The Design Files
It’s always so interesting to view your home town through the eyes of a more recent arrival or temporary visitor – someone who has lived all over the world, and sees your familiar surroundings with fresh eyes.
I got this feeling during a recent visit to the Thornbury home and studio of artist Bobby Clark, who relocated here 6 years ago with her sculptor partner Steve Clark aka Den Holm. Though they’ve been here for quite a while now, Bobby and Steve talk about Melbourne with the sort of genuine affection and appreciation that can only come when you’re new enough to really *notice* the things that life-long residents probably take for granted.
‘There is something about Melbourne that is so special’ Bobby says below. ‘Anything is possible here, and the industry is so nurturing and encouraging’.
Melbourne’s supportive creative community has indeed given Bobby the encouragement to professionally pursue a long held passion for making art.
Bobby is originally from a small, riverside town in Scotland called Greenock. After studying fashion and textiles in the UK, Bobby came to Australia with her partner, Steve, with the intention of travelling the world. But they never left ! Instead, this industrious pair quickly fell in love with Melbourne, settling in Thornbury, where Bobby now works from a home studio.
We LOVE Bobby’s distinctive paintings on paper, with their minimalist geometric compositions and muted colour palette.
Bobby and her partner Steve are curating and participating in a new group exhibition, opening soon at Steve’s Reservoir studio. The show has been conceptualised in conjunction with their friend and fellow artist Jordan Kerwick.
New Slang – A homage to home
A group exhibition featuring the work of 17 Australian and International contemporary artists
Opening Dec 1st, 6pm – 9pm
Exhibition runs until Dec 7th
4/74 Newlands Road, Reservoir
Tell us a little about your background – what did you study and what path led you to what you are doing today?
When I think back to the path that led me to where I am today I sometimes get a little frustrated, as what I ended up doing was staring me in the face my entire life! My grandfather was a great artist, who worked out of his green garden shed, painting oil portraits of weather-beaten elderly fishermen. He was offered a scholarship with Glasgow School of Art in his youth, but forbidden to go by his parents, who believed a man should only develop a more masculine, traditional trade. He spent his life working as a painter and decorator and creating stage sets for the local mental health hospital. I spent a lot of time with my grandfather growing up, and was always in his shed tinkering around, and I think my love of painting started here.
I was always encouraged creatively as a child. My grandmother would set up still life sets for me to study and paint, my parents were very creative, and my aunt was a human fact file about all the great artists and taught me a lot. I ended up working with my cousin who is a set designer, and then ended up studying fashion.
Fashion led me to textiles, and then the realisation that I really wanted to create art and photography. It wasn’t until moving to Melbourne with my partner that I started to realise that a career as an artist was possible.