Ok let’s be real. Art is highly subjective. Each of us are drawn to different qualities in art, whether it’s colour, texture, curiosity or emotion, buying art is a tricky task!
If you’re like most, you’re ready to build your collection but have no clue where to start. Stereotypically the world of art can be a daunting place of snobbery, vip exhibitions, canapes and black turtlenecks. But I’m here to tell you it can be fun and stimulating if you’re willing to ignore the stereotypes, stimulate your curiosity, explore the world and have F U N!
BUT FIRST, WHAT IS ART?
When I say art I don’t necessarily mean a framed picture, painting or canvas. I mean anything visually appealing that can be placed on a wall or sat on a surface for visual appeal. It’s more than just picture frames.. think wall weaves, antlers, strings of beads, wooden crosses and rugs. The weirdest art installation I’ve heard about was from an art installer who was hired to suspend a clear pvc pipe from a ceiling, filled with water and used as a fish tank – with real living fish inside!
HOW TO PICK IT
DON’T FOLLOW TRENDS!
This is my #1 rule. Just because something is in right now, chances are high that you won’t like it in 12 months time. Start with colours you would normally choose and that appeal to you – look inside your wardrobe for inspiration.
No not like that.. Choose something you are emotionally and organically drawn to whether it’s the colour, material or something else – sometimes there’s no explanation for this.
TELL A STORY
Art should tell a story. When you look at it, it takes you back to a moment or experience and evokes emotion. Personally I tend to collect art when travelling but only if it grabs my attention (not just because I’m travelling). If I can’t keep walking and have to have it, at least I know it’s unique, usually hand made and will always remind me of that adventure.
Art work has the ability to make or break a room. Art can influence the colours around it and vice-versa. Be sure colours across the space compliment and enhance each other without competing. (Read my blog on colour combos https://mooddesign.com.au/2016/10/21/colour-in-design/)
WHERE TO PUT IT
Gallery walls are a great way of being creative, using a lot of art pieces and filling a blank wall but they also create a warm and inviting focal point and not only look good, but they’re a great conversation starter.
FLOORS and WALLS
No wall space left? No worries. Lean it up against a wall on an entertainment unit, console or buffet. Alternatively, a stack of books or magazines make a cool base – try the floor, book shelf or on a wall mounted shelf. One of two pieces overlapping each other can look good so long as they’re balanced with their surroundings.
SMACK BANG FRONT and CENTRE
Make a statement – go big and gold. One single statement piece or fewer medium size pieces can look fantastic standing on their own without any support from other pieces or elements. You know when you walk into a room and it’s the first thing you see that makes you gasp. But don’t use the wrong wall – walk through the space as a first timer and notice where your eyes land. That’s where you put it!
DOES SIZE MATTER?
The size of an artwork should be in perspective to the size of the wall or space where it’s going. On a gallery wall, you can get away with a combination of sizes if arranged with a good sense of balance. To make a statement a large single piece on a blank wall will get everyone’s attention and create a great talking point.
WHERE TO FIND IT
I’ve found some fantastic suppliers in my experience. Depending on your tastes you may or may not like all of these but I’m sure there’ll be something here for everyone.
Ruben and Weave handmade wall weaves from Perth. They can be custom designed to suit your taste or you can choose from existing stock – check their instagram for more images!
Ahoy Trader produce a range of handmade and painted ceramic tiles, plates, crosses and other pieces which really stand out from the rest – with two boutique stores in Byron Bay and Port Douglas.
Juju Hats and Necklaces are handmade goods made from feathers, shells and beads which make gorgeous wall decorations. Contact me for enquiries or purchases.
Couani bring you a range of handmade woven goods direct from Africa which you can use on more than your tables – try them on the walls!
Leah Bartholomew‘s art is an abstract representation of the beauty found in the landscape and life of her local environment – based in Coolangatta Qld.
Rowena Martinich is a Melbourne based artist, renowned for her use of radiant colour.
Greenhouse Interiors sell a huge range of art. Head over to their website and search by artist or style.
In summary, art is such a personal thing and usually difficult to buy for someone else or even selected for yourself. Go with your gut, use your intuition and don’t get caught up in the whirlwind of holiday purchases, expensive names or trends. Be practical and carry some photos of your space with you to help you visualise what the piece would look like in the room.
Now that you’re armed with advice, go forth and start building your collection!