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Home in ease

Updated: Jul 21, 2020

Negin Dastgheib نگین دستغیب is a Wellington visual artist. Here, she talks about her constant making of work, nature art in the cities, and home sweet میهن.

How have you developed your career?

I kept making work straight after uni as I had a show at Toi Pōneke the following year. After that I planned to travel and take a break from painting - however, I ended up living and working as an artist in Brooklyn, New York. So the constant making of work is what has been the most useful in developing my art career.

How do you price your work?

I consider how many years it has taken to develop my practice and painting style. The cost of materials and time spent making. I also consider what I feel it is worth depending on the individual work. I do like to keep my prices accessible.

What role does the artist have in society?

For my masters I am currently researching the artist playing the role of the shaman in the Western world. I see the artist as someone who is questioning what they see around them. They want to take things apart and inspect them. I think they play an important role in providing spaces for people to contemplate and consider what is happening and maybe what could improve.

What themes do you pursue?

Well, I have always been interested in the concept of home. In my Iran series, I was exploring my family’s memories of pre-revolution Iran and my nostalgia for that time. Then I began to explore my own memories of places and experiences where I have felt at ‘home’ and what does home mean - as a feeling, experience. Now I paint from nature as I find it to be a space where I feel most at ease, most comfortable to be myself.

What is your dream project?

I love this question. I would just love to have a massive studio overlooking a forest and make giant paintings that would go into really dreary spaces or corporate buildings in the city - to remind people of our beautiful country and what they can experience when they spend time outdoors!

What do you think about when you’re alone in your car? I’m usually singing or talking to myself.

What’s something your brain tries to make you do and you have to will yourself not to do it?

Well, it tries to tell me I am not being ‘productive’ or ‘doing’ enough. Trying to do everything can be draining. So I try not to listen to that and live a minimal lifestyle.

Money is no object. Which priceless artwork do you buy?

Richard Serra’s Junction/Cycle installation. So dreamy.


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