Art consultants Artduo - Sonja Brouard and Ilana Rabinowitz – collaborated with artist Gemelle Madigan to create today’s collection of colourful prints exclusive to Temple & Webster. Karen McCartney speaks to Sonja & Ilana about their business, and to Gemelle about the inspiration for her work. Image above by Denise Braki, styled by Jessica Bellef.
Sonja & Ilana, what was the inspiration for starting Artduo?
We have both always been passionate about art and the creative process. We strongly believe that good art communicates and inspires us. Starting the consultancy was more instinctive rather than considered. In a world where everything tends towards similarity, we were driven to source unique and diverse artworks from the amazing pool of talent and skills that abound in Australia. Sourcing artists working with materials in unique ways, creating magic was our mission, with the proviso that it must move us.
How do you work with the artists in your portfolio?
We see the artists we work with as our partners and we collaborate closely with them on projects. They in turn keep us updated with new works or new artistic directions and we provide feedback and encouragement. Whilst we are creative in our own way, neither of us are artists, so we live vicariously through them. We feel privileged working with original, inventive and talented people and hope to transfer some of that to our clients.
What is the driving philosophy of Artduo?
We strive to source and promote original art that has good technique at its foundation. We are highly service driven and believe in providing a unique experience to both the client and the artist. We help clients recognise what they love and appreciate, finding the right art that is an extension of a their taste and personality, thereby creating an individual space. We don’t see the relationship with artists and clients as ‘one off’, we see it as a journey.
Do you have great offices with lots of amazing art?
Our office overlooks the ocean, which is the best canvas, allowing nature to inspire us daily. We have the privilege of living with some great artworks for short periods of time and naturally have acquired some treasures ourselves.
Artist Gemelle Madigan (left) and her ‘Large Reflection’ canvas print.
Gemelle, your work is evocative and is inspired by nature – what is the process for you?
My paintings express my personal relationship with nature – nature is part of us and we are part of nature. I work flat, either on the floor or on table tops. The paintings evolve by placing one colour over another. This layering process creates a fascinating depth. I work on many things simultaneously with the paintings (as a group) mysteriously showing me what to do next. The ground is predominantly paper, glass or canvas.
The combination of pigment and surface material is central to your art. Is this something you explore constantly?
I have always played with art materials, being fascinated by what they will do when pushed to extremity. One experiment leads to another; diving deeply into one idea broadens its content and meaning and this enables me to dive even more deeply. In the end, the materials I use create a life of their own….I give the materials the freedom to do this because it’s natural and it feels good.
You have been recognised in a number of art prizes. Is this acknowledgement important to you?
I guess it’s nice to be recognised by your tribe…. but it’s more important for me to have the freedom to love and live well and make things with my hands.
This collection was especially created for Temple and Webster. Is that a first?
Yes, it is a first! I have to thank Sonja and Ilana and Temple and Webster for believing in the things that come out of me. It’s great to know that they are accessible to everyone.