Graduating from the University of Brighton with a Fine Art Critical Practice degree in 2018, Norfolk-born Zarya Austen-Fell resides in Brighton as a multi-media artist, whose work focuses on the relationship between materiality and reality, still-life and real life. Since last year, she has debuted three exhibitions, both in Brighton and her hometown. Speaking to The Badger, Zarya discusses more about her muses, her experimentations with various mediums, and her latest exhibition, Inside/Howl.
What are the key themes in your work?
The themes that I’m exploring in my work at the moment are based around interior spaces and the relationship between everyday life and the objects that accompany it. I’m interested in how people create comfort for themselves through material things.
Where does your artistic inspiration come from?
I currently love painters such as Henri Matisse, Félix Yallotton and more contemporary artists; such as Fabian Treibes, Faye Moorhouse, Nancy Cadogan.
I understand you’re a multi-media artist. Has there been any specific mediums or materials you’ve particularly enjoyed experimenting with?
For my last exhibition I made a huge 7 x 4 foot tapestry out of raw silk and linen. It was kind of imagined by the visual aesthetics of Fante Flags, and I really loved making it. I’m going to start another one soon!
The last exhibition you displayed was called Inside/Howl, which showcased your tapestry as part of it. Could you tell me a little more about that project?
Inside/Howl was a showcase of the paintings I had been working on in the months prior to the show. In a similar way to my previous exhibitions, Chairs (2018), and Plants and a Pear (2018-19), I tried to create a sense of space that mirrored the narrative of the works on display. The works were a combination of real and imagined spaces and objects.
What are your future plans, regarding your work?
I definitely want to work on more tapestry things – I found that really fun, plus they make great wall hangings!