Monday, 28 February 2011

artist guy peppin








I've come across quite a few graphic designers who have gone on to other career paths - as photographers and product designers, mainly. But Guy Peppin has gone a different direction. Back to his roots, in a way. After seeing the work of Cy Twombly and others in Italy, he returned to university. The National Art School in Sydney invited Guy to do an honours year in drawing, and his skill in this area is obvious - just look at these works on his website. But he became interested in abstraction. Since then he has twice been a finalist in the
RBS Emerging Artist Award. Most recently received the Storrier Onslow Cite Internationale des Arts Paris Studio Residency.

Which five words best describe you?
Tallness, vulnerability, uncertainty, passion and creativity. The tallness is probably the first thing that people would notice about me. I think that to be open and vulnerable and to live life uncertainly are strengths. Passion and creativity gives me my energy.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I started off as a graphic designer, but after a few years I admitted to myself that it wasn't what I really wanted and went back to art school.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? To be more intuitive, take risks, and not try to control everything!
What’s your proudest career achievement? Receiving the Storrier Onslow Cite Internationale des Arts Paris Studio Residency. Last year I lived in Europe for four months saw a great deal of art and had some amazing experiences. What I found refreshing was that people in Europe are not threatened by creativity, they respect it deeply.
What’s been your best decision? To go back to art school; I think it really broadened my creativity, admitting what you really want to do with your life is quite terrifying, but also life changing. After my honours year I was picked up by Liverpool Street Gallery. And I’ve just had my second solo show; Voyager, with them.
Who inspires you? I draw inspiration from just about everything, but artists like Lucian Freud who defied fashion and were ignored for most of their careers and had the guts to be only themselves and are now international names are an inspiration.
What are you passionate about? Politeness, authenticity and connection, the kind of things that eroded so easily in our busy modern lives.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Cy Twombly, seeing his work showed me that art could be different and have it's own language. But I'm not sure we should ever meet our heroes.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? I would like to do some lecturing, and I want to travel and see more of the world. I think you should have two dreams, one for other people and one for yourself.
What are you reading? I worked for secondhand book dealers for years, so I always have a huge stack of unread books. I like to have a couple of novels, poetry, art history and biographies. At the moment I'm dipping into: Jon McGregor's So Many Ways to Begin, Michael Cunningham's Specimen Days, Anne Carson's Autobiography of Red, Rainer Maria Rilke's Duino Elegies, Daniel Farson's The Gilded Gutter Life of Francis Bacon, Anthony Blunt's Artistic Theory in Italy 1450-1660, The Letters of Nancy Mitford and Evelyn Waugh edited by Charlotte Mosley, Lesley Blanch's autobiography Journey into the Mind's Eye.

images courtesy of guy peppin and liverpool st gallery

Friday, 25 February 2011

artist, stylist, photographer lisa madigan






I've been in contact with Lisa Madigan for a little while. And as she has an exhibition that's about to open (tomorrow, in fact) at Loft Gallery in Bowral I thought it would be a great opportunity to showcase her artworks. But Lisa is one of those people who are impossible to talk about in terms of just one of their achievements. For she's a creative spirit through everything she does - which is a lot. Lisa not only is an artist (in perhaps the broadest as well as narrowest sense of the word), but she's a stylist, photographer (the images on her site and blog are her own) and shop owner too. I thought it was perhaps more fitting to showcase the breadth of her work in the images above - her beautiful home, her art (showcased in her home), her studio, art and the woman, herself.

