Meet the ‘Face of the Trail’ Gillian Farrow

Meet the Artists Q&A
About This Project

What medium/s do you work in and why do you love it?
I predominately work as a printmaker on textiles. I use screen printing, stencilling, stamping and any mark making I can print with. Textiles, it’s fair to say, are my first love. There is something wonderful about how a print paste takes to fabric; it can have a beautiful luminosity, especially on a natural fibre such as linen. With printmaking, there are always things to experiment with and learn.

How would you describe your creative practice and process?
I like to make, repair, and embellish things – I see myself as a maker, I love to learn new skills. Drawing is often the starting point for me to have a visual on the idea. From there, how I will make it, what materials I might use, and the method. Then I must just start making or it may be trialling and testing how I can achieve it.

How would you describe your studio?
My studio is a bit of a visual overload! It’s very colourful, lots of layers of things, organised (I hate spending five minutes trying to find something), and full of projects on the go. It is a very creative space and part lounge room. Shed 290 is full of possibilities!

Have you always worked in a creative field? Can you talk about what has lead you to where you are today as an artist?
Yes, I have mostly worked in the creative field. I first worked in the film industry in art departments and in special effects, this was great training to use my hands to make things, learn a range of skills, and above all giving me the confidence to give anything a go. I then studied Textile Design at RMIT where I fell in love with screen-printing and repeating patterns. After graduation, I set up my own Print Studio. I relocated my studio to establish Shed 290 with my partner Ian Westwood. We are creative collaborators. 

How does living in the Surf Coast region inspire or inform your work?
Living in a rural part of the Surf Coast, my work often reflects the environment and surroundings, not in a literal landscape sense, but through texture and colour. 

Why do you participate in the Surf Coast Arts Trail and what are the positives it brings to you as an artist and community member?
I participate in the Surf Coast Arts Trail because of the people! We have met so many lovely and interesting people who have made their way to Shed 290. We both really want our studio to be a welcoming space to enter and love to talk to people that come to the studio. I really value their feedback. Deans Marsh has a strong creative community. Our arts group SPaRK will open the Footy Shed Gallery and the Hall to showcase many artists and creative makers from around these parts. SPaRK runs many community arts based events. 

Visit Gillian Farrow at her studio, Shed 290 (number 53 on the map).