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Experimenting with colour

30 October 2012

Tanya Faiva in Studio2's Margaret Freeman Gallery
A vibrant mix of colours interact with each other on the canvases of Tanya Faiva, an artist who has been attending Studio2 once a week since 2005. She started exhibiting in the creative space’s Margaret Freeman Gallery when it opened in late 2011.

One of Tanya’s two works featured in Studio2’s latest exhibition, Sprung, sold. Selling her work is something she’s used to. “I’ve sold a lot of my work and in my first solo exhibition last December I sold eleven pieces, which was great,” Tanya says.

Tanya Faiva and Marnie WaltersWhen she’s not at Studio2, Tanya is busy writing her life story. With 50,000 words already written, she says the physical aspect of writing her story is a challenge. “I’m not very good at typing because of my co-ordination but Marnie is helping me with it.”

Marnie Walters, the new Programme Administrator at Studio2, is interested in writing and has studied creative non-fiction, New Zealand literature and professional writing at Otago University as part of her BA degree. “I’ve been reading Tanya’s manuscript and it’s an amazing story,” she says.

In the book, Tanya writes about growing up in Dunedin and the impact of finding out when she was 14 that she had Friedreich's ataxia, an inherited condition that causes progressive damage to the nervous system.

“Painting is hard work for me but I love doing it because I’m creating things people like – and that makes me feel good,” she says.

“I started using paint when I came to Studio2. As a child, I always drew but I can’t do that any more because of my co-ordination. That’s why I like doing abstract work.

“When I start a painting, I choose a colour and then think about what I’ll do with it. I have a good eye for colour, and I love experimenting and combining different colours. I don’t like putting pink with red or anything like that. They don’t go together, in my opinion.”

Marnie says that Tanya’s work is “vibrant, tactile and fresh”. “Tanya is always experimenting with different textures and colours. She’s especially interested in the way different layers interact with each other.”

Tanya had work in the 2011 and 2012 national exhibitions of art from creative spaces, presented by Arts Access Aotearoa.

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