Which five words best describe you? Soft centred sensory (multifaceted) creative heart.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I always knew I had to paint, I held my first solo exhibition before I was 20 and really haven't looked back. It's at the heart of who I am and essentially in everything that I do.
There's been a lot of other experiences in the mix, from working quite seriously in design and styling (to this day) as well as now curating my online store, amongst wonderful stints in fine dining to photography.
I've loved weaving my way through a host of creative endeavours, layering up where I've come from and lapping up the getting of intricate or at times quite brash wisdom.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Trust your self. Be brave. Be true to who you are.
What’s your proudest career achievement? Holding an abundant and sucessful 11 solo exhibitions, from concept, to creation, to celebration.
Being recognized by the AGNSW last year for my work and being hung in Brett Whiteley's studio would absolutely have to be a recent highlight.
I also like to treasure those quiet smile moments that happen when someone comments eloquently on what I do, when it connects it's a charm, they're the little moments that give you affirmation too and a very humbling sense of pride.
What’s been your best decision? To put a great amount of heart in all that I do, although it can be complicated at times I wouldn't have it any other way.
To go about quietly finding the inherent beauty of things and constantly absorbing inspiration.
To always bring a great sense of awareness and generosity to the table with my colleagues, clients, friends and family.
Not so much a decision, rather the knowing that I had to paint and continuing to follow that instinct with all that I am.
It's also the little decisions I find that allow things to flow on in the right direction, making those with integrity and presence of mind really allows the bigger picture to take shape.
To marry my husband of course, he's my anchor.
Who inspires you? People who do what they do with integrity, heart and conviction.
Be it someone like Peter Gilmore (who I'm painting for this year's Archibald Prize) who is exceptionally passionate and skilled at what he does, his food is art on a plate but it's also much more as it truly comes from the ground up.
My husband and our eclectic array of beautiful friends and family.
People with awareness and insight and interesting tales of adventure.
People with humble wisdom and creative genius on large or small scales, in a vast array of fields, past or present.
What are you passionate about? Making the world a more beautiful place one painting at a time.
My work and exploring it fully.
Travel. Champagne. Moving beyond boundaries. Change.
Luxurious time with friends and family.
My husband, our home and inviting people into it.
I love cooking and entertaining and I'm most definitely passionate about being generous and abundant with the people I love.
Being honest. Loyalty. Love.
Living authentically.
Living sustainably.
Living beautifully.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Maybe myself in 40 years' time for a knowing smile and some words of wisdom.
Joseph Turner, just to catch a glimpse of the man at work would be enough for me.
However I'll settle for having met my man, think that takes the cake anyway.
I'll leave the rest to chance. The right people always tend to appear at the right times.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? Definitely to live overseas for an amount of time, at least a couple of months in Italy and a lot more indulgent travel.
So much with my art, in the immediate future, to savour the moments of my new collection Aphrodisia at Loft Gallery, to exhibit overseas very soon, winning a major prize is definitely in my sights too.
I'm a dreamer, so the list is never ending!
What are you reading? I love my fix of magazines and online content, SOHI, New York Times, HUH.
I always have a few books on the boil too, I wish I had more time to dive into them.
Flower Hunters by Mary & John Gribbin.
Tender is the Night by F.Scott Fitzgerald.
Paper by Bahiyyih Nakhjavani.
The Widow Clicquot by Tilar J Mazzeo.
To name but a few!

images courtesy of lisa madigan

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

stylist claire delmar







Some of the features I've enjoyed the most in Inside Out in recent times have been the work of Claire Delmar. This applies to the top two images. As part of the first shoot she spray-painted a plastic Bunnings table white and made it actually look covetable. Claire also styled the lifestyle shots for recently launched Sydney homewares business The Lowercase. If that's not enough, her beautiful home on Sydney's North Shore features in the latest issue of Inside Out.

Which five words best describe you? Oh this is always hard! Big eater/food lover, yoga enthusiast, organised, focused, energetic.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I started in the fashion industry doing work experience at marie claire magazine whilst I was completing a Bachelor of Media. After completing my degree I worked in Public Relations and then became a Fashion Editor. After a few years I realised that my passion was interiors. I got offered some freelance work styling interiors for a local publishing house and haven't turned back. I now also do food styling.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Don't ever give up (especially when sourcing) there is always a way or a solution.
What’s your proudest career achievement? I'm hoping it's just around the corner! But saying that enjoying what I do everyday I feel is the best achievement one can wish for.
What’s been your best decision? To take every opportunity that comes to me, travel as much as possible and to start a family.
Who inspires you? I get inspiration more from my surroundings than specific people. However, I love the work of James Merrell, Van der Meersch & Weston, Abi Boura and Faye Toogood.
What are you passionate about? The importance of yoga and the positive effects it has not only on your body but on your mind. Especially as I work in a creative field I need that time to switch off. I really feel it helps the way I look at the rest of my life.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Can I say 2 - Charles or Ray Eames and Heston Blumenthal.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? I would like to style a book, open a cafe, a yoga school, style a hotel... the list goes on and on.
What are you reading? I'm flipping between Unless by Carol Shields and The Architecture of Happiness by Alain De Botton.

images courtesy of claire del mar

Monday, 21 February 2011

artist lucas grogan






Lucas Grogan is an Australian (white male) artist who has used traditional Aboriginal techniques in his latest works, which are currently exhibiting at Iain Dawson Gallery in Sydney. Interestingly, they also incorporate Islamic motifs too. If you want to know more about what influenced Lucas with these works, watch this brief but informative video. Also, since 2004 Lucas has kept a "process journal" which you can check out - it contains more examples of his work and some great body painting - but please note, it also contains explicit sexual images (which you may not want to view on a public/work computer).

