In Conversation with Dhyana Muir
Dhyana Muir is a multidisciplinary artist who works in painting, photography and jewellery, and also writes and illustrates books. As well as maintaining her diverse art practice, she works as a Yoga teacher and hosts Yoga and creativity retreats. Originally from Auckland, Dhyana now lives in Tairua and is part of our fantastic team of artists working in our gallery there, as well as exhibiting.
We had a chat with Dhyana to learn more about her background and art practice!
Tell me about how you came to start making art.
I have always had a creative artistic eye, which has translated through different mediums and expressions like photography, clothing design and jewellery making. Internally however was an artist brewing and longing to paint. I could imagine large canvases and see myself totally free expressing through colour way before I started. It was a car accident over four years ago that finally jolted me into expressing myself through painting.
You create an amazing variety of work. Are they all inspired by a common interest, or are they quite distinct in how they come about?
I would say that I have opened myself up to anything that wants to come through me, and I laugh to myself at my inability to replicate anything ever. The common denominator would be that I feel and see a deeper reality of spirit moving through nature and people, and I like to express that through colour.
Your painting style is very gestural and expressionistic - you can really sense the energy that goes into them. Could you tell me about your painting process?
I have a multifaceted life where I also teach Yoga, write and illustrate children’s books, and make jewellery - so I am not an artist who goes ‘to work’ in her studio daily, as much as I would like to! Instead I get a creative urge well up in me that I can no longer avoid, and I will then clear a few days to paint non-stop - until the energy leaves, and I have to walk away - I am the same with my writing. I can’t force the process. I prefer to work on large surfaces. I like silence and to be undisturbed so I can hear the title as it comes, and go deep into a zone of painting and let form emerge. I move a lot when I paint, I like the freedom of expressing without censoring myself.
I know that spirituality is important to you. How does that influence your creative process?
My spirituality is the awareness and knowing of us all as energy in different forms. It is easy for me to sense and feel energy in people and things, and that is usually infused naturally into my work, because there is a part of me expressed in each thing I produce. I see and feel creative energy as a spiritual experience and love to flow with that.
Tell me a bit about your jewellery?
I have a love for crystals. I have had it explained to me recently that they are their own sentient beings, birthed from the Earth. I know each inherently has a sound and frequency that can assist us in our life, positively affecting us in different ways. So for me it is jewellery with a purpose and I love making one off pieces, knowing that the one right person will find their way to what I have created. It is a meditative process for me to make them. I often rub essential oils on my hands as I weave the cords to give them an extra dose of good energy.
'You Are Made From Stars' Children's Book
You have written a few children’s books. Where do the ideas for your stories come from? What do you hope people will take away from them?
Yes I have, and there is another children’s book on the way. There is also a coffee table visual/inspirational book for adults that will be completed one day - hopefully soon. The first book I wrote came from a conversation with an artist friend. I spoke to her about an idea I had to make her art into a children’s book. She said okay and half an hour later the story literally poured through me… While I sat in my car and wrote it on refill paper, my hand ached I wrote so fast! And I was laughing in moments in awe of what was occurring… From then on it was 6 months of editing and contributing my own photography to the process to support the characters in the story. I then completed my second book, which came as a more specific desire to assist young girls who do not have their mother’s presence in their lives, to develop confidence in their own feminine intuition. With all my books, my attention is to reassure any person who reads them that they are part of a loving universe and have their own gifts they bring to this world.
What are your upcoming projects and plans for your art?
As mentioned, there are two books I have started that are in progress, which will both contain my writing and my art as illustration. I have some overseas travel this year, which I know will influence my art. I have many paintings in progress, which I will complete and take through to framed completion. I intend to experiment with different mediums in the near future, and possibly do some short art courses to stretch my mind in new directions.
Why do you think The Little Gallery is a great space for showing your work? What do you enjoy most about working here?
Well firstly I love Tairua and am an ex-Aucklander, so I understand the beauty of both branches and the clients they cater for. I believe my work suits both galleries and sits nicely alongside the other artists work. I like that we all support and complement each other with our unique styles. The Tairua gallery has soul and character and is a welcome haven for many tourists. I am proud to give any visitor an insight into the wonderful creativity that exists in the Coromandel. I also absolutely love connecting a client with art that suits their decor and be the middle person who can help give the client a sense of the artist, bringing more meaning to the exchange. I absolutely love calling an artist to inform them one of their paintings has been loved, appreciated and purchased!
You can visit our galleries to see more of Dhyana's beautiful work in the flesh!
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