Entries from November 2016
Since last October I have been meaning to set aside some time to write a post on my ‘Still’ series exhibition that was shot with Felix Forest. With two small kids, shooting, designing, running a business, instagram (that is always last on the to do list) I find it hard to find a spare minute to blog so apologies for the delay in writing this post.
‘Still’ is a group of 15 limited edition photographic works and was produced in collaboration with photographer and friend Felix Forest.
I mentioned on the opening night hosted by Becker Minty at Puddleduck in Elizabeth Bay how special it was to have met Felix. He shares a similar passion and fascination for Flemish still life paintings and wanted to explore the medium and I was very grateful that he saw value in getting me involved. It’s a very special feeling when you collaborate on a project and when you first see the captured image and know you are on the same page, it’s like a flash of magic.
Felix and I were extremely honoured to have Karen McCartney Author and Curator open the exhibition and her kind words were really appreciated.
Karen said in her opening speech ” the poetry of two talented people coming together to create something quite magical. What these images are about is the best in creative collaboration. When two aesthetics and skill sets merge, when the singular vision has room for both points of view, for a mutual understanding that allows a concept to evolve, shape-shift and become its own distinct entity.”
For a little more information here is an exert from the ‘Still’ press release.
These ￼painterly photographs reference the classical structures and symbolism of the 17th century still lifes ￼painted by Flemish masters such as Vermeer. Insects appear throughout, a theme that suggests both nature’s bounty and impermanence of life. Light falls on objects as if through time. Within the deceptive simplicity of these compositions we see references to many allegorical themes of classical still lifes – the secret messages placed to challenge and delight the viewer who must interpret the Vanitas message of the snuffed candle, the fruits of paradise symbolised by the artichoke, and the earthy femininity of the wine goblet’s inverted triangle. And in each work, an insect appears reflecting diverse themes of hope and resurrection, or transience and decay.
Limited editions available in two print sizes. The works are box framed in oak, without glass to complete the painterly allusion. Please contact Becker Minty for more information.
Photographer – Felix Forest
Leather hide as tablecloth, NSW Leather
Beechwood bowl, HAY
Small glass cup with gold detailing, HAY
Steel grey velvet used as backdrop, Westbury Textiles
Medium dish in Ink, Batch Ceramics
Cement vase by Studio Twocan, Jardan
Large dish in Ink, Batch Ceramics
Paper porcelain small dish, HAY
Medium plate with brown detailing, China Clay
White napkin with navy detailing, Space Furniture
Small cup with indent, China Clay
Medium bowl with navy detailing, China Clay
Paper Porcelain cup and mug, Hay
Bottom white plate, Batch Ceramics
Top navy plate, China Clay
Large bowls and beaker in Ink , Batch Ceramics
Peasant Plate in Satin, Batch Ceramics
White bowl with blue detailing, China Clay
Medium indigo wash plate, China Clay
Remaining items, Stylists own
I don’t tend to gravitate to many things that shine. I’m not fond of sparkles and was never a real “girly girl” however sometimes I find myself gravitating towards luxe velvet as it can add something really special to an image when teamed back with a natural, strong material like leather.
These are the two materials I have focused on today and I love the way Amanda Prior, my photographer, worked with the light, creating shadows from the velvet and giving depth to the images. Lightness to darkness to create mood.
As the background and the leather surface form a blank slate, I sourced subtle pattern in ceramics to add interest. My new favourite ceramicist from Brunswick Heads, Lucy Vanstone, whom I discovered at China Clay in Clovelly, has worked so well within a limited palette and knows when to hold back, creating art pieces that are still very usable but also have a unique quality.
The tones of Joy’s work from Batch Ceramics, a local talent, that I respect greatly and the Studio Twocan vase from Jardan enhance all the colours I love. The depth of the olives, the intensity of the moody blues, the bronze cutlery and amber glassware all lead me to a place where I am secreted away and insulated from the cold.
This post can also be viewed on The Grace Tales
Photography – Amanda Prior
The more I explore Still Life and its composition the more I become fascinated with the elements that make a shot.
Shape, texture, form and the effects of adding images, nature and negative space that provides air for the objects to breath. Also playing with the foreground, middle-ground and background in each shot.
