ARTIST IN RESIDENCE
We take a peek inside the colourful world of stylist and installation artist Adam Powell
“MY HOME IS FULL OF BITS AND PIECES I HAVE CREATED FOR VARIOUS JOBS. I ALSO LOOOOVE NEON LIGHTING. MOST OF MINE HAS COME FROM NEON POODLE.”
WORKING FROM HOME HAS MINIMAL SPACIAL IMPACT if your line of work is mostly in front of a computer, but for stylist and installation artist Adam Powell, his home has become his studio, filled with props and magnificent creations. “Bigger jobs can really take over the whole house – while preparing one large-scale installation, we ended up sleeping on a mattress in the living room for a couple of nights as there was no room anywhere else!” He shares the much-loved and lived-in 1940s semi in Bondi with partner Nick and a family of kookaburras that have taken up residence on the Hills Hoist out the back. “We’ve been here for seven years,” Adam says. “It’s one of those gems that was passed on from friend to friend.” Adam calls his decorating style “natural neon” – earthy tones blended with brights – and it’s a look that he carries through to his work. “My work takes me all over the place, but a lot of the prep is done at home. It can also involve the most obscure requests, like making luxury fashion accessories fly, creating a suit jacket out of a continuous piece of wire, making a giant metallic hair dryer or creating a giant basketball hoop out of 250 pairs of sneakers with a basketball studded with 16,000 thumbtacks!” he says.
10 QUESTIONS WITH ADAM POWELL
1. What was your childhood like? “I grew up in a place called Valentine on Lake Macquarie. I am one of four boys so my childhood was very outdoorsy, camping and building cubbies in the bush – very stylish ones, obviously.” 2. Where’s the strangest place you’ve ever found inspiration? “Oh, everywhere. Most recently? The colours in a bowl of porridge at a cafe.” 3. Your fave colour palette? “Stone, turquoise, neon tangerine and metallic gold. Obscure, I know, but they’re in a Japanese Vogue fashion shoot styled by Nicola Formichetti that I loved so much I hung the photos around my home.” 4. And your least-favourite trend? “Millennial pink... whoops, did I say that? I know it’s on trend at the moment, but I really can’t wait for it to go.” 5. What are your plans for summer? “I’ve just spent a month travelling through Greece and Italy so I’m laying low this summer. Bondi’s always a lot of fun!” 6. What’s your signature drink? “Anything ginger beer-related.” 7. How often do you redecorate your home? “All the time, I get bored easily.” 8. Best bargain you’ve ever found? “A giant mirror ball bought for $50 from [recycling co-op] Reverse Garbage, which is going to be magic in the sunroom.” 9. Your best styling tip? “Wallpaper! Being a renter, it’s an inexpensive way to completely transform a space. There are lots of great new wallpapers now that allow you to remove them without damage to the existing wall.” 10. What does being Aussie mean to you? “Equality for all.” R
In the mix
Adam loves to mix old and new. One of his sofas is from Ikea, the other is a vintage Parker design. The feature wall is painted in Dulux Aqua Clear.
Sunny side up Adam’s home sits up on a hill halfway between Bondi and Tamarama beaches. “My biggest decision on a sunny day is: which one do we go to?” What a life!
Personality plus “The older I get and the more comfortable I become in my own skin,” Adam says. “I’m less enticed by trends and buy things I genuinely love or connect with.” In the zone “My dining area is now more of my studio where I make and create rather than eat,” Adam says. “I bought the round table off a friend – it used to be in their florist shop.” Living large “My style is very layered. Maximalist. Definitely bold colours but anchored by neutral tones.”