Chatting to Taz

*We aim to aspire to inspire as we chat to others, picking their brains, exploring their gifts and practices.

All posts are raw & unedited because f**k none of us are perfect & it is time to celebrate that - I'm here for the honest & real, you?

Who are you?

My name is Tasmin Witkamp, but I usually just go by Taz.
I am an oil painter living on the South Coast of NSW, but I am originally from Avalon on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. I grew up in my family’s heritage studio where my great grandfather, my grandfather and my mum all used to paint. Mum taught me pretty much everything I know.

I followed my love for Australian bushland and vast landscapes and moved to the tiny coastal village of Manyana, where I now paint full time. My dad helped me make his place into a comfortable little studio where I paint and my partner Pog makes my frames out of recycled hardwood. I love painting and it takes up 99% of my time and brain space, however I also love surfing, snowboarding and bushwalking.

A song or movie to represent your life.

Spotlight by The Waifs- Gives me goosebumps every time.

Where do you pull inspiration from?

This beautiful place we call earth.

My partner and I have been exploring our local wilderness ever since we were home bound a couple of years ago. I found a new appreciation for Australian bushland when we returned home to see the devastation of the 2019/20 bushfires. What was previously scrub and dense forest, had become hollow and desolate. The land, she was exposed vulnerable. We could see, for the first time in decades, her raw skin. Granite boulders formed precarious cliffs. Charred banksias stood like dark cracks in the sky and the sad remnants of tall eucalypts punctured the dry hills.

It was heartbreaking to see what had become of this efficient ecosystem, and all the life it had sustained.

There was an uncanny parallel, watching the bushland recover as the pandemic tested our patience. It was a lesson in resilience and growth. Australian bushland is full of Pyrophytes- plants that are resilient to fire, and even harness it, in-order to re-grow. To thrive in the face of destruction.

Nature. She is so complex, and I am in awe.