Meet the Artist - Dana Kinter

1. Tell us a bit about yourself, what do you do and why?

I live on the Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia nestled between the coast and the Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park. I make artworks that reflect my surroundings - in particular I want to showcase our unique and beautiful Australian flora and fauna. As well as creating a visually pleasing artwork, I try to capture or evoke the feelings I get when surrounded by nature. Grounding, peace and a calmness.

2. How did you initially become and artist – what inspired you, what was the background?

My path has always been creative. I studied to be an art teacher, graphic designer and a visual artist while working in galleries and slowly building up my skills and knowledge and now work full time on my arts practice.

3. Have you always depicted Australian flora and fauna - what inspired this?

I guess this happened when I was nesting, I had just bought a house and was transforming the garden from the biggest front lawn you had ever seen, to a native and bird filled oasis. Spending so much time and effort in my garden, I really felt a connection and in particular the birds that visited and hung out in the space with me. My favourite time of the day was early mornings with freshly watered plants and filled bird baths, sipping a cup of tea and watching bird life go on while the house was sleeping.

4. How would you describe yourself?

An observer.

5. How do you hope to make a difference in the world?

As an independent artist with my own business, I hope to support and encourage upcoming artists. Working with sustainable and environmental practices is also very important, I am always looking at ways to improve in this area.

6. What inspired you to collaborate with Adairs? Was there an alignment with what Adairs inspires in their consumers?

I love that Adairs started as a small family business in Melbourne and has grown with stores all across Australia. I often hear people say they’re Linen Lovers members. Adairs' commitment to creating this range with its focus on environmentally sustainable materials and packaging, has been my greatest achievement. I hope that it is so successful that it carries through the rest of the business.

7. How do you begin your design process?

My paintings are imagined whilst taking long walks around my neighbourhood, gathered flowers and foliage, certain moods or feelings are evoked with particular colour pallets and movement of branches or leaves.

8. Describe your latest collection in three words?

Australian, tranquil, muted.

9. You often design flowers and nature; why did you choose the elements you did for this collection?

Part of this collection have come from a four panel series I did. I was inspired by a painting in the Australian collection at the art gallery of SA, by artist Hugh Ramsay, titled the 'Four Seasons.' As Ramsay did, I was interested in restricting my colour palette with each panel, representing the colours of the Australian seasons. I incorporated this idea alongside my native themes. The four panels included Spring - laughing kookaburra and protea repens, Summer - pink galah and banksia baxteri, Autumn - yellow tailed black cockatoo and banksia burnett and Winter - the Australian magpie and the yellow kangaroo paw.

10. From your collection, what would you gift to… your mum? Your partner? Your best friend?

My Mum - I think the quilted throw from the wattle collection, with the dark blue background and golds of the eucalyptus would be her pick, snuggled up reading a book. My partner - the big kookaburra European cushions he would love, we have kookaburras in our backyard. I can imagine him relaxing on the veranda perched up on a kookaburra cushion, listening to kookaburras laugh. My best friend - the green finch quilt cover, the simplicity of the design with pops of red/oranges from the grevillea are lovely. As an artist, I think she would appreciate the qualities of the drawing that has so beautifully been captured in this collection.

11. If you had to pick one piece from your latest collection as your favourite, which would it be and why?

My favourite piece from this collection would be the dark blue wattle quilted coverlet because it is perfectly suited to layover the back of my sofa, to look beautiful but also it is something that I would snuggle up to everyday.

12. How would you describe you interior design style?

I think my home is a mixture of things, but I would probably say 'natural.' It is quite eclectic, filled with things passed down from grandparents and treasures collected while travelling. Lots of plants and flowers, always flowers, especially foraged from the side of the road. I have a love of all things from Mid-century modern style, lots of natural fabrics and floor rugs and most favourite of all, are the handmade artworks and ceramic collected over time from cherished friends and people I admire.

13. What interior trends do you love at the moment?

I am a big fan of wicker/cane furniture and warm terracotta colours for interiors, always of course, plants.

14. What do you think makes a house a home?

Personal touches - kids drawings on the fridge, a big dining or kitchen table, where the family can come together for meals and conversation.

15. What’s your trend prediction for 2020?

A more human connection to the things we have in our lives, those extra special things like hand embroidered touches to cushions, fabrics hand dyed with plants, hand painted ceramic and earthy tones, especially lavender, goes with everything.

16. How do you play with colour? How do you recommend using colours in your home?

I bring colour to my home with beautiful fabric wall hangings or floor rugs and big vases of flowers and leaves.

17. Do you have an interior design style icon? If so, who/what is it and why?

Recently I came across this quote by British textile designer William Morris, which I think is pretty great... "Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” – William Morris

18. How important is home fragrance to you? Do you have a go-to scent for your home?

I burn a stick of incense at home every morning like a ritual, the smell wakes me and reminds me of holidays. For an evening, I like a scented candle, usually a woody or earthy fragrance for the smell and for the ambiance.

19. How important is sustainability to you?

Sustainability is something that should be important to everyone, how we live in the modern world is affecting our future. It can be an overwhelming thought, but if we each break it down and implement small, everyday environmental choices into our own lives, overall our community will be greener and happier.