A blog that explores Australian houses. If you love architecture, design, interiors and interesting buildings of all types, The House Hunter is for you.
Tag Archives: colour

Joanna Lamb: 15 Colour Series

 

You may have noticed earlier that I’m not just keen on architecture – I am also keen on art about architecture. (That’s how far out and expansive my taste is.) This was probably made clear with one of my absolute favourite posts (seriously, I love it – you should definitely take a look because you’re pretty much guaranteed to like it), which featured Anna Carey’s photographs of the incredibly awesome house models she makes from her memories of Gold Coast beach shacks and hotels.

 

So I was excited when I found out about Joanna Lamb’s latest exhibition at Sullivan + Strumpf. It’s a series that focuses on interiors, juxtaposing them with vibrant colour. I did a brief Q&A with the Perth-based artist below.

 

I particularly love this piece.

 

How would you describe your latest exhibition at Sullivan + Strumpf?
My latest exhibition at Sullivan+Strumpf is a series of works that deal with domestic interiors and exteriors. There are a number of paintings, a series of 10 works made from lasercut laminex and a neon and aluminium piece. All the works use a restricted palette of the same fifteen colours.

 

What brought about your interest in incorporating representations of architecture into your art?

I have been painting urban and suburban imagery since I was at art school. I am drawn to its abstract qualities of form, space and colour. I was brought up in the suburbs of Perth. It’s where I live now so in that sense it is what I am able to comment on the most honestly.

 

How did you link the architectural concepts in your pieces with the vivid colour choices?

The colour choice was made first. The fifteen colours chosen were derived through an intuitive process in which I considered colour contrast and tonal value to most effectively suggest multiple spatial scenarios. Using these colours only I then manipulated different compositions until they made sense visually. The architectural imagery was used to show off the possibilities of using this set palette. I have often used some kind of system to direct my work.

 

What do you hope the audience takes away from the series?

It was important the works were seen together to understand the idea behind it. The works definitely work as separate objects but have more impact when viewed together. There is one particular work - an image of a pool painted directly onto the wall of the gallery - which, because of its size and lack of an edge, makes the viewer part of the piece. Maybe it’s a concept suburb; one which you might not want to live in permanently, but it’s an interesting place to visit.

 

Can you describe the process that goes into creating a piece?

Most pieces are based on photos I have taken of places I know or images found on real estate sites on the internet. I create initial drawings on the computer which can take anywhere from a couple of days to several weeks.

 

Are you working on any new projects at the moment?
I am working on several ideas at the moment which may form the basis of works for upcoming solo shows over the next year and a half.

 

Has your approach to art and design changed significantly since you started out in the industry?
My approach to art has changed significantly since I started out. The computer as a tool is now an integral part of my practice after coming to it quite reluctantly after studying graphic design. Also the influence of advertising and graphic design imagery and print and electronic media processes have infiltrated my work very significantly since working in the design industry.

 

 

8 Braeside Street, Wahroonga

 

As you’ve probably noticed, I admire many different housing styles. When it comes to large character houses in particular, there are some suburbs in Sydney that inspire a particular kind of jealousy in me. They have the type of houses that make me wish I weren’t quite so poor. One of those suburbs is Mosman. And* one of them is Mosman’s northern cousin Wahroonga (is it weird that I look at those suburbs as cousins? Probably. I look at Waverton and Wollstonecraft as close relatives too, but that makes more sense), where the houses are big, and so are the land sizes.

 

 

 

This house is on Braeside Street, which in real estate circles is pretty prized as it has nice houses and follows the upper north shore prestige rules (east side, walk to rail). So that’s good. But the house itself is interesting. Wahroonga’s biggest and best are usually Federations, but this one is an Art Deco (it’s made very obvious by the curved walls).

 

 

 

It’s unrenovated (which is a yay from me, from an ogling point of view). It’s in very sturdy condition, though, so in contrast to the Cremorne duplex it’s an exercise in observing the original features of the house, rather than admiring it as a ruinous artefact. I am excited by these original features. You’re about to see why.

 

 

The bathrooms! Sweet Jesus, these bathrooms are amazing. Is there even anything for me to say about them? They are colour and pattern and Vogue Living from a bygone era. Yes, yes, yes.

 

 

The study is in such good condition that it doesn’t really require any work, and I could say the same about the downstairs sunroom. The fairly excellent bedroom wallpaper will be stripped, and I’d say the upper floor will be reconfigured to add an en suite. Interestingly, the main has a powder room with a shower, but not an en suite, as such.

 

Powder room.

 

The quirkiness in this place will most likely be eradicated by the inevitable renovation, but, that said, it will then (given the right renovator) be restored into a commanding character home with good-condition features, so there’s a lot to gain.

 

 

 

 

* I am aware of the rule against starting a sentence with ‘and’ (or ‘but’). To paraphrase Jackie Chiles, I’m flouting society’s conventions.