Hello, my name is Diane Zaharis and I am a self-taught artist living in Woonona, a suburb of the city of Wollongong in the state of New South Wales, Australia. I use a variety of painting, collage, mixed media and textile techniques in my art practice. I see art as a vehicle to explore and communicate feelings and beliefs about issues I am passionate about.
Recurring themes in my works include mental health, self-esteem and marriage equality. I have experienced the power of speaking and sharing stories both as a storyteller and as someone searching the world for another with a story that mirrors my own in some way. Art has been a way for me to process and express visually the mental and emotional experiences of grief, anxiety and depression, often by exploring questions of self-worth and life purpose. I draw on my own personal lived experience as well as my university studies in psychology to explore how biological and environmental factors influence perceived reality in terms of sensations, attitudes, and emotions.
Recently I have made space in my art practice for other art forms such as journal writing, poetry, stand-up comedy and performance. As I am a continually evolving being, so too will be my creative expressions and processes. I enjoy and am inspired by artists across a multitude of art forms and I am lucky enough to have been supported, guided and encouraged by creative communities in each of my endeavours.
I have exhibited my visual artworks since 2009 in galleries in Sydney, Wollongong and Melbourne. I have also curated a number of group shows at Project Contemporary Artspace, where I served on the committee in the roles of President, Vice President and Marketing Officer since 2016. Recently my focus has been working closely with local arts and community organisations to bring together the 2018 Wollongong Queer Arts Festival as one of two co-curators. I have had public artworks commissioned by Wollongong City Council.
I do have a casual job to pay the bills but in future, I plan to combine my passions for art and psychology and become a qualified art therapist. You can find me on Facebook and Instagram by searching 'DianeZaharisArt'.
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