Today I would like to share with you the work of Melbourne Artist Amy Wright who I met several years ago when she was teaching at RMIT University.
Amy is one of those multitalented, hardworking folk who I love to stalk on Instagram, as she provides me with endless sources of inspiration on all things art, design, and nature.
Initially trained as a sculptor and having later completed a Bachelor in Textile Design, Amy is not only a talented Designer and Artist but has also established the florist studio Wunderplant which focuses on styling solutions for the wedding, events and hospitality industries.
So it comes as no surprise that the primary source of inspiration for Amy’s art is often nature and the botanical world which she surrounds herself with on a daily basis.
Her current exhibition, Fallowland, has been showing at Brunswick Street Gallery over the past week, and it is a body of art inspired by the premise that “for sustained growth there must be a period of laying fallow, a time where human management is removed and the landscape is allowed to be reclaimed by the natural environment to recover its nutrient rich makeup”.
Amy draws creative direction from unoccupied spaces, such as the cliff face of a canal bank, the edge of land meeting ocean, or the discarded lands of demolished construction, to present a series of explorative abstract artworks, interpreting the landscape into a fluid mapping of colour, texture and contour.
Fallowland is showing at Brunswick Street Gallery until Thursday 24th June (that’s tomorrow!!!) So hurry along and head there to ensure you see these exquisite works of art first hand.
And meanwhile you can read my interview with the marvellous multidisciplinary Artist, Amy Wright below.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what led you to becoming an artist?
I started my art training, studying Sculpture at VCA, before completing my Bachelors in Textile Design. I have painted and drawn for as long as I can remember.
Many hours spend drawing outside as a kid. Early years were spent painting with my Grandmother, who was a botanical watercolourist, in her home studio down in Geelong.
I was very lucky to spend my teenage years working under the tutorship of Dutch artist Yolande Calkoen. Yolande sparked my interest in colour, texture and patterns.
I commenced my formal art training, studying Sculpture at VCA, before completing my Bachelors in Textile Design. Textile Design was a perfect for for me. It allowed me to paint and draw daily, while giving the invaluable skill of developing 2D works into 3D and tangible products.
How would you describe your work?
I have always been fascinated by the plant world; everything I create has a botanical bent to it. It is a nice synergy that I have built up a Florist studio – Wunderplant – servicing the wedding and events industry. I always have easy access to subjects for my paintings! During my earlier years, I was fascinated by the details of a plant and would spend hours laboriously creating botanical illustrations in watercolour – often using the tiniest of paintbrushes! I have no idea where the patience for this came from! My recent works, have become increasingly abstract and about capturing and evoking a feeling, a fleeting moment, sensation. I break landscapes down into colour, texture and pattern.
Can you give us some insight into your process?
My process is pretty organic. Being trained as a designer, I do have a tendency to gather information initially and translate it into a story and a series of colour palettes. I have a much loved and ‘dog eared’ collection of books, that touch on textiles, fashion, landscape design, architecture, art history. This is usually my first point of call followed by diving into my excessive collection of magazines – some of which could almost be declared vintage! Even though I have poured through their pages a hundred times, I always see something new that sparks my interest. I generally take myself off for explorative walks, and come home with a multitude of photos of textures, colours and patterns, and pockets full of found objects, natural and discarded man made objects, like bottle tops, old package labels, washed up bits of plastic on the beach. It drives my boyfriend crazy, all the little objects floating about the house!
From my collections I start sketching and playing around with motifs and colour palettes. Then I just dive in and trust where it takes me.
What inspires your artworks?
The botanical world in all its nuances. Colour. Repetition in texture. Light.
I am drawn to little details that others would often overlook and love to translate these little glimpses into abstract landscapes. The interaction between the man made and the natural. I have a fascination with weeds!
What are 3 of your favourite resources which you look to for inspiration?
The Planthunter – always a fabulous read,
Melbourne’s botanical gardens
Unassuming suburban laneways and beach combing
Tell us about some of the people who inspire you and why?
My obsessions are:
Trend Forecaster – Li Edelkoort. Her ability to translate statistical information into creative scope is simply fabulous. Been a devout follower since her Bloom Magazines. I own a few of these and they are my bibles.
Illustrator – Nigel Peake for his penmanship and watercolour use. Adore the typographical element of much of his work.
Landscape Design – Piet Oudelf. Flying the flag for the Perennial movement, his use of plants is exquisite, with every aspect of a plants form through its seasonal transition considered. His fields of grasses just make me swoon!
Artists; John Olsen, Heather Day, Anne-Sophie Tschiegg, Mika Mora, Sonia Delaunay
If you could create an artwork for anyone in the world, who would it be?
Any of my above inspirations!
What would your dream project be?
A large-scale landscape mural, interior or street style. Bringing together landscape design with landscape painting somehow.
Your favourite place in Melbourne?
For a weekend breakfast, Hannah cafe in Balaclava.
Any greenhouse I stumble across! Love the St Kilda botanical gardens potting greenhouse. Bayside beach walks.
Photography by Martina Gemmola
To view more of Amy’s work head to her website