On our recent visit to Melbourne we had the absolute pleasure of meeting the incredibly talented Rowena Martinich and Geoffrey Carran. Having discovered their work early last year via Real Living Magazine, their passion for colour was so infectious that an obsession began. Needless to say when we arrived at their gorgeous East Melbourne studio, we felt like we were meeting the “rock stars” of the design world!
This delightful duo were just as amazing as we had imagined and their passion for their work truly evident. Equally talented, Rowena as an abstract public artist and Geoffrey with his flair for painting endemic species – their collaboration in both art in love has created something of an artistic-romantic explosion. We chatted to them both about how they got started, what inspires them and where to next.
Rowena, a public artist is best known for her unique talent for transforming public spaces such as buildings, shop fronts and public transport into large scale canvases. Her signature abstract drippy art, creating a riot of colour and happiness for all to enjoy. Creating works on such a large scale involves a lot of planning and paperwork – with council consent, scaffolding, logistics and safety to consider – but the end result is awe inspiring. The video below shows Rowena and Geoffrey working on the Balmoral mural project, and the delight it brought to all those who walked past it.
As well as her public art installations, Rowena also creates amazing work on canvas, the texture and intensity of colour is magnified in real life. There is no ‘randomness’ in creating these pieces and each drip, dot and splatter is carefully planned and placed. A true perfectionist when it comes to her art, evidenced in every piece of her work. We had the privilege of seeing some of her recent large scale canvas works unrolled, before they were framed – an experience we will never forget, it gave us goosebumps!!
Always open to creating with different mediums, earlier this year Rowena has worked on a range of hand painted ceramics; from small bowls through to large platters in her signature bold colour palette. Each piece created by hand with no two pieces the same. We were both lucky enough to take home a platter, currently hanging in pride of place on Ses’s living room wall.
Geoffrey Carran’s art is equally as amazing! very much influenced by nature, having grown up in New Zealand with a love for fishing, hunting and the great outdoors. Prior to completing his Masters in Fine arts at RMIT in Melbourne, Geoffrey spent time as a landscape gardener. This fondness for the outdoors is evidenced by the beautiful works of art he has created featuring native Australian species. Many of the subjects of his works are birds photographed whilst on bush walks near the couple’s home in Jan Juc in coastal Victoria.
Image via Home Beautiful Magazine
Rowena and Geoffrey first met three years ago while working on a mural project in Melbourne. Rowena, a RMIT Public Arts graduate was mentoring a group of students and Geoffrey, a RMIT Fine Art graduate turned up with a car load of supplies. They then went on to collaborate on a range of projects, with the first being an exhibition curated by Rowena at the NGV studio where Geoffrey painted roses into Rowena’s abstract art, a very romantic collaboration. Since then the couple have gone from strength to strength both artistically and romantically, recently becoming husband and wife.
Under the Martinich and Carran brand, Rowena and Geoffrey have worked on a range of cushions with Geoffrey’s cockatoo paintings on one side and Rowena’s abstract art on the other. These limited edition pieces have featured in many magazines and are available to purchase from their site here.
Image via Martinich & Carran
The couple have lots of exciting plans in the pipeline both for their individual and collaborative works, so be sure keep an eye on the Martinich and Carran site and follow them on instagram to keep up to date (Rowena / Geoffrey). This couple were so delightful, we felt truly privileged to meet them and their incredible works of art.