Painter Nuñez Rojas’ Hinterland Home

Photography by Ilsa Wynne Hoelscher

For artist Nuñez Rojas, inspiration is everywhere. When we invited her on the Journal she responded with a link to a music video that would, eventually, inspire one of our most inventive shoots to date; “in every avenue of opportunity art can be explored”, she writes in our correspondence. The work of this Chilean born, Arizonian raised painter now residing in the Northern Rivers is a cultural patchwork of her heritage, compositions that pay tribute to those who have shaped the woman, and artist, she has become. For this week’s journal, in collaboration with  photographer Ilsa Wynne Hoelscher, the pair have used the IN BED palette as their medium to capture the feeling of being at home.

Nuñez lies on a combination of White, Kohl & Cool Grey 100% linen, paired with Heavy Linen pillowslips in White

On Nuñez’s creative space… 

“My home is an assemblage of vessels of memory such as pottery found by my grandmother in the sands of San Miguel, Chile. Mementos from my life in the desert of Arizona such as native American cultural pieces. Plants are inhabiting the space like pets, and I carry them in and out of the house in abundant rain. Paper Mache figures rest on walls and sit next to windows. Books are essential for me. Research is a large part of my practice, relearning about African diaspora, as well as African literature and philosophy. Knowledge of one's history is the necessary groundwork for feeling at home.

Knowledge of one's history is the necessary groundwork for feeling at home.

“The aesthetic is part of a visual narrative; as painters we sometimes take from studio to home. A painter's home is linked to their practice. That is something we cannot refuse, as each of our lives is the practice of exploring the gifts given. I live in this home with the ones who I love and the ones who love me. What I love the most about our space or home is the evolution. It is growing with us and truly is reflective of our journey.”

Stripes on stripes: Nuñez wears our organic cotton terry robe in Cocoa & Ivory.

On the meaning of home…

“I have migrated many times in my life, and I have come to believe the use of colour and form is language for connecting. Knowledge cultivation allows for cognitive narratives to be placed into painted materials. Research into Identity, diasporic influence and one’s environment. These profound subjects are found in my work, a visual artifact. I also want to have a relationship with place and see how it influences my work to recognize and admire; to try very hard to translate the way I see what nature has already created.

“I’m grateful for the ability to find peace in a place, work creatively and with intention, that’s what this home represents.”

I have migrated many times in my life, and I have come to believe the use of colour and form is language for connecting.

On Nuñez’s bedroom (and bedside table)… 

“My bedroom is my place to dream.

“As it cools in the morning it is harder to rise. So next to my bed are Octavia Butlers' books and a cup of something warm. The table holds a photo of my mother in a black frame. She is in a moment of great concentration working on textiles in the University Museum located in Azapa, Chile.”

Nuñez is clothed in a combination of our White, Kohl & Cool Grey bed linen.

On the creative catalyst for this shoot…

“The photography was created with friend and colleague Ilsa Wynne Hoelscher. Ilsa is a long-time Collaborator, we have recently published a photo book together titled NUÑEZ. Many inspirations came to mind, from music or our work together in our photo book. We played on how the space allows for a stage of creation. Palette as you would guess is so important and the pieces highlighted worked in unison with the environment.”

On who inspires…

“My grandparents in Chile represent a feeling of home. My memories of my grandfather with his kitten sitting on his shoulder, perfectly balanced as he fixed objects on the back patio. My family in Chile lived humbly without money to get in the way of what makes a home a real home: the warmth of good people. To be a representation of my people of Azapa Valley Chile and the Afro-Chilean community always remembering my roots and nativity. It's my ultimate inspiration.”

On recent projects…

“It’s been a lovely journey publishing NUÑEZ, an artists' photo book that uses history’s canon as well as cultural heritage as a point of research into identity. Motivated by a practice of placing oneself into a space or historical narrative. This considered photo essay also acts as a personal but inviting visual dialogue between the two female artists and friends, creating an exploration and critical conversation for viewers. The book was shortlisted in the Australia-New Zealand Photo Book Awards and is now available through Perimeter Books, grateful and endlessly humbled and proud of the work achieved thus far and looking forward to continuing.”

Nunez wears our 100% Linen Sleepwear in Kohl.

On what’s to love in the Northern Rivers… 

“Local spots to venture to the pop-ups in the local halls such as Coorabell hall for Dells Med. If you love books, spend a day in a vintage bookstore in the village of Clunes, Uncle Peters Books. Bacteria books in the industrial Byron industrial estate is a unique curation of books and publications. Venture further outside the immediate Ulmarra bookshop it’s a book nerds’ treasure. I didn’t grow up with oceans, so I have found a connection a little further away in the Clarence River. 

My advice is to venture around the area, get lost a little bit and allow the slower pace of things to seep in.

“Going to the river is like a ritual for spirituality, it's ever changing from floods, the rock formations made by time and intensity of the water are depicted in drawings in my studio. Time is still there, walking along the riverbed seems to mirror the same dried river beds I explored as a child in the desert of Arizona. Walking along picking up stones of interesting shape or colour.

“My advice is to venture around the area, get lost a little bit and allow the slower pace of things to seep in.”

On what’s next…

“I look forward to furthering concepts into different forms such as sculpture, or literature. To continue stylistically through my practice creating work that is honest and authentic.”

Please feel free to write to me


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