I see RED

When I look around our home I see red, everywhere. It is a favourite colour when it comes to decorating. Red Vintage cases, throws, cushions, table runners, flowers, French enamelware….this list is endless. I love red lipstick and jackets and shoes.

So it was no surprise that when we saw these red shoes at the very talented Honor Bradbeer’s exhibition a few years ago, I was taken. I really like the way she uses ink to create and disguise; to bring objects to life and make others hide, masked by the depth of colour.

We are having our home painted right now and it is a process of rebirthing a Victorian dame that has been lost underneath years of grime and bad decoration. We have chosen Aalto Endless for the exterior and the door will be Dulux Red Box. You see as I welcome you to my home I want you to see Red too….

Do you fake it?

I have been having this debate with myself for sometime now. To buy real or replica? A recent article in Est magazine set me off on this discussion topic again. Earlier this year we moved bedrooms – yes my man and I took over the old guest room and sitting room and left the master bedroom and all 5 children upstairs. Maybe it was an act of faith that we might carve out time and space for ourselves. But every night we hear the pitter patter of small people coming to visit overnight. Anyway, this move prompted plush new carpet, a paint-over and the purchase of a replica Anna Castelli Componbili 3 Shelve unit. Initially, I had thought they would be great bedside tables – think stacks of books, clock, water, lamp and other kids paraphernalia. But alas it has been used in the bathroom as a hold all. Perfect.

But is it okay to buy replica? Are we doing the original designer a disservice? I was reminded of Megan Morton’s piece in her book Home Love – which I enjoyed reading cover to cover by the way. She argues against the replica. This article in Est does outline the obvious differences, which do seem obvious once you know what the real deal is like. Maybe we can never get away with the replica, fake version….ever. On a bigger budget I would buy real, but today I will settle for replica knowing that the world can tell I am faking it.

Est Est Est….

I know you have probably been reading this already. But today I discovered a gorgeous newish online magazine that is full of inspiration for house and home, body and soul. Est magazine which I found on a great little blog I follow- Bodie and Fou.  According to  Est this is what they are about:

Est offers its time poor & inspiration starved readers a new age glossy digital magazine.

Est is all about inspiration, giving readers a contemporary interactive resource and providing a platform to showcase the very best in the world of design.

Est is relaxed and stylish, is not self conscious and does not take itself too seriously.

Est loves the sun but appreciates the seasons.

Est loves looking to the past but also likes shiny and new – this is what gives Est an Australian twist.

I love the fact that it has an Australian twist. It features one of my favourite Australian chefs and food writers and some stunning chairs. Have I told you I love chairs? So much more to write about over the next few days. Don’t let me forget.

Big Love

So this is a confession of some recent trashy television viewing. Big Love-The final season. There are many things that appeal in this crazy HBO drama. It is not all fabulous acting or narrative, but a strange insight into polygamy and Mormon life. There are glimpses of Christian speak and doctrine interwoven with nasty rows between sister wives, jealousies and bitterness; dozens of children to take care of and food to be prepared. Much of the early series made marriage seem real. All the same issues were there, whether you are sharing your man or not. But the question is what does a ‘real marriage’ look like?
In a day where we see the media dominated by same sex marriage debates it is not surprising that HBO has allowed Big Love to drive a ‘political’agenda to have polygamy embedded in the average American psyche – maybe to one day make it real and seem normal. Marriage is such a gift, the relationship timeless and sacred. Tim and Kathy Keller’s book, The Meaning of Marriage is reviewed here. It looks like it might help us think about marriage and the love between husband and wife in a helpful way.
But there is really only one Big Love. HBO’s version is not it.

Be Free…Be Friends

Do you know real freedom today? To be the person you were called to be, using the gifts and talents that you have been given? To be you today and not the girl from yesterday, or the guy from last decade? To have the old ways erased and the fumbling mistakes forgotten?When we have a real encounter with our Creator there is the promise of freedom, of making everything new, the knowledge of grace, mercy, love and hope.
2 Corinthians 5:17 The Message ….. says:
Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you.

