About Tania Layden

Awed, thwarted, amused or just frustrated...

I have a hankering to write about things.

Random things that come to me such as my frustration with traffic not obeying my rules and making it impossible for me to get somewhere on time, or my absolute delight at seeing an art exhibition that leaves me feeling joyful and inspired. Awed, thwarted, amused or just frustrated, I want to share my musings and reflections to convey a sense of just how wondrous and crazy life can be.

Travel for me is all about the experiences – discovering new places, people, food, and inevitably, finding my favourite haunts – little local eateries in Paris and Madrid, Kuala Lumpur and Ubud. It’s so delightful to have a ‘go-to’ place where the owners remember you the next time you come, be it the next day or the next year. Traveling to unfamiliar places is exciting – the anticipation of what’s to come, often not knowing what to expect. Dealing with all the frustrations of travel, things that can (and do) go wrong, is all part of the adventure and excitement. Journeys of discovery – not only of places, but often about myself. So many places to see – so little time.

Food and wine are my greatest pleasures. I think about food all the time, mainly what I would like to eat/cook. My greatest joy is coming home at the end of the day, pouring a glass of wine and starting to cook. When I go away on holidays and have to eat out three times a day, I get a bit stir crazy. For me, thinking about food, shopping for food and preparing food is as important as eating food. And without the former, life is just not the same.

My artwork evolves out of all these experiences – visual, emotional and ever-evolving. I work in so many mediums I feel like a master of none. I began my art journey at an art & design college where I majored in sculpture (casting) and printmaking (etching). From there I discovered my love of art history and went on to complete a number of degrees in visual art. It was a while before I took up making art again and when I did it was making small clay sculptures that I then cast in concrete and marble (and later bronze). Only much later did I begin painting. It was a case of necessity: impossible to find a ground floor studio to cast sculptures and making time for a baby that required vigilant care. Painting in my garage meant I could easily paint in between feeding, washing, cooking and all those other things that mothers need to do. I was fortunate enough to know and work with some truly remarkable artists whose work and conversations inspired me to be more creative and explore. I continue to explore – both in terms of my form and style and the mediums that I use.