When visiting Kerrie Brown's studio for the first time a couple of years ago, I was fascinated by her creations and loved her designs and work so much that I had to take something home with me. I purchased four large cushions each with very different prints and character, but all in a rich indigo colour way, and added them to my sofa where they still sit, continuously stealing the attention of everyone who visits my studio..
all images courtesy of Kerrie Brown.
Kerrie Brown’s signature style draws on her background as a celebrated set decorator, working on many international films, including Don’t be Afraid of the Dark, Mao’s Last Dancer and the global hit Babe, for which Kerrie was nominated for an Academy Award®. In 2012, while renovating and searching the market for home textiles, she decided to design her own and launched Kerrie Brown Designs.
From her Sydney studio, Kerrie renders vibrant and theatrical graphic illustrations, prints and patterns for application on textiles, wallpapers, upholstery fabric, lampshades and other soft furnishings including cushions.
Your designs are such a unique mix of fine art, nature and organic abstractions... I have to ask, where do you find inspiration for such unpredictable images...
"... art, architecture, fashion all forms of designs including graphic design. My aesthetic-cues are drawn from my life experiences. The latest design ranges Urban Sketches, inspired by the lost art of the artists sketch book, Jungle Vibe and Chemical Reaction explores Kerrie’s love of watercolour, metallic and moody jungle leaves and collage - this new series has an endless array of images and influences... Also from trips to Miami in Florida, USA, the explosive mix of colour and patterns in Asia and darker more brooding atmosphere of European art."
Your international travels may tempt you to source overseas manufacturers...
"All of my products are designed, printed and manufactured in Australia – it’s a great selling attribute and it’s an important aspect of our brand. Supporting local Australian businesses has been a conscious decision and will continue to be a priority."
Kerrie’s style is quite theatrical, mixing photographic imagery, overlaid with text, drawings, paint pigment, portraits, and paper, forming dynamic digital collages that merge artistic styles, time periods and cultural symbols. Kerrie’s favourite part of the job is designing, any chance to play around with ideas on the computer. Even on the weekend if she has a spare minute you can find her playing around with ideas. "It’s also incredibly exciting when the samples for new designs come back from the printer... it's like continual Christmas!"
So, Kerrie, which designers do you look up to?
“I don’t have a mentor but I admire so many designers, I don’t think you would have space to print them all. I particularly love anything Patricia Urquiola, Viktor and Rolf, John Paul Gautier, Alexander McQueen, Pierre Frey, Marcel Wanders ... I could go on forever!”
Kerrie's work is unique in the ability to merge art and design in surprisingly eclectic images, at the same time new and familiar. Her designs are surely not meant to go unnoticed and are perfect for all those appreciating décor items that truly stand out.
I want to alert you to Kerrie Brown's new collaboration with .M Contemporary Gallery, where art and design collide, celebrating pattern on pattern, on show throughout December and January in Woollahra, Sydney. Her work will be also on show on the international stage of Paris Deco Off in January 2019, and if you're planning to travel there be sure to check it out and if you see her, go and say hello, as she is not only a great Australian talent, she is completely wonderful and 100% down to earth; take it from me!.
To discover her eclectic range, visit her website at www.kerriebrown.com or even better, see her work live in her Sydney studio in Woollahra.
James Treble is an ambassador for Planet Ark and firmly believes in sensible purchasing, recycling and creative re-purposing. James has decades of accumulated experience in the Building Industry, Real Estate and Interior Design. His knowledge and experience in adding value to homes, through clever design & styling, is now published for all to learn and benefit from: Interior Design For Profit is now available online.