• • • Tracy Naughton— The talented kiwi artist talks with us about her creative connection with the ocean and the passion she radiates for the surf.

Hi Tracy! So I didn’t realise you are originally from NZ (so am I) – where are you from and what took you to the beautiful sunshine coast?

I’m originally from Auckland, NZ but I left many years ago and lived in London for a couple of years where I met my husband, who is also a kiwi. We moved to Sydney where our son was born. My parents meanwhile had moved to the Sunshine Coast – somewhere my grandparents used to live part-time for 30 years prior. Having a young family, we decided to move to the Sunshine Coast where we could afford to live and have babysitters on hand!

Using archival inks on cotton rag paper is such a beautiful approach. Tell me about what made you decide to get into this?

I used to print my images onto plywood and I enjoyed the original result I had created but I was also approached by a local interior designer who loved my work and was looking for some fine art prints to decorate some apartments. Once I saw the result I decided it was time to lift my game, knowledge and skill in creating beautiful original local pieces.

Asking you where you draw your inspiration from, the answer to me may seem obvious (the ocean), but what are the things you like to capture about the ocean (and creatures/people within it) that comes through in your work?

Yes, the ocean is a big inspiration but I also grew up drawing, painting and appreciating art so, my inspirations are wide and varied! I’m inspired by so many other artists and photographers.

For me, with my own personal style, I try to keep it minimalist but also find the connection between human and the surrounding beauty of our coastline – surfers make the perfect choice of subject. Rolling all the elements into one image is always fun, working with light and my subjects in different locations and exploring new angles is what keeps it interesting.

What are your biggest environmental concerns at the minute, and how do you want to see change?

Plastic is a major concern I see what it has done and will continue to do to our oceans for many years to come. I would like to see plastic phased out entirely and new ways to decompose our current packaging and recycle what we use. I love that Londoners are embracing old school glass milk bottle deliveries!

the ocean is a big inspiration...

Surf and the future

Who is the most inspirational female surfer you have come across and why?

Oh wow, that’s really hard, they are all inspirational in their own way!

I mean it’s so inspiring to watch these ladies chase their dreams and work so hard to get there doing what they love like Honolua Blomfield and Kelis Keleopaa they have so much grace and form. Then there’s the creative quirkiness of individual style queens like Karina Rozunko, Anais Pierquet and Jaleesa Vincent. They’re all so talented, yet so unique.

What is next for you project-wise? What are your dreams for the future?

I’m just open to working with more surf brands and amazing surfers in the future with my photography and being able to paint more and work on new exhibitions.

• • • We are so amazed at the stunning artwork and beautiful words from Tracy. We can’t wait to see what is on the horizon for her.

Learn more about Tracy’s art here: www.letmesea.com.au.

November 11, 2019 — Janaya Wilkins