Textile Artist and Jeweller working in River Studios
What appealed to you most about your studio space when you first saw it?
The way the light glowed through the windows and filtered from the skylights above. The space is generous, and I could immediately see myself working here. I looked at a few different spaces, both at River Studios and elsewhere, and as soon as I walked into this studio, there was the sense of ‘this is the one’.
How have you made this space your own?
I have divided the space into different working zones. I like to work on multiple projects concurrently, so having the right spaces set up and accessible is very important to me. I also like to have ‘quiet’ spaces: a place to have a cup of tea and read a book, to sit and think or to simply look at the pieces I am working on around me.
What do you create or make in your studio?
I mainly work with textiles, specialising in hand making wool felt. It’s such a beautiful tactile process, and the materials, equipment and processes have not altered for thousands of years. I love to work with such an ancient process to create pieces that are expressive and contemporary. I make artworks, homewares, wearables and large installation pieces. I also work with metals, timber, stone, paper – anything, really! – to create objects and jewellery. All of my pieces are exploring a particular thought or concept; I just love the process of an idea, a feeling, a moment, becoming a tangible thing.
What is your favourite item in your studio at the moment (or in the whole building)?
I love having my work around me, and little plants and objects in the space. My favourite things here are not actually items, but more a sense, and little rituals. I love to get here early when it is very quiet. My studio faces east and as the sun rises over the city, the light hits a particular spot on the wall. I love this moment. I love to start the day quietly, watering plants, arranging things, slowly thinking about my work. I love the transition from this meditative beginning to an active and vibrant workday in a communal creative environment. One of my dearest friends shares the space with me a day or two each week, and we have some exciting discussions and creative experiments. All of these things inspire me, and influence my work.
Holly Elliot is a textile artist and jewellery designer working under the moniker Azevinha. She works and plays in her West Melbourne studio to create beautiful, tactile pieces. She loves working with wool, silk, metal, stone and ceramic; in fact, she loves pretty much anything that thrills the fingertips. Holly specialises in hand making fine wool felt. She takes this ancient textile craft and applies her own style, developing techniques to create unique pieces that are playful, contemporary and filled with joy.
Growing up on a property in the Western Australian bush gave Holly a love of nature, of stillness, and contemplation. Whether small, bright painterly pieces or large spatial installation works, her artworks are always expressive of a narrative, a thought, a moment. With careful attention to intersection and joinery, they encourage imagination and reflection and seek to share a dialogue of the little joys she has in her heart. Her label Azevinha will be launching late 2014.