Christina McLean is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work is borne out of a deep love of nature and a devotion to hand-crafted practice. Christina’s latest incarnation TRADE the MARK, sees Chris combining her great love of hand-made technique with textiles, ceramics and leather. Read on to discover more and be sure to catch the TRADE the MARK stall in Sydney, this weekend!
Tell us a little about yourself and how you came to begin your label.
I’m an obsessed mark maker and hoarder of textiles. I’ve been pretty fortunate in my life, in that I’ve worked across a lot of disciplines, so I’ve had lots of variety. My creative journey began with ceramics and painting designs and pattern onto clay.
From clay I moved to textiles, in particular the fashion world, where I’ve been able to develop textile prints for some of the best Australian Fashion Brands. My latest incarnation TRADE the MARK builds on both of these earlier practices. I’m just trying to work in a more mindful way; working with materials that last the test of time and crafting objects you want to have with you forever.
Who inspires you and your creative process?
I am surrounded everyday by incredible woman, but someone who has always been close to my heart is Louise Bourgeois. I first fell in love with her ‘pieced together textiles’, however it’s her installation art that floors me. Her drive and passion to make art and to her ability to deal with incredibly personal themes are what I admire the most.
Tell us something exciting that you have planned for TRADE the MARK this year.
I’m slowly developing some new work that I’m really excited about. It’s a melding of my both my textiles and ceramics, it’s been a long time coming! Watch this space.
Name one resource that your label could not live without.
STUDIO MATES – I love being surrounded by other creatives – my studio mates Rachel Castle, Leni Hamilton, Daz Howell and Saif Almrayti get me through the good times and the tough ones.
Tell us about your favourite product from your collection.
I’ve always been a keen gardener and lover of plants and I’m always trying to find new ways to bring the garden inside. My leather planter hangers are a great way to display your favourite green treasures inside. They’re adjustable to most pot sizes and can be hung off anything that can hold the weight of the pot and plant. I collaborate on these with my partner Jo, who is an amazing leather worker, so it’s close to my heart. Jo cuts each piece from a large hide, I then hand paint each piece and we assemble them together.
Plants make us happy, filter the air and connect us with nature whilst we‘re indoors. When I have visitors in my studio, people always comment on my plants and how many I have. I always say, you should see my house! Plants are a major component of a space to me, without them the room is empty, soulless. They play a big part within my practice and my vision for TRADE the MARK.