Denim is the garments and the canvas is the wearer

Many locals would recognise Marcus Beach based, Natalie Ing-Surman from her support of the Peregian Beach Summer Festival by the Sea 2012 – creating a chalk sea serpent around the entire village. Others would recognise her as the doting mum of three boys dancing up the front at Peregian Originals. Or maybe as the professional doing your ultra sound in Noosa? There is about to be a whole new level of recognition going on… Natalie Ing began her artistic career in the summer of early 1992 when she began creating one-off hand painted jeans for Totally Twisted, the wildest shop in her not-so-radical hometown of Bundaberg.

“I was 15 and on school holidays and had just painted a pair of jeans for the first time with some left over fabric paint friends had given me. I walked into the store and Sue Shaw said ‘Wow! Where did you get your jeans?’ I told her I had just painted them that morning. She handed me 8 pairs of purple Levis she had dyed and paid me to pain them. It was the beginning of a great friendship and business apprenticeship and I feel so grateful to her for the confidence, opportunity and experience she gave happily and freely to me”, explained Natalie. Painting jeans soon broadened to painting t-shirts and singlets and at 21 led to her establishing her own printed t-shirt label Splat which, along with her hand painted clothing, supplied stores and festival stalls all over Queensland and from Darwin to Philip Island. All the while she was studying in Brisbane, completing a Science degree in Human Anatomy and Physiology and also a Graduate Diploma in Medical Sonography. While at university she was asked to be part of a womens exhibition in the Blue Mountains so she set about painting some canvases, quickly discovering she missed the feel and texture of painting on denim. This inspired her to create her own denim canvases and boards to showcase her art… and has grown to become the unique signature of Cymbeline Art today. Inspired by Picasso and with a deep love for primitive tribal art and a connection to the culture and colours of central America, Natalie largely paints by instinct. “I don’t stop to think about what I am doing – if I had to think then it wouldn’t work. I just trust and do. It always surprises me and surpasses my expectations. Every painting is a little leap of faith. It is such fun seeing what happens. My art is my perfect communication… it is like spirit-talk…..unfiltered by thought”. After attending the Sunshine Coast Fashion Festival 2014 Natalie, who uses her middle name Cymbeline as her creative identity, was moved to reconnect her art with fashion. “Making and painting clothes is returning to where I began so it feels very natural but it is so giantly exciting because now I have so much more experience and so many big ideas!” The offcuts of denim which she discards when making her artworks became a giant springboard of ideas for her debut range. “There is so much beauty, texture and history in each pair of old jeans. I just love coming up with new ways to show the beauty and character in each little piece”. Natalie sums up her new range, “Don’t expect perfect here. These are clothes for the wild. Full of survival and personal power. Raw. Hand stitched. Love infused. Tough but still soft. Scarred and beautiful”. “It is a big year for me and for a lot of people I know. So to me 2015 is the year of truth and bravery and this range fits it perfectly.” Natalie will be showcasing her new range at the Sunshine Coast Fashion Festival on October 17 at Palmer Coolum Resort. Her artwork on denim canvas will also be available for purchase at the event along with the collection straight off the catwalk.

Natalie Ing in 2015 wearing orig jeans 23yearslater the pair that began it all 2009denim surfheart 2012denimtotem1a 2015 1warriorgoddess freedomfighter

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