Humble, hard-working and taking on Hollywood, established artist Diana Watson talks to Chronicles about her hometown Sydney and her latest collection of work; Ambrosia.
Acclaimed for her hyper-realistic large-scale floral murals, particularly “those” roses, Sydney-based artist Diana Watson’s work fuses art with the utmost consideration for interior décor. From restaurants to residential homes to the Hollywood set of recent film ‘Collateral Beauty’ (starring Kate Winslet, Helen Mirren and Will Smith) Diana Watson is fast becoming a household name.
Diana’s latest exhibition ‘Ambrosia’ opens 4th May 2017 at Otomys Gallery in Melbourne.
Otomys: You’ve had an impressive career in art spanning over 20 years. Can you tell us a little bit about the path that led you to here, have you always painted large-scale murals?
- Diana: It all came about after my Mother once let me paint a very large blue horse on the kitchen wall when I was about ten years old, which ignited my passion to paint. After studying art I actually went on to work in advertising and it was not until after having my daughters that I started exhibiting my work. I have always enjoyed painting large canvases, and the large flower murals came about with digital technology which allowed me to enlarge my paintings to wallpaper size.
Otomys: We’d love to know what inspired your latest body of work ‘Ambrosia’?
- Diana: I was delighted when Otomys approached me about my ‘Nova’ series. After years of concentrating on nature I wanted to start exploring my other interest; fabric. I’ve always enjoyed sewing and the challenge of painting folds of intricate fabric. It was incredible to finally combine these two elements through colour to form an interesting body of work. With beauty being the focus ‘Ambrosia’ seemed a fitting title.
Otomys: How did it feel when Warner Bros approached you to feature your artwork in the recent film ‘Collateral Beauty’?
- Diana: Naturally that was an unforgettable moment to think that Warner Bros in Hollywood had noticed my work . However, the actual frame including my work was a rather fleeting moment in the film.
Otomys: What would your dream creative project look like?
- Diana: I have always liked the idea of designing film sets. It would be a amazing to design and paint large-scale murals for a production situ.
Otomys: What’s next for Diana Watson?
- Diana: Painting is one of those things that can last your whole life and I certainly have no intention of ever stopping. Living in Italy or France is also up high on my bucket list…
Otomys: How long have you been calling Sydney home?
- Diana: We came to live in Sydney from Perth back in 2000. I can’t believe we’ve been here 17 years!
Otomys: Where would we find you on a typical Saturday in Sydney?
- Diana: If I haven’t got a deadline to meet? Then, spending time with my family is what I cherish.
Otomys: You must have some secret Sydney spots….any that you’re willing to tell share with us?
- Diana: Kirribilli has two unique coffee shops. One is at the Wharf (conveniently) downstairs from our apartment and the other is the Flying Bear which is aptly named after the Sydney Flying Squadron. Both wonderful settings to sit and enjoy a good coffee while watching over the water.
Otomys: What was the last momentous meal you had in Sydney?
- Diana: Christmas dinner at Blueys Beach. My family love cooking meals together and we have created a long standing tradition with our daughters where we spend almost all year talking about and planning Christmas together. When it finally comes around, we spend the entire week celebrating and eating our way through all the amazing meals.
Otomys: Do you have a favourite Sydney neighbourhood and why?
- Diana: We landed in Kirribilli more by accident than anything, but it has turned out to be a great place to live! We have made some wonderful friends and there is a close-knit community spirit in our building. Notably, the harvest of our olive tree and the street party at Christmas time are both highlights in our neighbourhood.
Photo credits: Julie Adams
JOIN US! Thursday 4th May at 5.30pm for our special Champagne & Ambrosia event in the gallery.
Ambrosia – by Diana Wastson 4th May –26th May 2017 (free entry)
Otomys Gallery 567-569
Victoria Street (corner of Duke Street)
Gallery open Fridays and Saturdays or by appointment any other day.