A wall without art is a surface without a soul. Or so we like to think. Which is why WALL ST continues to be one of the highlights of Decor + Design. This boutique forum for textile designers and surface artists showcases large format, original visuals and always provides a steady flow of inspiration for visitors to Australia’s No.1 Interiors Event.
Artist Bec Duff creates works with a dreamy, ethereal quality which draws on a rich palette inspired by the natural wonder of her home-based studio in Byron Bay. Bec will be launching Bec Duff Art + Print Studio at Decor + Design this year, including thirty new works created exclusively for the show.
With Decor + Design less than a week away, we sat down with Bec for some insights into her art practise and inspirations.
Can you tell us a little more about your background? What originally drew you to become a visual artist?
As far back as I can remember I have recorded my life in a creative way, writing poetry as a child, collecting mementos and making journals. Towards the end of my school years I became interested in photography and abstract painting and at university I went on to study fine art and film-making. Towards the end of my studies I almost turned my focus to pursuing a career in painting but fell in love with the film-making process, which took me on a journey for some years. I came back to visual art when I did a short course in screen-printing and then taught myself how to design textiles.
Can you describe the foundations and aesthetic of your practice for us?
Through my art practice I attempt to interpret my environment, to capture my emotional response or connection to different spaces. I shift between loose watery washes and more deliberate graphic or gestural mark makings, both being tools for creating a sense of movement or feeling. I usually work through one series at a time so I can maintain a rhythm where I feel the paintings will relate to each other.
You also co-founded a sustainable textiles and eco-gift ware label named Kambamboo in 2012. Why did you decide to concentrate more on your art practice? Are you still involved in the business?
After launching Kambamboo I quickly became busy with the business side of things. Within a couple of years of starting the business I also had two children close together and gradually I found there was less and less time available to focus on my creative work. Things needed to change! I started to slow things down a little with the business and committed to a daily art practice. I rapidly gained momentum with my painting and I knew I was ready to focus on my art practice full time. For now I’m not producing new designs or products for Kambamboo and instead just work with our existing customer base and our core collections of textiles and gifts.
From where do you draw inspiration?
Recording the colours, layers, textures and spatial aspects of the coast and hinterland near my home is a huge part of my process and is where I draw a lot of inspiration for my work. When exploring my environment I find patterns and rhythms in nature and this is another great source of my creativity. There are also a few artists who have always been sources of inspiration for me with the biggest being Mark Rothko but also Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky.
One of the themes of the show this year is the importance of sustainability, tapping into natural aesthetics and using thoughtful processes. How does this feature in your work?
Drawing from the colours, patterns and textures of the natural world and using cotton rag paper and watercolour paints to interpret my inspirations, a natural aesthetic is very much present in my work. When it comes to sustainable and thoughtful processes I think of designing for longevity, implementing quality processes and using the best materials possible. When I made the decision to produce limited edition prints of my artworks I invested in my own large format printer so that I could print to order, reduce waste and maintain quality control of my work. Using archival quality inks, archival quality acid-free paper and acid-free packaging ensures longevity for each print I create.
We’re delighted that you will be exhibiting on Wall St at Decor + Design this year. What can visitors expect from you at the show?
I am truly excited to be exhibiting this year and I look forward to showcasing my original water colour paintings and limited edition art prints. I have created thirty new works for the show and will have both framed and unframed works on display across multiple sizes, series and colour palettes. I can’t wait to connect with visitors and fellow exhibitors and share my work.
Have a nose for beautiful art? Then follow it to Bec’s stand at Decor + Design next week at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre. She’ll be at Stand WS2. Registration for the exhibition is free for trade visitors.