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Tinny Biography

Tinny Biography
Tinny, by artist Danni Emery, happily combines three of her favourite obsessions; antique tins, miniature train figures and painstakingly small painting. She creates her own whimsical scenes, as well as taking commissions; recreating memories for special gifts such as anniversaries, birthdays, weddings, new houses and favourite ski runs.

Danni, a graduate of Central Saint Martins College of Art in London, spent 4 years living in Sydney, where her Tinny project was born, following a visit to the tin-heaven that is Camberwell Market in Melbourne. Since then she has exhibited her tiny creations in several group shows in Sydney, namely SHE at Create or Die, UPCYCLE at The Makery (where she won the People's Choice Prize), Sydney's Smallest Gallery (part of Art Month Sydney) at Nauti Studios, Ocean'ish at Le Petit Bateau, Sculptures by the PBC at Petersham Bowls Club (where she won the Acquisition Prize), The Other Art Fair in Sydney and The Christmas Show at M Contemporary. She has also contibuted to group shows in Newcastle and Natimuk and had Tinnys on permenant display for sale at The Makery and Winkel Gallery, Sydney.

From Sydney, Danni travelled to New Zealand and became utterly entranced with the dramatic landscape. Travelling with a portable studio, she set about capturing the places she visited in miniature form inside tins she picked up at markets and antique stores along the way. Some Christchurch Tinnys even found their way into a group show; Landscapes at Oxford Street Art at the Tin Palace in Lyttelton (Christchurch).

Her travels took her back through London and finally Tinny found a home, settling back not far from where she started, in Brighton, UK. Since then she has exhibited with Artists' Open Houses and PaxtonGlew.

Tinny interview

Tinny interview
We caught up with Tinny in the current UK lockdown.
Interview 18 May 2020

PG- How are you doing now?
T- Ooh okay thanks. It's been a bit of a strange time and my whole life and work has been thrown up into the air, alongside everyone else's. I'm finding it all fascinating at the same time as scary. Some days I'm loving life being a little simpler, and some days it just feels really sad and weird.

PG- Whats lockdown like for you?
T- So mixed; a complete rollercoaster. I live with 5 others so I haven't been alone all that much, and we have had lots of communal fun (including turning our bedrooms into different 'bars' to keep each other amused and entertained!) but it is such a strange process, accepting and surrendering to having your freedom taken from you. I normally work a lot of festivals, in the UK and abroad, over the summer running a walkabout performance troupe (The Insecurity Guards), helping to run performance venues (such as Granny's Pussy Cat Lounge at Shambala) and a clothing optional sauna (Lost Horizon), so it's very strange looking out to a wide open summer. I'm hoping that more creative introvert time (something I have owed myself for a long time now) will be the silver lining to all of this.

PG- Are you able to work/ where is your studio normally? What's your current set up.
T- I share a workspace with 3 others and we all decided that our Studio wasn't essential travel and took our art materials home. I must say, I've been struggling bigtime to turn my (albeit enormous) bedroom into a workspace and to not get paint on absolutely everything - it's a dangerous game! We are slowly returning to the Studio, with a newfound respect for a separate home and workspace.

PG- What projects are you working on now?
T- Well, I have some Tinny commissions to make, some online Insecurity Guards workshops to run, and some ideas for future performance pieces and puppets I want to put into action, but mostly I'm just working on not going crazy!

PG- Is lock down / coronavirus having an influence on your work?

T- I'm planning to launch a range of QuarenTinnys so that people can commemorate this strange time if they choose to.

PG- What are you listening to/ reading/ watching when you can?
T- I've been reading Marina Abramovitch's memoir which is soooo good. She is my idol in so many ways and her story and history of her artwork is fascinating.
I've also been rewatching all of my old favourite movies; mostly by Michel Gondry, Woody Allen, Yorgos Lanthimos, Wes Andersen and Richard Linklater
And attending storytelling events on Zoom by The Embers Collective.

PG- And anything else you'd like to add!
T- I feel very grateful to be in communities with so many artists who are helping to keep my lockdown creative and fun - there's always a challenge on the table, be it making stop frame animations or co-creating a story in full character dress.
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