Which five words best describe you? Patient, inquisitive, direct, irreverent, scurrilous.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? First week of university I walked into the student gallery at the University of Newcastle and begged to be a volunteer. They said, "Okay." - turns out not that many people like volunteering. Second week of university I applied to be a gallery guide at Newcastle Region Art Gallery. I got it. Turns out boys, or young people in general don't apply for that either. By the end of the year I was a casual attendant at Newcastle Region Art Gallery plus working part-time at Shapiro Auctioneers and at Annandale Galleries Sydney. Catching the train up and down between Newcastle and Sydney meant I skipped a lot of uni and began to fail most classes. Though it worked out alright in the end. I moved to Melbourne at the end of 2009 and got a full time job at a commercial gallery. And that's where I'm up to.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Never let anyone tell you NO who doesn't have the power to also tell you yes AND Never Complain, Never Explain.
What’s your proudest career achievement? I recently made a quilt for a curated show by Belinda Howden at the Lock-Up in Newcastle; TRUE BLUE BABE. I think I work pretty hard at my studio practice as is, however, this needlepoint quilt almost killed me. I worked on it for three solid months. I was a little shocked when I finally saw it up - as I'd been so close to it for the whole process and was working on it right up until the courier arrived. But apart from that, being in Lisa Corsi's curated exhibition safARI in 2008, doing the record cover for Melbourne group Hammocks anad Honey, commission for Deutsche Bank and especially my recent body of work showing at Iain Dawson Gallery - Black + Blue.
What’s been your best decision? Do what I want. Follow my gut instincts - seems like everyone has an opinion on what I should and shouldn't be doing - and for a brief period I tried to follow some perhaps sound advice; but I soon resented the work that was made as a result of this.
Who inspires you? Lots of people inspire me - Juan Davila, David Shrigley, Luke Thurgate, Liam Benson, Lofty Bardayal Nadjamerrek, John Mawurndjul, Joan Baez, Francesco Clemente, Terence Koh, Felix Gonzalez-Torres. I like artists who have an agenda though are able to communicate it in a less an obvious manner. Be it through scurrilous humour, obsessive drive or stripped back honesty.
What are you passionate about?
Art - cant get enough of it.
Maps - even if I know I'll never go to those places.
Quilts - especially the ones made by lots of different people for a common purpose.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Joan Baez: "I've never had a humble opinion. If you've got an opinion, why be humble about it?"- c'mon she'd be great with a bottle of wine.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? I don't really dream of big things like MOMA or the TATE; I think I'd like to get married, get fat and make art all day. That'd be awesome.
What are you reading? The Sheltering Sky - Paul Bowles

images courtesy of lucas grogan and iain dawson gallery

Friday, 18 February 2011

textile designer julie deault








While I simply ran out of time to be a regular contributing writer to online site Babyccino Kids, I still subscribe to their daily newsletter as they have such a great cross-section of kids wares, craft projects and family friendly recipes. Recently Courtney, who I had the pleasure to meet about a year when she visited Sydney, wrote about Hazel & Hunter here. It's the work of Julie Deault, a textile designer based in Montreal, who uses organic materials and upholsters furniture in her fabric designs. You can buy Julie's wares on Etsy and Big Cartel, and she has a blog where she documents her inspirations.

Which five words best describe you?
Creative, curious, spontaneous, daydreamer, kind of shy.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I don't really think in terms of a career - I've just always loved creating and making things and I just do what feels right.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Always trust your gut.
What’s your proudest career achievement? It's hard to pinpoint one specific thing - I'm happy each time I can put together designs for a collection and feel good about them.
What’s been your best decision? Following my gut.
Who inspires you? My husband and my daughter - and a bunch of other artists/designers that I admire.
What are you passionate about? Travelling, creating things, the handmade process and the imperfections and individuality that come from that.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? I can never answer this question... probably Iris Apfel, what an interesting lady.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? Too many to list, but mainly just to be happy.
What are you reading? Just started Textiles of the Wiener Werkstatte, mostly for the images though.

images courtesy of hazel & hunter and andre guerette

Thursday, 17 February 2011

photographer james merrell







James Merrell is a London-based photographer but his work is more than familiar to Australians, thanks to the extensive editorial work he's done for magazines including Vogue Living, Inside Out, Elle Decor, Martha Stewart and Domino. Lose yourself in his website or on the site of his agent Judith Miller.

