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Artist Tania Matilda's 'Delusion of Control'

Studio Visit

We introduce an office-worker-turned-artist, with one of the best attitudes getting around!

Tania Matilda’s captivating art (conscientiously painted on curb-side finds) features in ‘Delusion Of Control’, opening today! Despite that title, we discover Tania’s got things all figured out, on a visit to her Coburg studio.

31st May, 2018

Tania Matilda studio. Photo – Amelia Stanwix.

The artist studied Fine Art at RMIT, graduating last year. Here she is working on ‘Studio in the Rat’, which takes its name from Ballarat, where Tania drew the original image when visiting a friend. Photo – Amelia Stanwix.

Tania has worked most of her life in an office. Photo – Amelia Stanwix.

‘Body Works’ by Tania Matilda. Photo – courtesy of Crowther Contemporary.

Photo – Amelia Stanwix.

Artworks ‘Clean Cut’, alongside ‘Work’ by Tania Matilda. Photo – courtesy of Crowther Contemporary.

Studio details. Photo – Amelia Stanwix.

‘I’ve been working on recycled materials and found these pieces on the side of the road in a hard rubbish pile. I think they might have come from an old chair so I named the work “Chairs”,’ tells Tania. Photo – Amelia Stanwix.

‘While I’m working in my office job I’m still thinking about what artwork I can do, so whenever I get a chance to sketch I use whatever materials are available to me.’ Photo – Amelia Stanwix.

Artwork ‘3rd Years Didn’t Want This’ by Tania Matilda. Photo – courtesy of Crowther Contemporary.

‘When working on recycled materials I have come across interesting shapes and colours. This board was already painted red when I found it, and it has a wonderfully textured surface,’ tells Tania. Photo – Amelia Stanwix.

Elle Murrell
Thursday 31st May 2018

‘Now I make art full-time and spend my spare time working in an office.’ – Tania Matilda.

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
Crowther Contemporary
Wharf Street, The District
440 Docklands Drive
Docklands, Victoria

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.

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The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net