Wednesday, 8 June 2011

A kangaroo or two - from idea to finished product...

I bought this beautiful print by Shane Audcius in December 2009 at the Art Bazaar in Newcastle (sorry I may be mispelling her surname as it's really hard to make out her handwriting). It was this print that inspired my kangaroo design, along with this design by Florence Broadhurst:

Above: Horses Stampede - image p71 Florence Broadhurst Her Secret and Extraordinary Life by Helen O'Neill.

I love the energy of both prints, particularly Broadhurst's and wanted to capture the essence of animals on the move. 

The design process for my kangaroo print was to look at images of kangaroo mobs and kangaroos hopping and it was interesting to see the kangaroo mobs don't necessarily all hop in the same direction, the same general direction yes, but not in a straight line so to speak... I tried to capture the essence of a mob by making some appear in the foreground and pushing others into the background. I then muck around with placement until I get something I'm happy with and that works in repeat:

Above: Adobe Illustrator
Above and Below: my kangaroo design hand screen printed onto organic base cloth.


Above and Below: It is a long process from design to finished product but nothing gives me more satisfaction that to use the fabric to make products.

I thought I might have been the only one to think that kangaroos was a good subject matter for both design and homewares, being that they are iconically Australian, but I found that Broadhurst also did a Kangaroo print, it is obviously lesser known than her more popular prints and in all honesty it's not one of my favourites of hers:

Above: Aboriginal Rock Art - image p115 Florence Broadhurst Her Secret and Extraordinary Life by Helen O'Neill.

I also found a couple of other designers who have used kangaroos in their work and love both of these:

Above: image - Vogue Living July / August 2008.

James and Hayley Baillie of South Australia's Southern Ocean Lodge commissioned Julie Paterson of clothfabric to create the kangaroo print you can see in the image above, on the cushion and rug (and it also appears on the menus).

Above: image - Spacecraft Australia website.

A new cushion from Spacecraft Australia - I really like how Spacecraft use a lot of photographic images in their work. 

...and I found this one too:

 Above: image - Laughing Bird website.

The Wildflower and Kangaroo Print tea towel by Laughing Bird, available in Navy on Natural, Grey on White and Blue on White.

So what do you think? Do you like kangaroos in the context of contemporary homewares? I'm partial to the popular botanicals as well, particularly Australian natives but I think our native fauna are pretty cool too and worthy of a design or two in their honour.