|Nadine Sawyer photo by Stuart Quinn|
|Exhibition of works at Rylo Interiors|
|Original works which now adorn tea towels|
There is a sense of enthusiasm which emanates from Nadine Sawyer which is infectious. Just as lovely and vibrant as her striking artworks, I first spied Nadine's paintings in a house I was writing about for Home Beautiful. While researching the story I dutifully googled Nadine's name, found her website and much to my delight discovered she lived close by. Several emails later I had invited myself over...as you do.
Originally from New Zealand, Nadine has lived in New York and Japan but for now is happy to embrace the laid back coast lifestyle. Prolific with a paintbrush Nadine's works grace every medium from ceramics and tea towels to greeting cards and cushions lovingly sewn my her mum and business partner Joy. Colourful, ethereal and a little cheeky, her art simply makes you smile,checkout the collection here.
How would you describe yourself?
Intuitive, artistic, optimistic, energetic and a wee bit moody sometimes.
What was your childhood dream?
1st - To be a ballerina, which I fulfilled at age seven for three years.
2nd - To be a florist, which I did when I left high school and while I was at University and had the opportunity to work alongside the very talented Fleur McHarg.
3rd- To open a shop, this will happen in the next few years!
What led you down your current path?
Art school for six and half years and a talent and passion for all things aesthetic and creative.
What do you love most about what you do?
Where do you seek inspiration?
Music is very important, nature, the ocean, birds, flowers, artists like Tommy Watson, Sally Gabori, Matisse, Picasso, Sidney Nolan, Chagall – artists that emphasize nature, colour and emotion, elusiveness, the ethereal and importantly a sense of positivity and optimism.
Who do you admire?
Coco Chanel for saying “Freedom is never out of style.”
Jamie Oliver for inspiring people all over the world with his positiveness.
Noel Fielding for being so utterly amusing and childlike and bringing powerful aesthetic surrealism and music and absurdity to television!! For me there isn’t much else worth watching except for Spicks and Specks reruns, cooking shows and docos.
Jimmy Little (who died recently) for being a gracious artist in a difficult cultural climate.
My mum Joy for being a caring, strong and a beautiful person.
I also admire talented successful people who are able to stay down to earth and relate to and inspire people from all walks of life.
What challenges have you had to overcome?
I was excruciatingly shy as a child. I had a very unsettled father which is why we moved a lot, starting a new school was a bit like hell. I was so afraid because you make nice friends and then you move again soon after.
I have had to overcome loads of self-doubt and my art receiving rejection after rejection. As I became more confident in myself I realised I just have to do what I want and keep doing that no matter what people say. I have learned to listen to myself and move forward with my art practice and business in a very intuitive way. With very limited funds at times it has been a very challenging to remain an artist but what else would I do? I love it and I feel so satisfied with my life and where it’s going. I feel more excited about it now than ever before and I can visualise a lot of dynamic projects and adventures in the future.
What's been a 'pinch yourself' moment?
Receiving $32,000 to study art for two years with my own studio at Monash University in Melbourne.I went to a friend’s house and drank champagne in their pool with my boyfriend of the time (who also received the scholarship). A very exciting day and it was an amazing two years of art making, exhibiting, curating and traveling.
What are your top creative resources?
Biographies of inspiring musicians, artists, comedians, social reformers, chefs etc… I have recently read about David Bowie, Dame Nellie Melba, Jamie Oliver, Kate Bush and Marc Chagall.
Film Marigold Hotel
TV Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy show
Music documentaries in general
What dream do you still want to fulfil?
Curating art shows aboard showing Australian, New Zealand and Pacific art. New art which is lyrical and heart felt not intellectual! I also want to be involved in some large scale installation outdoor shows.
Taking the business to the next level. Working on a collection of cushions – which my mum is sewing very well. Producing platters using local Coast potters and developing my abstract paintings further.
In September I will be exhibiting linen prints, linen cushions and painted platters at Fleur, 12A Rose Street, Armadale, Melbourne, a stunning flower store in Melbourne.
When the weekend rolls around what do you love to:
Read – Joanna Lumley Bio
Watch- Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy
Cook- Fresh salads, Thai curries
Create- lush electronic music with lots of layers – can’t wait to make more of this! it’s the most fun I have ever had
Listen to- classical, punk, pop, ambient, world, 70’s and 80’s pop and rock everything! I cannot choose really I get very stimulated by music and my taste is very diverse– Pink Floyd, the Clash, The Flaming lips, Spiritualized, Nick Drake, Phillip Glass, Split Enz Leonard Cohen it's endless.
Dream about- Opening up my own shop (which will be a cross between an inspiring shop and gallery space which is warm and welcoming. Not sure where it will be yet.
Look forward to- Opening my own shop! And more travel- Australia, New Zealand, Pacific islands, India, Mexico, Vietnam, USA road trip and Italy. I want to go everywhere really.