The best part about a collaboration between two established practices is the new creative energy that emerges from their fusion. Kate Florence and Lucas Wearne (aka Neighbourhood Studio) have distinct styles in totally separate mediums, yet their partnership on this collection of one-off painted limestone sculptures feels foretold from the very beginning.
Together they have produced Genesis, a collection of painted sculptures that explores the conversation between dimension, form and colour. Kate’s warm, soft lines join Lucas’ rough, textured forms in the series of classical-inspired sculptures that celebrate the handmade process. We caught up with Kate to ask her how it all came about.
Hi Kate! Let’s jump right into it. What is your background and for how long have you been making art?
I am originally from the United Kingdom and studied at Winchester School of Art, but I moved to Melbourne two years ago to pursue my dream of being an artist.
Since moving to Melbourne I have really worked on developing my style and challenging myself, exploring how my work can be transformed in different ways. Art and textiles were always my favourite subject at school, for me creating is just built into my system, it’s my passion, my therapy, my expression and I can’t ever imagine my life without it!
We’re big fans of Lucas Wearne from Neighbourhood Studio! How did this collaboration between the two of you come about?
I am also a huge fan of Lucas’s work. I have followed his progress for a while and love his beautifully naive approach to limestone forms, I found them so simple and so powerful.
Collaboration is important for me as an artist, combining processes and exploring how your works can be reincarnated into something special. I reached out to ask if he would be interested in working on a project together as I wanted to explore combining two-dimensional practices with three-dimensional forms and he said yes. I was over the moon!
Why is the collection titled ‘Genesis’?
The word ‘genesis’ means origin, creation or beginning; it stems from the Ancient Greek word ‘gignesthai’ meaning ‘to be born’. It seemed like a fitting title as this project was an experimentation to explore how both of our works could be combined to form a birth of something new. Each piece is a balance of both of our practices and its been very special to watch this come to life.
In recent months we’ve all been forced to slow down and reflect a lot, which seems like an appropriate parallel for a collaboration intended to celebrate the handmade form. Has our current context changed the way you’ve viewed the works, or even your practice?
Yes massively! Although these current times have happened in negative circumstances, I have never felt so grateful to have a creative practice. The instant feeling of release, to come into a studio and make what you feel like making, to explore areas of myself, my life and my practice that never had the time to before.
It doesn’t matter if you spend hours or days or weeks making a piece that might end up in the bin, it’s been a very special time to reflect, explore and understand what serves me and what doesn’t.
Working without applying any pressure on the outcome in order to fully immerse myself in the process is definitely something I have taken away from this time.
Keen to add some unique, locally-made pieces to your home? Browse the Genesis collection here.