This article was originally published on Christies International Real Estates blog Luxury Defined.


Many artists suffer for their art, but for Kate Banazi, the hardship can be physical. “Screen-printing is hard work, especially in the summer when the heat in the studio can be intense.” But the Sydney-based Londoner says she loves “the physicality of screen-printing. It’s process-driven; there’s a rhythm. And yet I’m always learning something new, making marks on different materials—every print is different.” 



Banazi, a silkscreen artist, illustrator, and sometime textile designer, grew up surrounded by creativity; her parents are graphic artists and a grandfather was a photographer. So for her, art was a legitimate career path. “I was greedy for creative experiences, whether in music, dance, art, or film,” she says. Banner image and photograph: Jacqui Turk


Growing up in London, Banazi—a silkscreen artist, illustrator, and sometime textile designer—was inspired by her parents, who were both graphic artists and typographers and who encouraged her love of art in all its forms. “My sister and I grew up surrounded by image and object makers. My great-grandfather was the sign writer at London Zoo and my Indian grandfather was a professional photographer, so the creative compulsion goes back through generations,” she says.


Banazi’s career started after she took a fashion course at Central Saint Martins in London, followed by work for tailor John Pearse, but as a single mother, Banazi found the reality of working in fashion challenging. “I was lucky that my friend, Kate Gibb, needed a hand in her silkscreen studio practice. She set me on this path.”


I’m always learning something new, making marks on different materials—every print is different.


Banazi worked in London for several years but fell in love with Australia after visiting with her son, and now works out of a studio in Sydney. “The studio has a decade’s worth of equipment accumulated—silkscreens and a print table, inks and artworks. Half-resolved projects and ridiculous experiments are stuffed into corners,” she says.


With her art evolving from reproductions of digital prints to viewing silkscreens more as paintings, today she often incorporates repurposed or recycled plastics in bold, graphic, multilayered prints that have been shown in Sydney, Milan, and London.


The Sydney studio in which artist Kate Banazi creates her intricate screen-print works is a riot of colour. Photograph: Jacqui Turk


“My work is steering away from the concept of silkscreen printing as a perfect reproduction which is obtained with a digital print. I’m really embracing the idea of silkscreen being a painterly medium, with discrepancies, flaws, and textures to be embraced.”


In addition to screen-printing, Banazi enjoys experimenting with other mediums and has recently enjoyed working with sculpture, 3D installations, and maquettes. 


She has also collaborated with ethical fashion brand The Social Outfit, designer Dion Lee on a resort line, and Qantas, creating textiles for its in-flight amenity kits. “It’s interesting being in the creative industries at this time when our work can be used across different media and substrates for different effects. We all have to make a living, so I’d rather be doing commercial artwork to sustain my practice than a job that has no relevance to what makes me happy.”


Kate Banazi has teamed up with ethical fashion brand The Social Outfit, as well as producing her solo work. Photograph: The Social Outfit/Kate Banazi


As for design that inspires her outside her craft, Banazi is drawn to buildings that are intimate and connected in some way to the landscape and mentions Cabbage Tree House in northern Sydney, Carmody Groarke’s Two Pavilions in the United Kingdom, and the Ribbon Chapel in Japan by Hiroshi Nakamura.

Written By Steven Short, Editor of Christies International Real Estate magazine

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