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Longing for the Pacific

02 Jul 2019

Longing for the Pacific Image

By Rhonda Dredge

It’s lunchtime down in the financial sector and young bankers are taking advantage of the rare sunny sky to promenade by the water.

The tap, tap, tap of their soles reverberates on the wooden planks by Victoria Harbour.

The sounds of the city are far away.

Caps are in, as are happy socks, purple and ultramarine, cerulean and gold for the more confident.

Natasha Bjornsson-Merrick is sheltering behind one of the ubiquitous metal structures that make up this corporate world.

She doesn’t really belong. “I would rather be in a forest but there’s not much happening in Byron Bay,” she said.

The compensation for moving down south is that she works on digital products for local tech company Spiff Create as a graphic designer and has also found space for her own little artistic creations.

“I like being by the water, birds and grass,” Natasha said of her new location. “I go anywhere there is any nature. It’s better than sitting in a building all day.”

On Natasha’s screen is a sea creature that she has conjured up from her home town using Procreate for a private job in a hip bar in the CBD.

There is not much you can say about a rainbow octopus, except that it’s a fitting symbol for Bar Ampere which claims to honour “those who dream unshackled by the binds of their time” on its website.

“The art scene in Melbourne is fantastic,” Natasha said. “The bar wanted local artists for a mural and I applied. I went and had a drink and I thought of a hippy octopus. I should have it done by this weekend.”

Even though she is forced to squeeze the 2-D work into her lunch break, the gestalt is similar in the 3-D modelling and augmented reality that dominates her working time.

Strange creatures feature heavily in the character-mad market that thrives on augmented reality products such as Pokemon Go.

“Today we’re doing an illustration of a teddy bear with a real person’s face,” she said.

An artist works through her characters and there’s no denying that a colourful octopus prefers the warmer waters of the Pacific.

“I’m waiting for the sun to come out from behind clouds. It was two degrees this morning when I got up.”

 

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