Interview & photography by Jim Reville
There’s quite a variety of style, methods, and media at play in your work. Aside from painting onto canvas, you also like to repurpose discarded items – toys and such. I’ve noticed your studio space packs an ever-changing series of workshelves and toolboxes… it’s like something between a hardware store, an art space, and Santa’s workshop all tumbled into one. Do things like the environment and recycling play a part in your work?
Great question! I believe that a studio, or any creative space, should be a space that reflects your work, your personality – the continuing evolution of you as a creative. My space has evolved over the years. A number of my works, sculptures, are created from found materials, and this has definitely influenced how my studio is set up. For instance, I created one of the shelves from a discarded cardboard display case that was used at Chemist Warehouse to display magazines. I’ve also created other shelves and toys from rubbish, the discarded, the left behind, giving each item a new life.
Can you tell us about your work, and certain recurring characters and themes that seem to come out in your work, like dogs, people, the city?
I have always loved Beagle dogs, having had a few as pets, so that has been a recurring theme. Also, cars with faces, funny haircuts, personality. Roads and cities have also been a recurring theme in my works. I guess these themes, plus others that are yet to be discovered, have developed over the years from my environment, giving each character a life of its own. A choose your own adventure story.
Could tell us about Studio 106?
Studio 106 is like an extended family. It has been operating independently for over 20 years. It’s an amazing, vibrant, inclusive arts community where creativity in all forms is welcome no matter what age, ethnicity, or creative experience. It’s a beautiful space that I hope will continue into the future.
Tamar Dolev is a St Kilda-based artist, painter, and owner of PawPaw Designs.
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