ancient folklore and iconography typical of Venezuela with her own youthful twist.
‘My artwork is influenced by Latin American folk art, in particular the folklore of my home country Venezuela’ says Nadia. ‘My aim is to reflect on the intersecting ideologies of social and political change.’
Never keen to stay in any one spot for too long, Nadia’s dream ongoing project would be to travel the world and create work for clients from country to country. ‘I really want to continue to learn about different people and different places,’ she says. For now though she is looking forward to an upcoming trip to Japan, making work for an exhibition later in the year and crossing everything off her to-do list.