Art on purpose
For artist and photographer Zahrina Robertson, her art is about creating meaning and furthering a cause.
TrueBlue Magazine - Oct/Nov 2019
Words: Sarah Hinder
For long-time photographer and international branding expert Zahrina Robertson, her move into the art world has been all about creating meaning in her life and the lives of others. When she started painting for the first time in September 2018, it began as an outlet for balance, which then turned into a catalyst for Zahrina finding her purpose.
“I had a canvas randomly sitting at the back of my office in its wrapping for two years,” Zahrina explains. “It was just sitting there looking at me for so long. Then one day, the next thing you know, I just started painting on it.
“Everything just evolved from this moment of truth and purpose. From saying: ‘I need to find balance. I need to find something that’s a passion of mine.’ And when I discovered art, it gave me that inner balance.”
Fast forward to now, and it’s been a massive journey. Zahrina launched her art website (ZahrinaGallery.com) on Christmas Eve, and just two weeks later, on New Year’s Eve, she was contacted by a New York art gallery, requesting to feature her art overseas.
“It took me three weeks to decide,” Zahrina reveals. “I had to ask myself: ‘Why am I doing what I’m doing? What’s driving me?’ And the whole thing that I discovered about this whole exercise is that what I create is ‘art on purpose’.”
Today #artonpurpose is Zahrina’s mantra, aligning with her values. It’s what drives her to create large energetic ocean paintings as a way to share her global vision of keeping our oceans clean from the colossal floating islands of garbage.
Tapping into her purpose and sharing it through limited edition paintings has given a voice to herself and to others. It’s been the catalyst for her future and is what led Zahrina to where she is now.
“Art on purpose is about discovering colour and movement in the creative process of art that continually brings me back to my purpose. With photography, I was branding people for their purpose – which I love. With painting, it’s about creating my purpose, while also creating purpose and meaning for others.”
Having grown up and lived by the ocean for much of her life, one initiative that is truly important to Zahrina is the environment. “It’s really important to me that we look after our oceans,” she says. “I grew up by the ocean in Sydney and on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, so sharing why we need to look after our environment is vital. The ocean is a life force and very close to my heart.”
As a result, much of Zahrina’s artwork depicts beautiful oceanic tones, and she explains that something she would like to explore in the future is statement art – as a way to reflect upon the beauty of the ocean and natural environment juxtaposed by the pollution that we as a society are desecrating it with.
A multi-award-winning photographer and international speaker on personal branding and photography, Zahrina has written ten books on branding and is an in-demand speaker regularly presenting on branding at corporate events. A big inspiration of hers is Tony Robbins, who she describes as someone who has truly changed her life through his mission to help others reach their purpose and personal success.
Zahrina can be described as an ‘Artist to the Stars’, and is currently working on several commissioned artworks for Hollywood personalities.
At Robbins’ ‘Unleash the Power Within’ event series in Sydney this September, Zahrina presented an incredible large-scale ocean painting artwork to Tony on stage in front of a 6000-strong crowd. Named Destiny’s Date, the back of the special artwork is signed by dozens of people who love Tony Robbins and have been inspired by his motivational mission. The phenomenal artwork was on display at the official opening of Zahrina’s Australian debut at a Sydney-based art gallery in September.
For Zahrina, her true calling always comes back to ‘art on purpose’.
“It’s deeply true to my heart,” she says, and is something that she would love to explore speaking about on stage in the future. “There’s a future for my purpose,” Zahrina tells me. “The future I see is me on stage doing a TED Talk on ‘art on purpose’.
Meanwhile, Zahrina is also currently developing her own brand line of art merchandise, collaborating with like-minded businesses to release her stunning limited edition art designs of her artworks on merchandise and products.
With great new things in the works, the online Zahrina Gallery is an exciting and ever-evolving space to watch.
Visit ZahrinaGallery.com to puchase your own ‘art on purpose’.
Unexpected experiences and places to explore around this beautiful city will have reconsidering what you think you know about Sydney.
A big-sky story: Longreach
Find out why it’s so satisfying to stay awhile and listen to the stories that the ‘heart of the outback’ is telling.
Road Tripping in Tassie
More of Tasmania is waiting for you. Discover the wild frontiers and food beyond the cities.