Dina Broadhurst's Historic Vaucluse Home Is an Oasis of Art and Design
Welcome to The Makers. Each week, we’re celebrating innovators, artisans and crafters of all types, taking you on a private tour of their creative spaces. For this instalment, revisit and catch up with one of our favourite makers, artist Dina Broadhurst, in her new creative space.
When Dina Broadhurst moved into her new home, a sprawling and historic building in Sydney’s Vaucluse, she spray-painted everything white. Walls, ceilings, doors, skirting boards… Everything but the wooden floors were coated in lashings of white paint, a move Broadhurst described as “satisfying. We sprayed absolutely everything in pure white to start the blank canvas and then grew from there.”
The result is a uniquely creative and inspiring space for Broadhurst to both practice and exhibit her mixed media work, as well as a family home for the artist, her partner and her son. Since leaving her last space in Darlinghurst and moving in a year ago, the family has completely overhauled the home, taking it from its rundown and rustic bare bones into the modern, light-filled coastal outpost it is today. Half personal space and half working office, it’s no wonder that the artist decided to dub her new abode CASA Studio.
Perched high atop the waterfront in Sydney’s east, the house is an ode to Broadhurst’s artistic vision. Each room is designed with an “eclectic” and “movable” feel, so that furniture—like her squishy MCM House sofas or shearling Sarah Ellison armchair—can be easily removed, allowing for Broadhurst to work from anywhere the inspiration strikes.
And that really is how Broadhurst likes to work: “There is no real start and definitely no end,” she explains. “It is all a constant flow, all hours of the day from just seeing to feeling, finding, sourcing, scouring, piecing things together, thinking, analysing, creating, and making.”
Take a look inside the stunningly restored CASA Studio and see how this particular blend of life and art works for Broadhurst and her family.
Hi Dina! Welcome back to The Makers. What have you been making since last time we caught up with you?
Art, art, and more art! I have been working on a self-portrait series in isolation; a huge hoarding exhibition for Westfield New Zealand (that spans over 1000 meters long!); and most exciting of all, since September last year, I undertook a project close to my heart—I transformed (and moved into) a rustic historic gem in Sydney into my family home—complete with art studios and exhibition spaces.
It’s called CASA Studio and it combines my passion for interior design, contemporary art, and mid-century furniture. Together with my partner, we renovated this space to be an ever-changing and adaptable space, where we can exhibit and combine our creative ventures with how we like to live. All in all, it’s a space filled with family, passion, memories, and friends!
Talk us through your creative process. Where do you start?
I have no real system—just a joy for experimenting, experiencing, and immersing myself in my practice. I someone who starts many tasks—all very different—at the same time. Still, I do also reach a point where I am satisfied when they become complete.
Sometimes my work is instant, sometimes it takes months and sometimes years—a piece will keep transforming into new revised and reworked incarnations. It’s all a process, and I find it deeply meditative. My work evokes light and dark and everything in between.
What’s been the single most crucial tool or strategy you’ve used to grow your creative business?
I would have to say Instagram! Having this platform has allowed me to reach a global audience, the ability to directly contact my collectors, and the opportunity to showcase who I am, and what I do, in my own way.
What has been the most challenging lesson learnt since you started your business?
Learning to trust in myself and my own way even if it is not the typical road followed.
What’s been the best thing that’s happened to you since you started your creative business?
Freedom and to be able to work from anywhere I choose.
Do you have a single piece of advice you’d give to your younger self?
Listen to yourself and do what is running through your veins and makes you feel true to yourself.
Now, the home stuff. How long have you lived in CASA Studio?
Just coming up to one year.
How did you initially know this was the space for you?
The space, the light, and the opportunity to have creative freedom with the interiors.
What was the thought process behind the way you’ve styled the interior?
Art, in all of its forms, is my passion so there are a lot of special pieces to me here. Not just wall art, but furniture, sculptures, plates, and quirky vintage finds that hold memories of specific times in my life and places travelled. I’ve added colour and texture through the space by way of furniture art and objects, against the refreshed (mostly neutral) backdrop.
How has this new space influenced your art practice?
It’s given me so much space to go bigger and paint more. I’ve worked on large scale pieces and [painted] more on my photographic prints to take them in a totally different direction.
Your home is also your workspace and studio. How do you separate work and play?
I don’t! But I love that they are one and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
What are your favourite pieces in the home?
My shearling cream chair by Sarah Ellison Studio as well as a photographic artwork by Doble & Strong that features a reclining nude woman with a pair of Labradors.
Do you have any special décor pieces you’re looking to add?
I’m desperate to find an amazing dressing room mirror and I have my heart set on a Memphis design. I’m also looking for two new special bedside lamps as well as bedside tables with more space and storage as I find I’m constantly running out of room for all the things I want next to me when I’m in bed!
Which is your favourite room in the house?
My sunroom. It’s now become my second studio as the light in there is so perfect at this time of year, all day long.
What are your top tips for a well-styled bedroom, and home generally?
Colour, individuality, texture, large art, linen, an amazing fluffy rug, European cushions and to be honest I’ve finally been converted to having a big TV in the bedroom—and I’m kind of addicted now!
Do you have any projects coming up you want to talk about?
I’m happily working away on new works and a big solo show at CASA studio and I can’t wait!
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