Our Operations Manager Harrison Wood sat down with Melbourne Artist Antoinette Ferwerda, to discuss her latest works available exclusively through Clickon Furniture.
Nette can you tell us a bit about your journey to get where you are today? How did you get started and what are some things you’ve learned along the way?
From a very young age I dreamt of becoming an artist. My journey has taken various twists and turns, from school and tertiary studies in art and graphic design to a sales career in the pharmaceutical industry. Corporate business provided valuable learnings, including sales, marketing and people management. I continued to develop my own creative style and have developed my mixed media techniques over the past 10 years. Fortunately, I’ve experienced equal parts success and failure, having made plenty of mistakes whilst pursuing my singular, creative vision but always listening to my intuition. I’ve learned that my painting and art career would not have been possible without the unwavering support of my husband and family. It has been important to surround myself with like-minded, clever professionals from whom I could further develop & learn.
Where do you think your passion and drive for painting and creating art comes from?
Perhaps my stars aligned for a creative destiny when I was born to parents who were artistic, musical, theatrical and socially aware. Both my parents encouraged me to explore and learn through practice, to become resourceful and ask questions. My first microscope opened my eyes to a world of pattern and colour that existed beyond my vision. During secondary and tertiary studies, art history provided greater insight into the world’s finest artists and their techniques. Inspirational art teachers and lecturers harnessed my artistic passion to further develop my technical skills. Creativity compels me to this day. I wake up thinking about and go to sleep dreaming about making art. This combined with having my family drives my daily pursuit to realise my artistic dream.
What’s the first thing you do before starting a new artwork ? Do you have any rituals when it comes to the creative process?
Before starting any new artwork, I paint a smaller version or prototype to ensure my technique can be achieved at a larger scale. My art always involves a story which connects artist to observer. I use a collection of inspiring photos to trigger compelling ideas, including images of the natural world, architecture, people, colour, form and fashion. My daily rituals include a large coffee straight after school drop-off, morning meetings then a change of clothes for painting. I always play music whilst working in my art studio, which is a large, open room with natural light. Multiple artworks are propped against walls, drop sheets cover the floor and trolley carts filled with paint, buckets and brushes are moved around constantly. It can sometimes be a precarious walk for any staff trying to to avoid wet paint whilst making it to the kitchen to boil the kettle. Then suddenly it’s school pick-up and the artist becomes Mum for after-school activities. It’s a great balance and enables me to compartmentalise quality time with my kids with production time when in-studio.
Can you tell me a bit about your relationship with Clickon and how this new collaboration for the String Series came about?
Over the past few years I’ve been fortunate to work with the Clickon Furniture family, watching each collection evolve and form the basis for the next designs to be more beautiful than the last. My art practice has been supported and encouraged by Clickon over the years, starting with limited edition prints across stores to painting my large-scale “Nebula” mural for the Abbotsford concept store. I’m proud to have been invited to collaborate with Clickon again for my new series of original paintings in my “String Series” collection. Each painting is a one-of-a-kind, original mixed media painting on canvas, framed in blonde oak and exclusively available for sale at Clickon.
The String Series is truly amazing, can you tell me a little about these artworks and the process you underwent in coming up with the concept through to then creating the original art works?
Having spent time working within the pharmaceutical industry, my art stories are often linked with scientific theory. String Theory in a very basic sense refers in physics to a theoretical framework. It is the idea that minuscule strands of energy vibrating in various dimensions create every particle force in the universe. These strings which propagate through space and interact with each other form our complex and elegant universe. Painting an abstract interpretation of this theoretical framework involved multiple investigations in line, shape and form, connecting various components of my multi-layered composition with a string. Each “String Series” painting is unique, created when my brush does not leave the canvas to form a single strand of creative force.
What do you think is next for yourself? Do you have any exciting works coming up? Where do you see the future of your art going?
There are always varied projects and events within my art business, having just finished my ‘Supernova’ exhibition and Denfair events in Melbourne. Renovations are finally complete at my art studio, which now boasts a designer showroom, office and meeting room. Open by appointment, my paintings are now displayed in the front showroom whilst my production studio has moved to the rear of the building. I’m presently working on multiple private commissions for new clients and have new, large-scale paintings underway for various exhibitions this year and early 2019. I’m especially excited about my next family holiday with my husband and children, to spend some rest and relaxation time together and visit some inspiring regions and galleries. I’m grateful everyday for the creative opportunities presented to me, allowing me to pursue my passion and work as an Australian artist. I’d like to further my artistic reputation here with representation in more Australian galleries, with a view to overseas art galleries in future too.
Latest posts by Harrison Wood (see all)
- Our Interview with Melbourne Artist Antoinette Ferwerda - July 24, 2018