FK chats to artists Rowena and Geoffrey, who bring their amazing talents together with the creation of Martinich&Carran. Be sure not to miss Martinich&Carran at this weekend’s Melbourne Markets! (above image: Geoffrey Carran working on the Balmoral Mural 2013)
Tell us a bit about Martinich&Carran and what we can expect to discover?
Martinich&Carran is a collaborative partnership between Artists Rowena Martinich and Geoffrey Carran. Using their individual painting practices as inspiration the pair have created a series of exciting products to inject colour and life into any space. Accessibility to high quality art items is an underpinning motivation behind the extension from painting and public art into designed pieces for the home such as cushions, ceramics, prints and scarves.
What are your backgrounds and how did you start working together?
Rowena Martinich produces large-scale public art. Her vibrant paintings adorn the sides of buildings, illuminate the glass of public thoroughfares and activate otherwise dull spaces. Martinich also maintains a prolific studio practice painting commissions for commercial and domestic interior spaces.
Geoffrey Carran is a New Zealand born and trained artist, since moving to Australia his paintings have focused in on the flora and fauna of this ecologically diverse country. Working on portraying parrots and cockatoos using vibrant colours and layers to capture the character of his subject.
Martinich and Carran initially met on a mural site where they both recognised a creative spark that would lead them on to their first collaborative paintings at the NGV Studio in a show that Martinich curated titled ‘Fluorecse’. The combination of Martinich’s vibrant gestural painting and Carran’s pictorial response inspired further collaborations, the development of textiles and other seemingly limitless possibilities in art and design.
Rowena Martinich in front of her painting “Jan Juc Summer High”
Painting 50meter long Mural in Sile Turkey
What inspires your work and what keeps you motivated creatively?
Inspiration comes from a myriad of sources, architecture and nature being the two that stand out. Collaboration with other creatives and participation in this endlessly shifting, highly mobile culture keeps it exciting.
What is your workspace like and what is your creative process?
Our workspace has changed almost as much as our projects have. We currently work in our studios at our home down the coast. We converted the ground floor into purpose built studios and a workshop, each area has a different purpose, framing, painting, ceramics, textiles and office. Although we are pretty flexible with were we paint, for a while we were using the shearing shed on our family property, warehouses in Melbourne’s CBD and a run down Victorian Terrace in Prahran.
Our approach to creative process is wholehearted no matter what we are working on it just becomes a part of us. Rowena tends to immerse herself in her studio, working on multiple canvases simultaneously, whereas Geoffrey meticulously concentrates on an artwork until it’s resolved. Music is always playing loudly throughout the studios. There is always coffee, endless lists and strategy meetings mixed with surfing and beach time with our Kelpie, Captain.
Rowena Martinich’s architectural commissions in Darling Point, Sydney
Geoffrey Carran’s Galah painting 2014
What challenges have you faced starting your own label, and what are some things you love about it?
We get everything made locally in Melbourne if we don’t make it ourselves, we love supporting local industry. The most difficult aspect of starting your own label is taking time away from it, but that’s why you start in first place, because you love it. Staying on top of administration is a full time job, which can get frustrating when you’d rather be in the studio.
What can we expect to see from Martinich&Carran at the upcoming Melbourne Markets?
Limited edition giclee prints with a few new ones on offer, small framed paintings, cushions, silk scarves, brooches and hand painted ceramics.