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Nature and coastline provide inspiration for new exhibition

Wairarapa-based still life artist Tatyana Kulida will be showcasing her work at the Aratoi Museum of Art in Masterton from Saturday, December 9 to March 10 next year.

The exhibition, ‘Tatyana Kulida – Wairarapa Felt,’ is her first solo show at a museum and is inspired by the time the artist has spent in nature and on Wairarapa’s coast.

The Russian-born artist was trained in fine arts in the United States and Italy, where she was a student for three years at the prestigious Florence Academy of Art.

Now, she runs Anthesis Atelier, a school based on Cuba St in Wellington that teaches classical painting and drawing techniques with an emphasis on depicting life subjects using natural light.

The exhibition will have 30 paintings on show, representing Kulida’s experiences and mementoes of her life living in Wairarapa – particularly highlighting her time spent in the outdoors.

“With this body of work, I am building on the conversation about ‘presence’,” Kulida said.

“Living in the countryside, I now spend half a week at home, taking time in the garden, volunteering on a permaculture farm, homeschooling my youngest, painting en plein air, and enjoying the pleasures of conscious living.”

Kulida also noted that the exhibition reflects on her life living in Wairarapa, slowing down, and being ‘present’.

“With my work directly from life [with no aid of photography]– I teach students to see what’s there – as opposed to what they believe they observe,” she said.

“Through creating by observation, one develops a pathway that translates to everything else in our life, increasing satisfaction, reducing stress, and anxiety, and a shift in focus to the process rather than a certain result through establishing a connection to ourselves and others in deep listening to the present moment.”

Over the years, Kulida has been commissioned to paint such famous faces as former Prime Minister Sir Bill English [the resulting portrait currently hangs in the National Party headquarters], as well as primatologist and anthropologist Dame Jane Morris Goodall, and Wellington philanthropist Mark Dunajtschik and his wife Dorothy.

Meanwhile, according to Kulida, research shows that making or contemplating art for only 20 minutes a day provides immediate support for our mental state, and doctors now prescribe museum visits to decrease loneliness and improve cognitive skills.

‘Tatyana Kulida – Wairarapa Felt’ will officially open on Friday, December 9, and Kulida will give a public talk at 11am on Saturday, December 16 at Aratoi Museum of Art in Masterton.

More information about ‘Tatyana Kulida – Wairarapa Felt’ can be found at www.eventfinda.co.nz/2023/tatyana-kulida-wairarapa-felt/masterton

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