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Home Stories: Penelope Boyd

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In this edition of Home Stories, Ashley Feraude visits the Latham home of artist Penelope Boyd, and discovers a “living gallery”.

You know how they say that things happen in groups of three?

It’s usually to do with bad luck or strange coincidences (like wearing the same shirt as your colleague three days in a row) and while I’m not really sure where the original suspicion originates, I’m living proof that it’s real.

I don’t know if you follow our stories in order, or if you like to do a time warp by jumping around, but you may have noticed we recently met with two other sets of homeowners who love, celebrate or make art. And in this instalment, the homeowner proved this rule of threes.

Penelope Boyd’s Latham home triples as an artist studio, gallery and visual wonderland for those with a love of vintage-inspired interiors. I’m not sure Penelope would agree with me in saying that her home is a gallery, but I left with the same feeling I get after I’ve seen an exhibition, so I’m going to stick with that.

In fact, it’s a kind of ‘living’ gallery that changes all the time and I could see Penelope’s progression as an artist through her different techniques, media use and even framing preferences.

Her home, which she shares with her husband, two children and two doggies, is very much a living space in that same sense. Now before you say ‘well duh, Ashley, all homes are living spaces that’s why they’re called living rooms’, let me just pre-empt and say that Penelope’s choice of décor demonstrates the things she likes to collect, the necessities of life and the elements that are in transition.

“The home is most definitely not done­—things just keep changing—and even though I have a vision of the ultimate goal, its actually living in the moment while tweaking things that makes the house alive,” says Penelope.

“When we moved in, this was a traditional inner-Belconnen house with brown carpets and yellow walls, but slowly we changed this appearance into something much brighter but not stereotypically modern and match-y.”

Pointing at a wall filled with paintings she adds, “as you can see I’m a bit of a hoarder—especially old art. Kind of the opposite of my minimalist husband but it means a lot to me.”

If you’re a hoarder with taste, are you still considered a hoarder or an informed collector? I’d say the latter.

During our visit, Cass and I only moved through three spaces—the kitchen, the studio and the living room. Still, I felt like we have seen so much more because every wall, shelf or table caught my attention with painted pieces, artwork, vintage collectables and of course Penelope’s ceramics.

It’s interesting how such a busy space doesn’t seem overwhelming when there’s a thread of colour, texture or style binding the elements together. And while we’re at it, why buy everything in the same colour when you can get a little more adventurous and use the sum of the parts to unite the space into a single idea?

Ceramics is the third venture Penelope juggles alongside painting and her professional work. Her passion for art is inspiring. You can sense it in the way she talks about her art, the way she fills her home with it (including painting the kitchen sliding door) and in the subject matter of her portraits, still life and landscape pieces.

Towards the end of our visit, our conversation turned to discussing the future: of Penelope as an artist, of the next things to do around the house, of Canberra as an art-appreciating community.

We fit in so much into a 30-minute visit and yet none of it was overwhelming—I guess because being creative in your home was the thread that bound it all together.

Now, did you notice the reference to threes all the way through the article? Well, the weird thing is, I didn’t plan it that way. It just happened on its own and I only noticed it after I finished writing this story for you. Freaky huh? Well, I’m sure it won’t happen again…












Read all of Ashley’s Home Stories series here

Home Stories is brought to you in partnership with Canberra Outlet Centre

Photography: Cass Atkinson

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