Art: Melbourne CBD Laneways

Red Scissors Project

Red Scissors – My work is influenced by the quality and design of the material I am using – how it feels and how it layers with other pieces. I use a range of new and vintage fabrics, including, cotton, wool, linen, cashmere, silk and synthetics. I like to retain the shape of an original garment when up cycling it into a quilt or wrap and at times the raw, selvedges will be seen. No two pieces are the same. In the Red Scissors project, I have drawn on the Indigenous and Asian influence in the patterns and prints of Jasmine Mansbridge’s work. Here you see several images of the work in the exhibition and the quilt in the early stages of coming together.

Interview with Jasmine Mansbridge Part 2

Yesterday I introduced you to Jasmine Mansbridge and her artwork. One of the things that I am really interested in is how busy, creative people find time to balance life. I am super impressed by her discipline to paint and the way the process of creating offers Jasmine peace and ‘quiet space’ to reflect. It is probably that quiet space you and I crave. Enjoy!
How do you find time to balance family life and the creative process?

Balance is something I have to work on daily to achieve. I exercise as often as I can, usually early in the morning; it clears my mind and gets me ready for the day. Without it I get grumbly and my head gets jumbly! I also try and paint every day, in the middle of the day when my little ones are napping. It is a matter of just stepping away from the house work etc… which will never ever be completely done anyway! Even just two hours a day equals 14 hours a week. My paintings are intricate and take a lot of time so I have to just be consistent and patient to see them completed. I also don’t over commit as that makes me a stress head, which isn’t fair on my family. 

At the end of a day I cook and we eat together as a family 90 percent of the time. This helps me unwind. I have a great husband who helps with the menial stuff and easily does his 50% at home. When the day is done I pretty much always pray and kind of review what has gone on in my day and thank God for my amazing, blessed life.

What project are you working on right now?

I am having a solo show opening this Friday 21st October. I have started two new pieces to help me transition when that’s done. I have lots of ideas, short term/long term, and then BIG dreams! I have loved working collaboratively with other textile artists using my fabric, for the Red Scissors Project. I would like to play around with this idea further, re upholstering retro chairs would be a good start. I would like to exhibit in Melbourne in the next 18 months, and also at 24hr Art in Darwin in the future. Big dreams are a show in Berlin & Tokyo and to travel and photograph houses/homes all round the world.. and that’s probably enough for this interview.

Interview with Jasmine Mansbridge Part 1

I have been fortunate to have formed a creative partnership with this gorgeous friend of mine, Jasmine Mansbridge. With only three more sleeps until the opening of her new exhibition  at Hope & Co I thought it would be good to share this interview we did.
I am always keen to understand the ideas and inspiration that drive creative people. But as a woman who juggles a busy family life, friends and faith there are other questions too that provide an interesting picture of the artist herself. Enjoy reading part 1.

When did you know you wanted to be an artist?

My childhood visualizations of myself always included me being some kind of artist. My grandmother was a successful portrait artist so I guess she had some kind of influence here. However, I wanted to be an architect for a long time and was forever designing little spaces and houses. I have always been working at some creative project, even as a kid. The way my life has unfolded though, starting my family when I was young, has been conducive to me being a visual artist as it is a very self contained activity. I decided I would paint when I was around 17 years of age.

What things inspire you?

I am inspired by my thought processes, I get “stuck” on a topic and painting is a way of exploring it further, of trying to make sense of life. I am inspired by architecture, particularly houses and the idea of home and how it quantifies life. I get stuck on words and phrases and the way we interpret language and how language defines out experience of life. I am probably a bit vacant sometimes with so many things, images, ideas banging round in my head.

Who has  influenced the direction of your artwork?

When I was in grade one I was a runner up in a Chinese worldwide children’s art prize for a painting I did of a Giraffe. I can still remember it clearly, as I loved the mosaic patterning I used to give the giraffe its form. So strong lines, colour, patterning and clean design have always appealed to me. Compared to my grandmother, I felt inferior trying to paint realistic subject matter and so very early on I used my own interpretation of ideas in my paintings. From age fourteen I lived in Katherine in the Northern Territory. When I was in my late teens I ended up working with an art gallery there and was quite involved with several Indigenous artists. I even did a few collaborative pieces. The relaxed way that the Aboriginal Artists paint and their approach to art making, as being not separate, but part of  a lifestyle certainly influenced me. My earlier styles were definitely expressing much of what was around me at that time. Moving around the country has certainly continued to influence my work as I have been exposed to different surroundings and ways of life.