1 tai snaith/studio

i have talked about Tai Snaith before on peep, she created two pieces of art for me and i am on the hunt for my third! i must admit i have a special 'in' with her, she is the sister of my little brother's girl, Chloe, who as it happens took these awesome photos for me. both those ladies live in melbourne so i have to admire from afar and it was with great excitement when Chloe sent me the pics last week

tai was also kind enough to answer some questions for me...

firstly, i am in love with your studio, how long have you lived there and how much time do you spend in there every day?

We have lived in this house for just over 2 years now. I spend a lot of time in my studio. Every day between 11.30 and 3 and then again at night from about 7.30 till 12. It’s a very well-loved space! It looks out over the garden, so I often steal moments in between when Leo is in the sandpit, as I can keep my eye on him, it’s great.

what was important to you when creating this space?

It had to be functional. It’s a very small space, but over the last two years it has slowly evolved to be highly functional- making the cupboard into a computer nook and bringing in the large plan drawers and my grandfathers upright engineers drafting board. It also has be be inspiring and have natural light and warmth.

tell me a bit about what you do, what do you mainly use the space for?

I am an artist, writer and illustrator. I use the space to create new work- so I have two desks for making work and one desk with my computer. My drawing board can be upright for larger illustrative works and then I have the small flat desk for cutting and making small models and sculptures. 

it looks like you have a lot of books, is there a particular genre you collect?

Half of my books are reference and visual diaries or other artist’s books and half and books to cut up for collage. The collage books are usually old animal, plant or books about countries made pre-1980, anything before the internet basically. I also collect old hardcover books to use as canvases and objects in larger installations.

how often do you change up what's on your walls?

Every now and then. It usually happens organically, when a new image comes along that I really like and is a certain size, it bumps the similar sized one on the wall for the position.

what inspires you most?

Old books, animals, found objects and colour. And my friends and family.

you have recently just come out with your first book, can you tell me a bit about it?

It’s called The Family Hour in Australia and it is for children under 10ish. It introduces you to 15 native australian animal families and shares a little insight into what they do together as a family. The illustrations are done in watercolour, gouache and pencil and all very bright and quite kitsch and anthropomorphic but all based in real facts. I tried to find really unusual and interesting facts and also to depict as many different family structures as possible. So there are same sex parents (two dads in the black swan family), extended families (a commune of sugar gliders), single parents (echidna single mum and weedy seadragon dad), etc. It was lots of fun and has been well received so far.

what are you working on now, what can we expect to see from you in the future?

At the moment I’m making some tiny terrariums out of upside-down Riedel wine glasses that we broke at an amazing dinner party on the weekend! Apart from that I am working on curating an exhibition of other female installation and domestically inspired artists that I am curating at a Melbourne gallery called Linden next year. The show will be called The Cuckoo’s Nest. I am also working on some new drawings for the initial ideas for a possible new book and a solo show of new drawings and objects with Helen Gory in March next year. 

finally, can i steal your son? he is the cutest thing EVER!

Ha ha, a few people share your sentiment there! Yeah, he’s a pretty great little munchkin. I’m very lucky. 

just outside the door to Tai's office sits her teeny son Leo's very own space complete with inspiration wall (above). he also has his very own camera dangling off the door (below)

above: the Boy on bike drawing is by Ghostpatrol, the orange horn player is by Lachlan Conn and the big 3d rocks are by Eleanor Butt

i begged for chloe to ask tai to let me put this one in, her son leo is a tiny slice of cute pie and i just want to scrinch his little face off!

below is Tai's first ever book, The Family Hour in Australia, exquisitely illustrated - if you have kids BUY IT NOW!!!!

i hope you enjoyed this little snip into tai's world as much as i have - Thanks Tai!

xxx c

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1 comment:

  1. Wow - great looking place, and that book is going on the Christmas list now for my youngest cousins.


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