From the moment I purchased a copy of My Heart Wanders, I fell in love with the aesthetic and writings of artist/writer Pia Jane Bijkerk. When I had started thinking about creating a body of work documenting beautiful heartfelt spaces, Pia's poetic blog posts, earthy interiors and openness about loss and healing, exemplified its theme. But her mother had recently passed away so it was not the right time to approach her. Months later however, I sent her a gentle email and soon after I was warmly welcomed to photograph the calmness of her bedroom. "This particular room is about love, renewal, nurture, heal and replenish. These are important elements, along with feeling safe and supported. ” she says. Everything in Pia's bedroom is simple, handmade and natural. A antique cotton bedspread, handed down to her by her late mother, covers the bed which is strewn with her well thumbed leather bound journals. Delicate botanical stills, muted tones, willowy a French lace curtain diffusing the light; hers is a space that draws on emotions. Here Pia writes reads, meditates and rests. "I’m also in this space at intense healing times – emotional, spiritual or physical. When my daughter was born I spent most of my time in this room, in bed breastfeeding, resting, or just being with her." With the softest, creamiest, and lightest tones , this room was an absolute pleasure to photograph. And meeting Pia and spending time in her beautiful home was a very special time in the making of this book, both on a creative and personal level. Thank you Pia, your support and encouragement which has been vital in keeping it going xx
Through a lush courtyard and large glass pane timber doors you enter the incredible Wunderkarmer wonderland studio of Julia deVille. But for Solace Julia guides me up a flight of stairs into her living room and bedroom. A mediation alter in the living room is the first thing that catches your eye. Residing around a cast iron fireplace, it is esoterically ornamented by candles and crystals, the largest of which is a splendid piece of amethyst. The bedroom is evocative and romantic. White walls offset elements of the Victorian and Belle Epoque eras. A dark stained antique timber dresser displays an array of small antique objects and vintage accessories and hats. After exhibiting an astounding ten times in 2014 she became unwell with adrenal fatigue and decided she needed to make some changes to her life, “That’s when I moved my bedroom upstairs away from the studio and started meditating for an hour a day”, she says. Essential elements for her space... "Solitude is one of the most important things in my life. I am an introvert and I recharge when I’m alone.. Having beauty around me is also important. Plants, antiques, animals all give me joy" she says.
Thank you for being part of this project Julia xx
Textile artist India Flint has been working with ecologically sustainable plant dyes for more than twenty five years with her work represented in collections in Australia and Europe. Her enthusiasm for what nature can provide us results in strikingly unique tones and textures skilfully compressed to fabric and paper, “ I can’t imagine a life without plants”, she says. I had been following her blog Prophet of Bloom for a while and the inveterate theme of her posts linked to renewal and solace made her a clear candidate for my book.
A self-proclaimed wanderer, India travels extensively for her craft either exhibiting or carrying out workshops. Her travels to stirring landscapes not only provide the fundamental inspiration that feeds her work, it also enables her to carry out journeys of self renewal. Regular visits to the Australian outback is a major source of solace for India where the red earth and arid lands “are a perfect place for clearing thoughts”. But when she returns from her travels she relishes in the solidarity and peace of her studio, “To be able to wander into a space and shut the door of outside whirled is enough. I can be there, away from the internet, telephone and domestic interruptions” she says. The studio, located on the grounds of her rural homestead, is a two room outbuilding beautifully defined by deep earthy textural elements that includes many work tables throughout covered with an array of objects including botanical specimens, "I collect things. Sometimes its a useful material, other times its for the story", she says.
Take a look around....
The home of my friend Jennifer King was the first I photographed for my book and from the moment I drove into her property I knew that her home would encapsulate my concept. Set within the open fields of the Central Victorian countryside, Jennifer's home is a converted barn that has been transformed into a beautifully mystic home. With a subdued interior palette inspired by her artistic, spiritual and physical journeys, Jennifer's home is a mutlifunctional haven. 'My sanctuary has served as a home, museum, astronomical observatory, library and temple,' she says. Simply furnished but intricately adorned, there is a antique desk by a window covered with leather bound sketch books, a oriental screen as a wall feature, and a pot belly stove embellished with earthy objet d'art. A little kitchen is separated from the main room by a jacquard curtain and a mezzanine bedroom provides divine views of the surrounding farmland. And in a corner, a large but unassuming astronomical telescope that enables Jennifer to spend beautiful nights star gazing. A haven even for a visitor like me.
Thank you for being part of this Jen xx
About two years ago I began a little book project documenting the beautiful spaces women create for themselves.
Travelling to many parts of Australia, I got to step into the most wonderfully inspiring and unique spaces, set within rural, seaside and urban contexts, the contents of which were often richly revealing.
Although it is still very much a work in progress, this blog page will invite you into the spaces I photographed,
all defined by a deeply personal aesthetic.
To begin, some of the actual pages from my yet unpublished book, it's working title..Stills and Solice
I hope you enjoy my project thus far.