Briefly describe the work you do
I paint, draw, make videos and build things. My work is a personal, highly biographical exploration of the complicated relationship between humans and the natural environment.
Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you as an artist
I grew up in southern Brazil in the seventies, in a small town that rapidly went from rural to industrial. My mother is a retired art teacher, and I was fortunate to have had access to art history books and art instruction from an early age.
The spiritual energy of Brazil is in my work.
The concept of the “artist studio” has a broad range of meanings, especially in contemporary practice. The idea of the artist toiling away alone in a room may not necessarily reflect what many artists do from day to day anymore. Describe your studio practice and how it differs from (or is the same as) traditional notions of “being in the studio”.
I have the most wonderful studio in the backyard of my house, built by my husband and his mother when he was seventeen to be her pottery studio. After grad school, I spent two months cleaning it up, leveling the loose brick floor, recycling wood and building shelves and tables, getting my collection of books and art materials organized. I love working alone in there – when Virginia Woolf wrote “A Room of Her Own”, I feel that she wrote it for me. My studio is my sanctuary, a place where I spend most of the day happily at work.
What unique roles do you see yourself as the artist playing that you may not have envisioned yourself in when you first started making art?
I feel that today there is an expectation of artists to be extroverted marketers not only of their work, but of themselves.
On the positive side, artists today have more visibility and may use it to promote issues that they care about, provided that the whole thing does not devolve into a celebrity-style plot for self-promotion or a feel-good pill for artists, curators and audiences alike.
When do you find is the best time of day to make art? Do you have time set aside every day, every week or do you just work whenever you can?
I get into the studio right after breakfast in the morning and come out at three. I go back again in the evening. I find that this routine helps me stay put with projects that are challenging, as well as promoting chance discoveries.
Has your work changed in the last five years? How is it the same?
My work changed noticeably four years ago. I emerged from early motherhood with a strong desire to make the kind of work I am making now – much more personal, searching for a deeper connection with life and nature through art. I am still painting trees, but now they are like family to me, and the planet ceased to be this immense, abstract entity to become a very intimate place of bonding and discovery.
Are there people such as family, friends, writers, philosophers or even pop icons that have had an impact on the work you do?
Absolutely, and the list is long and eclectic. First of all, my husband, a talented photographer and my most trusted critic.
In poetry and poetic writing, Loren Eiseley, Barry Lopez, Mary Oliver and Mario Quintana. The classics: Dostoyevsky, Borges, Goethe, and Tolstoy. The cultural criticism of Roland Barthes, and the scientific writings of Edward O. Wilson, which I discovered recently. In a special place is the recent work of philosopher Timothy Morton, who writes about ecology, especially his latest publication “Hyperobjects”.
If you had an occupation outside of being an artist, what would that be and why?
I am the mother of a wonderful boy, and the love he brings to our lives makes everything worthwhile.
Dinora is a Brazilian artist who received her MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston in 2014, and her BFA from the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University in 2001. She works primarily in painting and video. Dinora has won awards for her work in painting, video/animation and writing. She started exhibiting in solo and group shows in 2002 and is avidly collected in the US and abroad. She lives and works in Newton, MA.
All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission.