DESIGN*SPONGE

Regional Roundup: Melbourne [part 3 of 4]
Design*Sponge is a daily website dedicated to home and product design run by Brooklyn-based writer, Grace Bonney
August 18th, 2008

Gracia Haby & Louise Jennison, Something mighty peculiar was afoot but I was hard-pressed to say for certain what it was (II), 2009, lithographic offset print (also available as a greeting card)

Gracia Haby in interview with Anne Ditmeyer of Prêt à Voyager

Where are you from? Where do you live now?

We are both, Louise and I, from Melbourne, and that is where we currently reside. In our home-based studio, a mere pebble toss from the city, we work, surrounded by the things we love and a clowder of cats.

Describe your work
Our work, as visual artists, is, for the most part, made in collaboration. We work side-by-side creating limited edition artists' books and prints and other such works on paper, our medium of choice. Louise holds dear her watercolour palette and I treasure my Honeybee scissors for collage.

How is your work influenced by where you live?
Where we live can inform our work on many levels. Practically, working from home sees our work oft being stored away rather than pinned up; drawings are pressed to stay flat and book covers appear in neat towers. Working this way, it is always a surprise to see all our work laid out in a gallery setting, work we may not have seen for awhile.

Living where we do, we have access to a variety of materials (beautiful papers, fine brushes and second-hand bookstores) and a host of galleries, artist run spaces and libraries on our doorstep.

Where do you go in Australia when you want to feel inspired?
We are currently heading to the cinema for inspiration. The Melbourne International Film Festival is upon us and together, over the course of its nineteen days, we plan to see 27 films each. Films from around the world enable us to travel to new destinations; they feed both directly and indirectly into our artwork.

Walking about the city or locally with no clear intention also proves enjoyably refreshing, watching the parade of people passing.

How would you describe the Australian design scene?
The Melbourne design scene is perhaps something that we view from the outside looking in. To us, not in the thick of it, it appears busy and slightly thrilling.

If you could go anywhere where would you go?
Norway. The last film we took in at the aforementioned festival was O’Horten (directed by Bent Hamer) and Norway looked beyond beautiful to us. Can we stop by Russia upon return?

And don’t forget to check out their work in the latest Lines & Shapes: vol 3.

Anne Ditmeyer of Prêt à Voyager, 2008
Design*Sponge