I’ve always been in love with art, and I have happy memories of wandering around exhibitions with my loyal art buddy (aka: Mum) by my side as we discuss the use of colour or brush strokes in the language of two who are enthusiastic, untrained and relatively clueless on most things except for what we intuitively just love (or don’t!).
While collaborations are not uncommon these days, I’m a firm believe that to be successful, they should be somewhat organic and like a dance, become more with the two partners engaged. As soon as I saw Cathy Quinn’s work I had that immediate, from-the-gut ‘I love it’ feeling I’ve had in front of various artists over the years.
At face value, Cathy Quinn’s style seems quite different to my own textile designs that we run continuously through the TAHLO range but as I found out, they are in fact two similar processes but using totally different techniques and mediums.
I sat down with Cathy asked her a few questions.
Sophie: Tell us about the collaboration from your point of view.
Cathy: This painting is called ‘Floating by’ and is one of my favourite works. I have it at home on my studio wall and haven’t been able to part with it - I’m not sure why but it just draws me in.
I’ve always felt like it would make a beautiful print for a textile, and I’m so glad it has a second life being worn.
This is my first textile collaboration and I knew as soon as I discovered the Tahlo brand that we would be a good fit. Our collaboration brings together our similar values and complimentary style that inspires colour and texture .
Note: ‘Floating by’ the painting is also available as a glycee print here.
Sophie: I have a huge admiration for your work, not least because I am totally incapable of creating anything like it. How does it happen?
Cathy: My medium is oil paint, which I build up and break down. Employing shape sparingly, and using colour as a way to tell the story.
The process is very instinctual and the outcome is rarely the intention. My satisfaction comes from relinquishing and letting the process take hold.
[Sophie: That’s interesting - I can relate in terms of paring back shape and detail, and also the end result being an output of the process rather than necessarily an intention to create that particular thing.]
Sophie: One thing I find exciting about textile design is that they’re are layers to what it is - for example, there is the design itself, then how it interacts on the textile once printed, how it changes further when it is in the form of a garment and then again when worn by someone and styled by them. How have you felt seeing your work as part of a clothing range?
Oh it is absolutely lovely! My work is all about layering; colour upon colour to create something new and to have it created into a textile feels like an extension of that process.
Seeing it put onto a different surface, with the transparency of the voile and how the layers of colour have translated onto the fabric is a joy. I’m thrilled with the outcome.
Sophie: And what about seeing someone wearing 'A Cathy Quinn'?!?
What a treat! It is similar to when I see one of my paintings in situ, or someone sends me a photo of the work hung in their home - it shows how something I created is now incorporated into someone else’s life which is a really amazing feeling. The colours are brightening someone else’s life.
The idea of seeing someone walking the street who has incorporated this fabric into their life and style and made it their own is a real kick!
Sophie: We’re both locals of the same neighbourhood, and met through the TAHLO fitting room. What is your favourite thing about living in the very small suburb of Hawthorn West?
I love the sense of community and how our local shopping strip is building into so much more than a collection of shops. The yoga studio, the cafes, the pharmacist, Frey and The Woodsfolk, and the organic grocers....
Local shopping strips used to be about community and we lost that for a while but it’s coming back. The fact I can walk out your door and have access to all this without having to get in your car is really something I value.
View the TAHLO x Cathy Quinn collaboration here.