In the frame
Ke r r y A rm s t ro n g This artist has the choice of two studios for her creative endeavours.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STUDIO? I have two – I’m always obsessed and attracted to one or the other, I never paint in both! One is my home studio, with beautiful french doors out to our garden. It’s sti ing hot in summer but a quick dip in the pool keeps me refreshed and focused. My second studio is at Studio Gallery Melbourne, our Cheltenham art gallery, a 750sqm converted warehouse, and I’m one of 38 artists who work and exhibit there. I’ve carved out a very gritty, cool space and I love it. WHAT APPEALED TO YOU ABOUT THE SPACE? We bought our home because of the studio, it has an energy like I’ve never felt before. Next year will see an exciting renovation to vault the ceiling and bring in even more light. The gallery studio has fantastic industrial gridding to hold my oversized work and hang all my oil paints which I now buy in calking guns to access more paint faster. WHAT ARE YOUR WORKSPACE ESSENTIALS? Headphones, milkcrates, my antique sofa which I’ve slept on after late night sessions, and the worn-out coffeemaker! WHAT IS UNIQUE ABOUT YOUR WORKSPACE? The gallery studio has a super cool vibe. The huge Belgian linens I work with are stretched on site then simply walked over. Once painted, they’re straight into the framing shop. DESCRIBE THE VIEW FROM YOUR STUDIO? Quirky garden view from the home studio; industrial grids, old brickwork and black steel windows at the gallery studio. DESCRIBE A TYPICAL DAY? Off to a slowish start, I try to be in the gallery around 9.30am. Typically I’m involved with administration tasks until late morning. I love meeting with clients of the gallery – it’s so rewarding. Early afternoon I feel the draw towards the paints and I circle around it with a dash of ‘procrastacleaning’. I don’t pressure myself to connect with the work. Late nights are powerful times to paint, the energy of the studio is quite surreal after dark. My painting language is expressionism so I don’t mind ‘less than optimal’ studio light. Meeting the work the next day ‘visually’ is often wonderfully surprising! DO YOU USE YOUR S TUDIO TO ENTERTAIN CLIENTS? Yes, our opening exhibition was very exciting with more than 500 guests! WHAT IS A DREAM WORKSPACE OBJECT YOU WOULD BUY RIGHT NOW? A Motherwell for the wall. IF YOUR STUDIO WERE LOCATED ANYWHERE ELSE, WHERE WOULD THAT BE? Italy – without doubt! ANY UPCOMING EXHIBITIONS? I’m planning three exhibitions in 2019: Sydney with .M Contemporary, Studio Gallery Melbourne, and one overseas.