My name is Tanya Vacarda, I am a decorative plaster artist and maker of Belarusian origin, living in Northern Ireland. Working around the intersection of craft and art, I use a trowel like a paintbrush to create original plaster-on-canvas murals, wall coverings and artworks that simultaneously enhance the tradition and defy it by giving the material a new form.
My craft and art are driven by the passion for authenticity, the need for a mindful approach to the creative process and respect for the craft. These are the qualities that, for me, define luxury and make it timeless. My style is not about chasing perfection. It evolved from observing nature and learning about how it turns random coincidences into something incredibly beautiful, creating harmonious patterns out of a series of imperfections. The loosening of control defines my intuitive approach to working with the material and gives my designs organic flow and tactility that our minds crave amid the logical precision of manufactured objects and perfect interiors.
Every project I work on is an opportunity to broaden my creative horizons. I am looking forward to seeing where my practice takes me, and I hope you choose to join me on this journey.
My technique has evolved from the craft of Italian plasterers and fresco artists. By blending pigments with Italian plaster and applying it in thin layers, I create tactile surface designs with unique colour patterns that are then enhanced with paint, delicate embroidery, silk and other textile embellishments. That is why each work requires skills, time and the right state of mind to become a timeless piece of art.
I learnt from the material, its possibilities and form by taking it out of its traditional use context and by experimenting with various techniques, trying to find a solution to the problem of material waste. My craft has been guided by this search and curiosity, and it defined my intuitive style and approach to working with Italian plaster.
THE SENSE OF HARMONY
The sense of harmony comes with achieving a balance between the world around us and the needs of our minds. Embracing imperfections and transience as the order of things teaches to live abundantly with the humble plenty, enjoying the authenticity above perfection. That is why tactility and the soothing, organic flow of texture is so important in my work. Each random scratch, smudge and wrinkle in plaster builds its personality and invites a touch. When we touch - we pause, making space for another breath, which brings us one step closer to mindfulness.
CRAFT + ART. MINDFUL
A sustainable and mindful approach to the craft is part of the authenticity approach. Vacarda’s plaster-on-canvas murals and finishes are not only unique and original, but they can also be removed and re-purposed, reducing material waste and giving plaster an extended life.
By treating a plaster sheet as fabric, cutting, stitching and weaving it, I give the material pliability and functional independence in a new form as exquisitely crafted and decorated murals, hangings and kilims, plaster woven tapestries, fresco artwork and even plaster lampshades.