Which five words best describe you? Another cup of coffee please (according to my daughter).
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I started working for the Sunday Times Magazine, then just kept on going - hopefully forwards.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Always wear a good pair of shoes, as a photographer you spend all day on your feet.
What’s your proudest career achievement? Having five magazine covers on the newsstand at one time.
What’s been your best decision? To become a photographer.
Who inspires you? Vermeer
What are you passionate about? My children.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Robert Frank - the greatest photographer ever.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? I still think I'm going to learn to play the guitar.
What are you reading? White Noise by Don DeLillo.

images courtesy of james merrell

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

artist paul haggith






Paul Haggith is a Central Coast-based artist who didn't complete his studies at Newcastle Art School but went on to be a finalist three times for one of Australia's most esteemed landscape prizes, the Wynne Prize. He also has quite a reputation for his murals. Just look at this one in a child's bedroom.

Which five words best describe you? Loyal I must be I’ve had the same mechanic for 20 years my partner and I have been together nearly 30 years but I did drop an accountant recently after a short time - loyalty misplaced is a recipe for trouble. Vague well so others say but I never notice cause I’m too vague. Entertaining I have my moments. Persistent you have to be to make a living out of being an artist. Bald but it’s not true that we all look alike despite how many times I get mistaken for other bald, tubby, 50 year olds.

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? My mum always knew which clothes were mine as mine always had the paint stains on them, and they still do. So I have always painted. Yet after going travelling during art school and never making it back to finish the last year of a four-year course, I finally got back into painting full time, walked into Eddie Glastra Gallery in Paddington showed him a painting he said he liked it and did I have any more? I said I had a car full and away we went.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? If you don’t know what to do let time take it’s course and it will become more obvious.


What’s your proudest career achievement? That I have had over 20 one man shows and being shortlisted for the 2007 Wynne Landscape prize and hung 2 out of the next 3 years.


What’s been your best decision? At 30 to stop working full time and painting part time and get back into painting fulltime.


Who inspires you? Dedicated artists, people who overcome great obstacles. My mum.


What are you passionate about? Painting, outdoors or in my studio and getting in the surf when it is on.


Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Solon the ancient Greek who created the first democracy, but there would be a problem in that I don’t know any ancient Greek


What dream do you still want to fulfil? No real dreams to fullfil other than to win a major prize instead of second, or shortlisted or people’s choice, but I am not holding my breath as they generally seem to give them to the dark moody works which is fine except I don’t do dark moody.


What are you reading? Bob Dylan Chronicles; Salt and Suits by Phill Jarrat; Jack Kerouac On the Road.


images courtesy of paul haggith

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

tuesday giveaway!





Today's giveaway is from Gallop Lifestyle - a Sydney-based online shop set up by sisters-in-law Anne-Maree Bowen and Janet Addess. Together they carefully edit the wares from some of the best Australian and international independent designers in homewares and fashion. In fact, they stock one of my favourite rugs of the moment.

Gallop Lifestyle is offering TWO lucky readers
2 x sets of Attia coffee cups with timber saucers and timber teaspoons.
(Prize # 1 will be in Charcoal, prize #2 in Ivory).
Each prize pack is worth $72.

For a chance to win, visit the Gallop Lifestyle website and leave a comment below. Oh, and while you're at it, it's worthwhile subscribing to their newsletter to learn about new products that they're adding on a regular basis as well as when some pieces go on sale.

A winner will be chosen at random after comments close at midnight on Monday 21 February. Don't forget to check back to see if your name was selected. (If the winner does not respond within two weeks of being notified, the prize will be redrawn.)

And the winners are...
#39 - Gemma (winner of the Charcoal Attia set from Gallop Lifestyle), and
#21 - Bryanna (winner of the Ivory Attia set from Gallop Lifestyle).
Congratulations! And don't forget to contact me natalie[at]nataliewalton.com within the next 2 weeks with your mailing address and daytime phone number so we can arrange delivery.

images courtesy of gallop lifestyle

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