Meet amazing South-West artists at the 2019 Margaret River Region Open Studios

Published Monday, April 22, 2019 in What's On & Events

Calling all art lovers! Here we feature a few of the artists you should definitely visit during the 2019 Open Studios.

If you’re an art lover,  you’ve likely already discovered the South-West’s rich and diverse art scene.

But for those seeking insight into the process behind how the region’s talented artists create their work, Margaret River Region Open Studios is the event for you.

The annual event is in its sixth year. The 2019 Open Studios takes place from 27 April to 12 May and will see more than 100 artists from Busselton to Augusta throw open their studios for a unique behind-the-scenes look at their work and creative spaces. Sculptors, illustrators, jewellers, printmakers, glassblowers, ceramicists, photographers and furniture makers are participating in this year’s Open Studios, including 19 artists new artists.

Many of their names you will know like Leon Pericles, John Miller, Rebecca Cool and Christian Fletcher, but there are many more in region to discover and visit.

As a bonus, no bookings are needed and the event is free.

So why not plan your day around visiting your favourite artists, with a stop at a winery for lunch? Or perhaps an art-filled holiday is on the cards, where you can dedicate a few days to adding to your art collection — all while staying in one of our luxury holiday homes.

The itinerary options are endless, but here are a few of the artists, to get you started.

Fi Wilkie

A self-described late bloomer to the art scene, having only taken up painting seriously about 15 years ago after the birth of her first daughter, Fi has since honed her skills in abstract acrylic art, with a focus on country life, its people and landscapes.

Working from Toot Studio — fittingly named after its former life as a railway fireman’s cottage — in Margaret River, Fi said she began hosting art workshops after the first Margaret River Region Open Studios inspired her to share her creative process with others.

Fi Wilkie opens Toot Studio. Photo by Tim Campbell

“(Open Studios) is a threefold experience because you’re looking at the art, you’re meeting the person that made it and you get to see how this person connects with this art, and then you’re seeing the space that they work in and the environment that inspires them,” she said.

“Teaching workshops was a natural development of that because people were so interested in how I was doing things.

“That’s what’s really interesting because you’re giving them the message that they have the capacity to look within themselves and find out what they can do.”

Carmen McFaull

If you need any more inspiration for a relaxing seaside holiday, then Carmen’s paintings will give you just that.

The retired Dunsborough-based art teacher works in pastel, oil, acrylic and gouache, with her colourful work inspired by the South-West coast and Rottnest as well as her travels to India, Bali, the Italian countryside and coastal areas in the Greek Islands, Morocco, Spain, the French Riviera and Venice.

“I am attracted to the beauty of all kinds, like an old dinghy or a water lily garden,” she said.

Carmen McFaull’s work. Photo by Tim Campbell

Payet Gallery

Francois & Nicholas Payet have been handcrafting jewellery for more than 30 years, drawing inspiration from the minute detail of organic hidden treasures found within their natural surroundings and from the energy of the Margaret River region.

Two in a family of seven children, they spent their childhood in the Seychelles, where Francois first developed an interest in jewellery, before they moved to Melbourne and later Margaret River.

They work out of a purpose-built design studio and gallery, making sophisticated, yet simple, designs that encompass precious metals, stunning gemstones and luscious pearls.

“I draw inspiration from nature,” Francois said. “The textures and organic shapes that attract my mind’s eye gently work their way into my designs, which mostly take shape in my dreams.”

Designs By Voytek

Once dubbed “Busselton’s Man of Steel”, Voytek Kozlowski creates all of his work by hand, working with different metals to produce interesting forms and finishes that also include ceramics, glass, wood and stone.

Voytek, who has a background in mechanics and welding, works from his gallery nestled amongst a vineyard and bush and overlooking stunning Geographe Bay.

After visiting his gallery during Open Studios, you may like to discover his public art, which features at local schools, community facilities and parks.

Alice Linford-Forte

Living overseas, currently in Indonesia, Alice re-visits her home town of Margaret River for a few months each year to paint from her studio on a beautiful farm where there is loads of inspiration from the surrounding nature, the farm and it’s animals.

Alice expresses herself as authentically as possible. “Through abstract painting I lay down my emotions; raw and unfiltered. My work is an extension of my mood, executed through colours, shapes, lines and empty spaces. As long as I continue to refine and develop, so does the art”.

The last 6 months have seen her painting in public spaces and on canvas. Visit her Birchfield Farm Gallery to view her interesting works.

Alice Linford Forte. Photo by Tim Campbell

John Miller Design

Operating from a small gallery and workshop just minutes from Yallingup’s famous surf breaks, John Miller Design’s uniquely crafted silver and gold jewellery is inspired by the local scenery, flora and fauna.

John Miller Designs. Photo by Tim Campbell

While visiting the gallery, have a look at its eco-friendly design, which includes solar panels on the roof to produce all of the power needed for the gallery and workshop, as well as rainwater tanks and composting facilities for its garden.

Inspired to explore the South-West’s rich art scene? We have beautiful, luxury homes throughout the region. Browse our portfolio to find the perfect home for your Open Studios holiday.