2019 | A Year in Review

Posted by Antoinette Ferwerda on

As 2019 draws to an end we are taking the time to reflect on the busy, colourful, collaborative year that was. My team always remind me to celebrate our achievements, big and small, so today we’d like to reflect and look back to the highlights from the year that have marked 2019 as our biggest and best one yet.
From renovating the studio to employing a full-time team to expanding internationally into the US market and collaborating with many like-minded brands and individuals, 2019 has seen us grow and expand beyond our wildest dreams.
 Here’s a snapshot of the highs and highlights that shaped the year that was.

Two solo exhibitions 

'Wonderland' in June which was the biggest and boldest show to date which celebrated the vast spectrum of winter botanicals. 

 'Sanctuary' in October was a capsule collection that truly emphasises and plays with the colours, light and serene beauty of Australia’s vast wetlands, as studied from dusk to dawn during a family trip to Australia’s Top End.

We had some of our most requested pieces ever

We renovated three times and we are ending the year with another office re-jig

We officially established a company and added full-time staff 

We launched new large-format prints in an XL size of 1.5m x 1.5m

We expanded into the US market with a body of work on show with Lilac Gallery in NYC who exhibited at the Fall Affordable Art Fair

The pieces travelled far and wide and landed in many fabulous homes all over the world from Australia to Singapore, London to New York  

Including a large 2 x 2 metre piece for Bec Judd's new family home in Brighton, her bespoke work 'Esplanade Hills' featured on The Style School, see more here

You can also follow the process of Bec's commission piece from the beginning over on our Instagram story highlights, view here

We partnered, collaborated and had a lot of fun with a range of like-minded brands and individuals 

Melbourne Flower Show & The Design School,  Fletchers Real Estate with Mercedes Benz Silverstar Motors, Trit House & Dulux Colour Forecast were just some of the brands we worked with in 2019.

Contact us today to discuss collaborations and brand partnerships for 2020 

 Some of our favourite glossies, blogs, TV and radio programs featured Antoinette’s work and studio

The studio appeared on Postcards in March with Rebecca Judd. Antoinette’s artwork featured in Belle Magazine for a project styled by Arent Pyke Studio. Swapping the paintbrush for the microphone, Antoinette was a guest on Culture Club Radio speaking about her artistic journey and how she juggles her roles as both mum and artist. The Wonderland show was published on The Design Files in June!
Review the feature here.


We dialled up our production with our biggest, boldest photoshoot yet in partnership with Bree Leech and Lisa Cohen

There were a number of private commissions completed this year which involved working with clients to create their own individual bespoke piece of art

Here are five of our faves, Emerald Hills for Lisa, Transparent in Olive for Heather, Wild Rose for Petar, Magenta Crystalline for Sam and Libby & Coral Bougainvillea for Tina and Dom.

We gave back to charities big and small

Donations were made to Maddie’s Vision, Brainwave, Polished Man, St Joan of Arc Primary SchoolMirka for Melbourne, Defining Beauty & more

We (occasionally) let our hair down and celebrated our journey

A note from Nette:

As you can see, it’s certainly been an artful and jam-packed year at AF Gallery. A year that was our biggest and best thanks to the hardest working dream team that is Pip and Ash, my full-time right-hand gals who share my daily dream. A shout out and endless gratitude to my creative consultants that have become an extension to my team, Amber Phillips from Wunderbrand and Tane Ozlu from Tane Ozlu Graphic Design

There are so many more shining stars that continue to bring my vision to life and make me look all grown up and professional, my canvas maker, Mitch Oates; Mel and team at Melbourne Art Supplies; my fabulous framer, Greg O'Shea; my printmaker, Karl Stamer; my product photographer, Justin Cooper, all my amazing art couriers.
Thanks and gratitude to my gallerists, Alex Thom and Cynthia Ilitzky. And to the many design professionals who brought my art to life with their interior style.
Thanks to my very special family, friends, school communities and all those wonderful people actively sharing my artistic journey. To my beautiful pup Pippa who is our gallery mascot and always puts a smile on my face.
And most importantly, a special thanks to my Mum for reminding me to do what I love; my husband for believing in me and my kids for their infinite inspiration.
We love seeing the amazing homes that showcase the work, surrounding ourselves with other brands and creative talent, giving back to a cross section of charities and communities that help those in need, working on partnerships with trade and like-minded brands, gaining representation near and far and most of all, adding colour and personality to homes and space. 
We can’t thank you enough for supporting us and being part of our journey and we look forward to sharing some new adventures, collections, works and collaborations with you in 2020.
I’m off to enjoy a rest with my family at the beach and hope you all get to enjoy some down-time to reflect on 2019.
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year.
Big love from Nette and her dream team xx

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