Meet The EFWA 2017 Team! – Naomi Gittoes

by Marilyn R. Wilson

Please share a little bit about who you are and what you do in your regular life?

I was born in Australia in 1987. I grew up by the sea in a special little town called Bundeena just south of Sydney, surrounded by National Parks and beaches with astonishing natural beauty.

naomigittoes6-2-300x200.jpg

I am an artist working across mediums, best known for my paintings, mural art on walls around the world and my underwater performances captured on film. For many years I have worked from mobile studios, artist residencies, festivals, dive sites and artistic communities. My strong love for the ocean and its life has been the inspiration for my travels, I have dived the world’s oceans and freshwater cave systems both as a scuba and free diver.

Within my Art are the stories from what I see: my experiences of nature, humanity, universal unity, and my explorations of the physical, spiritual and metaphysical realms. I’ve always felt deeply as an empath to the earth.

naomigittoes3-300x220.jpg

I'm a product of nature and of the nurture I received as a child. My father is a prolific artist. His work as a war journalist and activist inspires his art and documentary films. My mother - an art historian, journalist, film-producer and writer - understands better than anyone the sensitive role of an artist.  She has nurtured many artists to reach their full potential, raising me as an artist and allowing me to feel inspired, think big and embrace my creative drive from an early age.

My first exhibited painting hung in a local show when I was only 10 years old, an oil painting inspired by Van Gogh sunflowers. I painted a vase of sunflowers with faces sticking out. It was bizarrely beautiful and sold to an art collector who still buys my work today.

naomigittoes10.jpg

In my art I aim to open a whole kaleidoscope of perceptions for those who wish to engage. visually and imaginatively. I aim to pull the viewer into a new adventure, opening up the universe energetically, challenging to think beyond, to think within, to think in unison….

I’m not limited by any specific art making ritual. I explore multi mediums: drawing, painting, performance, photography, film, sculpture, wearable art. I love creating… into eternity I will create!

naomigittoes4-300x200.jpg

Now with my young family I am based in beautiful Byron Bay, settled in Australia again, and focusing on building a sustainable future for my family, fully embodying and practicing the ever expanding practices of a conscious and sustainable way of being both in my day to day life and in my work. The future will hold more inspirational art and designs, with an emphasis on global sustainability: an important message I wish to carry through my life and work.

At what point did you begin to learn about the issue of sustainability in every area of daily life? 

naomigittoes7-300x169.jpg

Growing up in the Royal National Park surrounding Bundeena NSW I could see from our balcony a polarity between horizons: in one direction the lights and smog of Sydney’s CBD, the other more appealing direction, the vast bushland and the vanishing blue of the Pacific Ocean. This was a visual daily reminder of the capacity humanity to disturb natures’ balance. This visual has repeated itself over and over throughout my life, on different continents and contexts. The message has always been clear to see; the responsibility of the message has always been clear to me.

Have you embraced any changes that help you personally leave a smaller ecological footprint?

I am constantly embracing changes! With the development of global awareness toward sustainability there is a vast array of information easily accessible, and easy ways to better our relationship with mother earth. I’m very excited by this!

naomigittoes11-224x300.jpg

In my daily existence I try to humble and question my material desires. I favour consuming only from local farmers ( a vegan sustainable diet). I love to shop in second hand, vintage and recycle stores, buy pre loved items for my home, and I get more satisfaction making many things myself instead of just going out and buying. My ecological footprint is still far greater than it can be, so each day I remind myself of these challenges. My projects and research into eco fashion is an exciting way forward. I am feeling a great sense of community around the world with fellow creatives and friends who have committed to a similar path. We share a responsibility for our beautiful natural world.

How did you meet Zuhal and what led you to become involved with EFWA 2017?

I am interested in new innervations and constantly researching. I came across vivify textiles, one of the partners of EFWA, and in conversation with Edwina the founder of Vivify, I became aware of EFWA. With further research I decided it is a event I wish to be involved in.

naomi-gittoes--300x200.jpg

What was it about EFWA's mission that drew you to offer your talents in support of this international event?

“Birds of a feather flock together!”  Since the beginning, I have supported important conservation movements and activist groups who are working for a more sustainable world, particularly highlighting the stresses of the world's water sources and their life. The ocean is where I feel I have a special insight having spent thousands of hours under the water diving all over the world seeing what there is to see and noting the deterioration of many of our incredible undersea scapes and the devastation to the life who inhabit it, seeing this first hand has made me rise as a ocean conservation advocate.like all involved, I have an attraction to the mission of a sustainable world.

naomigittoes9-300x200.jpg

I know I will join many artists and designers similar hearts and minds, and am very pleased Australia aspires to lead in eco-fashion.

As a part of the EFWA 2017 team, what role or roles will you be filling?

EFWA  Art Coordinator managing Photography competition for High School kids.

Any last words or a favourite quote on sustainability?

“LEAVE ONLY BUBBLES!”

Links 

Website - www.naomigittoes.com<

Facebook - www.facebook.com/gittoes.naomi/

Instgram - @naomigittoes

Twitter - @naomigittoes