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Rebecca Judd | Artistic Wonderland May 29 2015

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Are we not ridiculously spoilt for choice when it comes to Aussie art talent? Oh yes we are, I hear you chant! And right you are! Did I just manage to have a conversation with myself? I think I did?

Anyhow, we have been following (or is it stalking?) the work of Antoinette Ferwerda for quite some time now. You may recognise her gorgeous iconic “Little Hills’ art series with those gorgeous pastel arches that featured in Billie’s nursery on Style School 1? These pieces have also managed to show up in a number of glossy mags and blogs, which is of no surprise given how gorgeous they are!

Well we are excited to announce that things have progressed since then, and there is now a NEW limited edition print series- and you are seeing it here first on RJL today. ‘Coastal Hills’ has emerged in its blissful copper, blush and blue tones, and highlights this artist’s continuing love affair with line and colour.

A background in graphic design has most certainly played a part in helping Antoinette produce her latest range, with strong illustrative techniques to be found in her “Still Life with Passionfruit” and “Still Life with Tequila” pieces. These quirky and bold personality-packed masterpieces in peach and black are bound to add a buzz to any dining or kitchen area!

After the sold-out success of her first solo exhibition at The Ministry or Art last year, we have another show to look forward to this coming November. With a broad scope of work on offer, (including inks on paper, signature painted palm pods, original acrylic paintings) – don’t feel like you have to wait that long to get your hands on a piece! Antoinette’s beautiful limited edition print series (all signed and numbered by the artist and printed on thick archival paper) are available now, and Greenhouse Interiors can happily direct you to a retailer in your city!

When Nette is not painting up a storm, she is busy designing Ninnho’s next towel collection! This is one mulit-talented (and delightful) woman with a wee bit to juggle. Keep up the beautiful work Nette.

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Feature in Daily Imprint | May 15th 2015

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“My solo exhibition last year at The Ministry of Art in St Kilda was the most amazing, daunting, rewarding, fulfilling and truly incredible experience, providing me with recognition for my artistic passion,” says artist Antoinette Ferwerda. “When I committed to the show date, there was no turning back - it became gruelling to paint late into the night for months.” But once the works were complete and hung and the first painting sold, Antoinette relaxed and reconsidered her career. While she started a visual communications degree at RMIT, she transferred mid course to a BA at Deakin University, majoring in psychology and neurological impairment. She worked in the pharmaceutical industry for 14 years while maintaining an art practice in her spare time. “Somehow, every creative pursuit over the years had come full circle in that one night and I felt a sense of calm being right back where I belonged - I was an artist.” The show sold out and now Antoinette has a selection of works available through Greenhouse Interiorsand a range of towels with Ninnho. Her next exhibition will be in November at The Ministry of Art.

Which five words best describe you? Artistic, passionate, imaginative, intuitive, optimistic.

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? From a young age, doing arty stuff was a very natural part of daily life, particularly as I had the good fortune of having an art teacher as my mum. I studied art throughout secondary school, particularly loved art history and English literature, then went on to uni to study graphic design. Somehow, my inner creative felt disconnected so I switched unis, finished a different BA and found myself working for the next 14 years in the scientific, corporate world of pharmaceuticals. Painting had become my weekend hobby and I’d managed to sell a few artworks to family, friends and corporates over the years. I painted in my tiny flat and then moved house to paint in my garage, working on large private commissions and creative projects for around 10 years whilst juggling my corporate career. When I was lucky enough to have my beautiful children, spending time at home allowed some space which triggered my inner creative to switch on loudly. My painting technique and style had developed over those 10 years, the timing was right and I started to work hard to finally call myself an artist.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Say yes to every creative job opportunity, then figure out how to do it and what you like doing best later. Each time you try something new, you challenge yourself and grow creatively. Stay positive and keep trying - things always work out.

What’s your proudest career achievement? My sold-out first solo exhibition at Ministry of Art last year and deciding to do my second exhibition at MOA this year in November.

What’s been your best decision? To start my family, to pick up my paintbrush instead of my pharmaceutical bag and to launch my designer towel brand, Ninnho, with my business partner Angela.


What are you passionate about? I’m passionate about creating and the emotional process I experience in the production of a painting. My painting is life affirming and energising; it guides me in a unique story of teaching through creation.
  
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Carl Jung.

What dream do you still want to fulfil? Building a family home that contains a purpose-built and very spacious art studio - one day!

What are you reading? The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - again: love his writing style and drawings.
images courtesy of antoinette ferwerda and greenhouse interiors; photography zoë mongey, styling fiona rattray
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The Design Files June 2012

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Melbourne-based artist Antoinette Murray (maiden name Ferwerda) creates large-scale acrylic paintings (some 3 metres long!) for corporate offices and private homes… but it’s her works on paper that have caught my eye recently.   These more delicate works explore mixed media, using acrylic paints, airbrush textas, splattered ink and metallic highlights. Super simple, but so striking and pretty.

Antoinette originally studied Graphic Design at RMIT, but spent 13 years working in the pharmaceutical industry, balancing her art practice with a corporate career.  Eventually after many years selling her paintings to friends, family and clients, Antoinette took the plunge, and launched her business, Ferwerda Art, under which name she now creates a great variety of work – from paintings and works on paper, to vibrant painted palm pods, and wall murals which combine collage and paint.

Antoinette is based in Hampton in Melbourne, where she worked from her home studio, often happily interrupted by kids Tehya (5) and Lawson (3).

Antoinette’s work can be commissioned directly (contact via her website), or found at retail stockists including Assembly Hall in Willimstown, Page 8 in Hampton, Something Different in Rockhampton, and Stone and Grain in Ocean Grove, Victoria.

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Melbourne Weekly CAM Art Exhibition November 2014

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The Home Journal December 2014

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Tom Teutenberg
Monday 1 December 2014
The Home Journal's newest recruit, photographer Tom Teutenberg, takes to the streets to check out some of Melbourne's latest exhibitions.

Where: Ministry of Art
Who: Antoinette Ferwerda
When: 13 November 2014 – 7 December 2014

About the Artist…
Antoinette Ferwerda Lives and creates her paintings and artworks in her Melbourne studio, Australia.  Her Dutch heritage and Australian upbringing have encouraged a playful style of artwork – a sense of old blending with new, her confident use of colour capturing light and adding a playful warmth to her subject matter.  She uses acrylic paint and paper on canvas for paintings framed in raw timber.  Her “Fireworks” paintings splatter ink on hand-made paper.  Her signature palm tree pods, which grow in her back garden, are collected and restored, then hand-painted for a new design purpose.   Creative themes focus on light and the geometry of shape.  Her compositions capture soft colours and reflect upon memories of countryside landscapes, the beach and classic literature.

Influenced by science and art, she enjoys exploring pattern and shape.

Inspiration for Antoinette comes from many things – daily life, art history, abstract expressionism, science and the natural world, architecture, her children’s drawings – she says she simply loves to create. An artist, wife to David and “Mum” to Tehya and Lawson, she is the creative designer behind the sold-out success of Ziporah designer towel collection. She is excited to be launching her next designer towel collection for NINNHO in January 2015.

Ministry of Art will host her first gallery exhibition commencing 13 November 2014. She is a feature artist for the annualCamberwell Girls Grammar School Art show,CamArt, 28 November 2014. Her original paintings hang upon walls in Australia, Europe and the USA. She works directly with art collectors for private commissions in homes and offices, regularly collaborating with interior designers and stylists for television and print press.

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