Natalie Synnott

Art | March 14 2016

What would you say are the main themes that you explore in your art?

I think self-destruction and disconnection – trying to succeed / be loved in the world and failing, my work is very narrative based and is usually based somewhat on a specific memory. I use a lot of fruit and a girl with a plastic bag on her head, it is this sort of slapstick tragedy.

You incorporate text into your works as well. Do you
do a lot of writing/poetry?

I use to write a lot when I was younger- I write a lot of poems/ song lyrics and paragraphs but have not put anything into much use yet. I have been finding myself more affected by writing than any other form recently, I have this piece of paper with all of my most loved Alain de Botton quotes, i came home drunk one night and read it and cried because I realised I was
in love with it more than I have been with a human person. My housemate put me on to Richard Brautigan’s poems recently and I am completely in love/obsessed. He is so insanely clever and sad but hilarious, it is everything that I want to make.

A lot of your works depict images and words surrounding dating/relationships/sex but the style often has a sort of childlike nature to it – that dichotomy is really cool. Is it intentional or did the style and themes just intersect organically?

I feel as though the idea of love/sex/romance is a parody of itself.

It is strange to group every relationship in the same category and decorate it with roses and lacy panties and label it as ‘sexy’ or ‘romantic’. I guess we (as women) are groomed even in subconscious ways from a young age to want to be deemed attractive and wanted by men, I think it has left me feeling disconnected while in relationships. It’s like the polar opposite of how sexuality is depicted in a renaissance painting, It’s not romantic and beautiful, it’s kind of awkward and yes looks like it’s drawn by an adult-child, like someone is following a guide based on art / film / pop culture of how to act and failing while being extremely self aware the whole time. It’s like getting dressed in your sexiest outfit but it’s inside out and you used nail polish as eyeliner and now your eyes are glued shut on your hot date.

As well as painting, you’ve done some filmmaking and installations. Which medium yourself pursuing predominantly at the moment?

At the moment I am at film school and my next project is making a short (probably 5-7 mins) film, it is very daunting and I am finding it a lot harder than painting. Film (to me) feels more universal and I really have to step outside of myself, When painting; you can take this one idea and flesh it out and make it look amazing and it’s satisfying and people like it and the whole experience (i find) is like this self explorative pat on the back.


Film is taking an idea and applying it to a story with people you have to give a shit about, creating a whole world where this story can take place and then consider their past and their future and if it matters and, then talk to people and get their feedback; and then start again. The start to finish is non linear and messy. But I am excited; I feel as if film will be my medium in the future, there are a lot of things I want to say. I feel like I haven’t gotten near there is painting, I want to do something subversive and make people question everything they know, but alas; I just love to paint fruit salad and sad babes.

You recently had your art shown at Tiny Tailor Gallery in Chippendale. Congrats! What body of work were you exhibiting there?

The show’s title was ‘At the Beginning’ I guess I took this as “At the Beginning…AGAIN” (~ lol ~)
I did a huge 10m scroll that was made to look like a toilet paper roll, it was filled with shitty poems and drawings, it was almost the note taking process and stream of thoughts that came from the paintings; I actually loved making it so much. Art is this weirdly therapeutic medium and I felt very cleaned by the end despite being in an unventilated area for over 45 hours.

Who are your favourite local Sydney artists?

Tom Polo, Anna Pogossova, Cathryn Clayton Smith, Nadia Hernandez

What’s the best piece of advice that an artist has ever given you?

Not to be blinded and held hostage by self doubt.

There was a point last year when I was feeling really down about my art/style. I felt as if I was copying myself and that my work was too self-indulgent and the colours were too sickly and that it was vapid/(i was vapid). I was talking to a friend who is also an amazing artist (Anna Pogossova) and I’m not sure exactly what she said but it was the lines of “you have a style/voice, it is special; don’t force change.”

Can you tell me about any other creative projects you have going on at the moment?

At the moment not so much, school means I get to make a short film, and I’m going to keep painting in-between. Later in the year I’m doing an Ableton course and excited to be skilled to make music as it’s been something I’ve been *yearning* to do for a really long time, I also have an idea for an online publication that I am keen to actualise. But yeah; At the moment I’m going to try and chill and get school done, I have a habit of saying yes to lots of things and having some kind of breakdown, but I want to do everything, and if I fail, at least will make a funny painting.

Natalie Synnott. Instagram

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