Arts Events Leisure | People and Places | Property Home Garden
01/07/2021
Maria captures the splendour of the natural world
by Mornington Peninsula Magazine

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Maria Radun knew she wanted to be an artist from the very first time she met an artist as a young girl while living in Crimea, where she was born. This talented young woman came from the city to stay with her family for the summer. It was when the artist sketched a portrait of Maria’s mum that Maria was transfixed, watching the whole process and loving every minute of it.

Maria’s been drawing for as long as she can remember, whether copying pictures from books, doodling on scraps of paper or even with a stick in the sand. Today when she draws it nourishes her soul almost like a good meditation session, to the point that it has become an important part of her life and art practice. Working from her home studio in Safety Beach, the former graphic designer is now a full-time artist. Maria studied Fine Arts at Monash University and received private tuition from Fiona Bilborough, a celebrated member of the Twenty Melbourne Painters Society. She was also a finalist in the Ravenswood Australian Women’s Prize and Wyndham Art Prize 2019 and has even had her artwork featured on The Block in 2019.

Naturally, Maria values drawing as the foundation for her oil painting practice. And as a painter she explores three themes which resonate with her deeply. First, she honours the painting techniques and values of realist, tonal and impressionist painting with traditional renditions of still life, landscape, and portraiture. Maria believes that a good artist never stops learning and improving. Her mantra is that you must know the rules so that you can break them to create something truly unique and contemporary.

Second, she captures the splendour of the natural world that surrounds her on the Mornington Peninsula. For her current body of work, she’s featured floral arrangements and trees in her paintings. Being inspired by light, colour and atmosphere, Maria strives to capture the emotional connection to her subjects. This work will be shown at Cook Street Collective Gallery in October.

Third, Maria embraces the uncanny beauty of the surreal. She enjoys creating interesting compositions that invite the viewer into a world that is a little strange, yet familiar. This collection of works is more personal and often inspired by dreams, poetry or music, philosophical ideas and visuals that evoke something within her.

Maria is now accepting commissions for Christmas and 2022.

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Last August we spoke to Reuben Cullen for our In Conversation feature about how his time spent holidaying on the Mornington Peninsula fuelled his creativity and imagination from a young age. Reuben’s always got a real kick out of showing people the world through his eyes, and his used his own experience with addiction and recovery to inspire and empower children to be their own hero in his book that he released last year, A Hero Born.

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