Gaia Heart is a young up and coming artist from Nimbin in the Northern Rivers. Pictured here in front of her art work 'Joy in Paradox'.
Gaia Heart is a young up and coming artist from Nimbin in the Northern Rivers. Pictured here in front of her art work 'Joy in Paradox'.

Focus on ‘seeing beauty in a damaged landscape’

EVER since she was young, Gaia Heart always found herself exploring the world through the prism of existence and asking the age old question, ‘why are we here?’.

It’s heavy question that even adults struggled to answer, but Gaia searched for those answers through her art.

“I’ve always done art as a way to express something,” she said.

“From a quite a young age I was interested in ‘why we exist?’, and interested in existence and consciousness and why questions so I guess art was a way to express that.

“I feel like it’s the most direct way of observing life, I feel like most people go into a profession but an artist is looking at life and commenting on what they see and what they believe … it’s basically a job that lets you look at life rather than get caught up in little parts of the way society is functioning.

Gaia mainly focused her works around the nature of her Nimbin home and the surrounding hills.

However, recently, she has refused to be contained into one style, using this isolation phase to explore her creativity and philosophical nature which may form the basis of future works.

“The recent work I’ve been making has been really inspired by that trip between Nimbin and Lismore, there’s a lot of hills and mountain ranges along that road … which for me it kind of symbolises that state of the entire world, the fact that most of that is regrowth or farming land,” she said.

“My body of work for TAFE focused on that paradox of the destruction we’re causing and also finding that space in yourself that isn’t reliant on that situation or outcome of anything, just seeing beauty in that damaged landscape.”

As a student of a Diploma of Visual Arts at the Lismore TAFE and having undertaken a non-exhibiting residency at the Lismore Regional Gallery, Gaia has become a student of her craft.

“I am interested in the academic side of art … but I feel like TAFE is such a good starting point for an artist, especially that crew at Lismore TAFE,” she said.

“The teachers are also so supportive and really technically skilled and they help you build your toolbox that you can go out and use.

“It’s very focused on technical skills, experimenting with different materials, experimenting with where you might want to go with your art and … they’re really supportive of finding your way within that.”

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