At home with: Alana Wilson, ceramicist

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I’ve been a fan of Alana Wilson‘s work for awhile now and have seen her popping up everywhere around my creative circles.  Alana is a Sydney local who was born in Canberra and raised in Wellington, New Zealand.  She came out to Sydney to study at the prestigious National Art School.  Upon graduation in 2012, she stayed and calls the beach suburb of Tamarama her home.  It took me quite some time to realise that she is the same Alana that is my… lovely neighbour!  As in, she lives in the same building as me, just two floors below…was one of the first people in the universe to meet my son, on our way down the backyard for some newborn’s first sunshine (!).  Honestly, I was eating up her instagram feed for months before I made the connection.

Alana was kind enough to let us into her quiet abode to capture where the artist rests away from work.

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Upon stepping into her flat, you immediately notice a calmness.  There is an all-white, sort of neutral aesthetic that really engulfs you in a subconscious serenity.  I can assure you, I am not used to this same approach in my own home, which is technically a carbon copy set-up, yet it is so interesting to see how two people style the same space so completely opposite.

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I immediately noted the lack of frills and very purposefully curated surrounds of her space.

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A: “Home is definitely my sanctuary – a place of calm to retreat and recover. Personally, I am quite minimalistic with artworks, objects and sentimental items. I dislike the notion of having a sense of attachment to any physical or material item. In the studio there are always references, experiments and a range of vessels in the space. At home I prefer to streamline my surroundings in order to refresh and begin the next day with a clear mentality.”

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Her book and magazine collection is quite something, so much so that I might consider spending some more time downstairs in her personal library.

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A: “I love the sound of the palms in the wind, listening to the waves at night and the birds in the early morning.”

There is a gorgeous soft light that floods into the space during the day, adding to the beautiful calming effect of her pared back decoration and highlighting the subtle intricacies of her work.  My absolute favourite of her pieces is the vessel that is smack in the middle here, in the softest, softest shade of purple. The works of hers that I am most drawn to are of the most delicate shades of pink, purple & blue, with this fragile crackling effect that further adds to the prehistoric nature of the shapes she creates.

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This copper piece in her bedroom I was calling the ‘Penultimate’ – to see it in real life is just…jaw dropping, grounding almost.  It’s almost too beautiful and robust to exist.  It also reminds me of the Emperor’s New Groove which (despite having a degree in Art History and theory myself) in my eyes holds it in the highest esteem.

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Things got a bit free and wild near the end of our day together; we three – Alana, myself and photographer Luisa Brimble made such a great team.  The creativity really flourished and the ‘mess’ is probably my favourite part of the day.

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It’s a process, right…3 hours in and I’m finally getting to the goods; I loved working these last images out together with such fabulous women.

Thank you so much Alana for having us in your space.

Stay tuned for her studio, which is just down the road…and so different!

 

Photography: Luisa Brimble  Production & Styling: Nicole Valentine Don

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