Artist Dina Broadhurst conquers Instagram.
SYDNEY-BASED MULTIMEDIA ARTIST and interior designer Dina Broadhurst’s layered photographic collages are heavily themed around beauty, sexuality and women’s body issues; her signature erotic images made chaste with strategic placements of cheery flowers, block colours and stars. The works — layered and manipulated using Photoshop, collage and all kinds of mediums, from paint to street rubble — are in high demand, especially the much-talked-about (in the bathrooms at fashion week) limited-edition Ladies in Waiting.
“It’s definitely young women buying my work,” Broadhurst says, adding, “I’ve had women call me and say, ‘I just got my settlement money through from my divorce and I want one of your works … and a Chanel handbag.’” The artist is also working on various big projects with interior design firms and retail stores, along with a three-metre commission for an office space in Sydney’s Martin Place.
The surprising enabler behind Broadhurst’s success has been Instagram. In four years it has transformed her art business. “Instagram changed everything,” she says. “I could suddenly make a visual gallery and people started contacting me. It’s been a major force — it made me brave. I can put things out there that I would have just packed away at home. I really thought Instagram would lead people to my shows, but it’s the opposite: art shows led people to my Instagram.”
Broadhurst is a prolific creator and tries to make a new work daily. “My routine is breakfast at Fratelli Paradiso [in Potts Point], to do my emails and decide which pictures I’m going to put on Instagram that day, and then I will go to a site and do an interiors job for a couple of hours, and then head
home into the box that is my studio — a horrible mess. I need darkness for retouching images. then I’ll be off to another interior job for a couple of hours and then I have my son, Leo . We spend the afternoon on the road doing the practical side of art, like going to the post office, signing prints and taking them to the framer. He loves it and he’s very creative too.”
Broadhurst is currently working on two books, solo and shared exhibitions and some large-scale collaborative works. A published collection of nudes comes first, though. “i wanted to use more real women and I was searching for a beauty that they didn’t think they had — a reserved beauty. So I went onto Tinder as a woman looking for women and approached people that way. So many people responded. I was shocked that they were so free and open to the idea.”
But possibly the most exciting of her new projects is the development of an app that allows users to create Broad hurst style collages using their own images. But why would she share such hard-earned creative know-how for all to use? “Well, it just couldn’t be the same,” she explains. “sometimes things look very simple that are so hard to arrive at. It’s not as simple as it looks.”
View Dina Broadhurst’s work online @dinabroadhurst.
“I’ve had women call me and say, ‘I just got my divorce settlement and I want one of your works … and a Chanel bag.’”
Every Rose Has Its Thorn, 2016. Background: The Pleasures of Beginnings, 2016.
If You Change Your Mind by Dina Broadhurst, 2016.
Hidden Beauty, 2016.
Champagne On Ice, 2015. He Said So,
I’m Here Even When I’m Here Without Her, 2016.