Tania Matilda has worked in an office for most of her life. ‘I had been brought up with the attitude that making art was something you did in your spare time,’ she tells. Lucky for us, Tania found she had some of that elusive resource when her kids got older, so she took up life drawing, and was hooked!
Two years later, the hobbyist-drawer decided it was time to make a change, and set off to study Fine Art full-time at RMIT, finishing last year. ‘Now I make art full-time, and spend my spare time working in an office!’ she jokes.
It helps that Tania’s studio is just around the corner from her home in Coburg, and so she pops over every chance she gets. There’s an added bonus too: it’s an industrial area, so there is always something on the side of the road she can pick up on the way to paint on!
While the artist started out painting on boards purchased from a hardware store, her latest pieces utilise these abundant recycled materials.‘It seemed crazy that I would then go out and buy more; the world has too much waste as it is!’ she justifies. ‘I like the history of the materials showing through in the work, as well as knowing I’m making use of something that would have ended up in landfill.’
Tania’s early art featured vibrant oil paint, applied in a gestural manner. While similar forms endure today, her materials have changed and her process has adapted, resulting in what she sees as ‘more controlled looking work’. This current approach channels the automatism technique to produce drawings from the unconscious, developed by the Surrealists. ‘It’s only when I add colour and form to the image that I think about the aesthetics of the work,’ explains Tania.
For the 51-year-old artist, everything about pursuing an artistic career at this time in her life is exciting! ‘When people talk to me about my “work”… it confuses me – my work is in the office, what I do in my studio is life!’ she explains. Today, Tania continues to do office work part-time. ‘It gives me the freedom to create what I want, I’m not thinking about what will sell, because I can already pay my rent through my job!’
‘Delusion Of Control’ by Tania Matilda
May 31st to June 19th June
Wharf Street, The District
440 Docklands Drive
Tania Matilda also has an exhibition at Rubicon in July and is planning a show with her talented artist friend Joshua Mack later in the year. Follow her art on Instagram.