Learning to look and study and appreciate objects from all angles and positions. Always considering textures and how they complement or distract the eye or lead you to the magic of the image. Curves and angles grounding or off-setting, working with numbers and stacks or heights to create rhythm. There is so much to consider in every shot but so fascinating as I take myself on this journey of discovery and experimentation. Creating a seamless appreciation visually that goes unnoticed is the real skill. Also working with the addition of imagery that adds nostalgia takes you back to a past memory.
Photographer – Chris Chen
Ceiling light, Planet Furniture
White Linen Table Cloth, Cultiver
Napkin, Planet Furniture
Small cup resting on napkin, stylist own
White plates, dishes and bowls, Coad from Planet Furniture
Small panel detailed plates, HAY
Egg Goblet, The D E A Store
Assorted Eggs, Papaya
Small bowl with bubble detailing on bottom, Planet Furniture
Large deep plate, Coad from Planet Furniture
Cutipol Cutlery, Francalia
Tall vase, Planet Furniture
Small salt dish and spoon, The D E A Store
Assorted rabbits, Papaya
Ribbed bowl, Planet Furniture
Clay bowls with white drip detailing, Planet Furniture
Small, Medium and large grey geometric detailed tumblers, HAY
Letter ‘R’, Ici Et La
“Egg White” was created for The Grace Tales blog – a luxury shopping, lifestyle and directory destination for the stylish mum. The founder Georgie Abay and I have been discussing the possibility of collaborating for some time and it was great to finally find a date and lock in a story for this beautiful blog.
It was shot at one of my favourite shops, Planet , where I visit regularly, to source ceramics and homewares in Surry Hills. The owner Ross and I have been industry friends for many years and he has always been very supportive of my career. I decided to time my shoot with the Easter celebrations and there is a cyc at the front of his shop that I used as the background to style the story and his ‘egg shape’ splayed leg elliptical dining table and incredible Kris Coad ceramic leaf chandelier completed the picture I had envisioned.
I am always drawn to white stories so when I discovered white and grey ceramic eggs at Papaya and fell in love with them I decided, instead of the predictable colourful chocolate eggs that are on the market for Easter, I would create a table setting using these ceramic eggs and it would have an element of fantasy. Religious considerations aside, the concept of the iconic Easter Bunny lent itself to the creation of a magical “dream like” space that wouldn’t function in reality but was a wonderful concept to conjure up. I normally shy away from designing settings for specific calendar dates as they are always so cliche but I really enjoyed the creative thinking behind this story as it took me back to my childhood and the excitement felt around these special celebrations.
White, ceramics and children are not an easy combination (or an ideal mix-only the dog was missing!) but fortunately Felix was very fast in capturing the moments when my two kids arrived- 6 year old Leo and 18 month old Willow . The shades of white and grey allowed Felix to play with light and to create beautiful tones in the final images.
I hope everyone had a lovely Easter with family and friends.
Photographer – Felix Forest
Background painted in Obsidian, Porters Paint
Series 7 Green Chair designed by Arne Jacobsen, Cult
About A White Chair AAC22 Designed by Hee Wellng, Cult
Paper vase, Space Furniture
“At swim two birds” Mobile, Mr Kitly
Dish, Small Spaces
Ceramic cups, Ginkgo Leaf
Ceramic blue bowl, China Clay
Slab + Slub oval platter, Small Spaces
Oyster Spoon, Planet
Oak Chair, Spence & Lyda
Remaining ceramics, China Clay
I’m stepping outside myself today into the world of colour but it still embraces the subdued palette that I love. There is a texture that is tactile in each ceramic creation along with a fading in and out of the glaze, borrowed from Nature and producing colours that are shaded rather than solid. This technique showcases some very clever ceramicists who are using dyes to create wonderfully innovative effects. From Japanese artisans to local Australian designers you can see the love and detail that has gone into every handmade item. The concept here is to collect these unique individual pieces, not a matching set. Then each piece becomes a thing of beauty to marvel at and treasure. The rawness of the totally nude oak table which gives off its own light is accentuated by the dark background forming a perfect foil for the pops of colour culminating in a homage to the Earth and its elements.
Photographer – Felix Forest