In conversation with Trudy Rice
Delicate textures and atmospheric depth bring Melbourne artist Trudy Rice’s love and empathy for the natural environment directly to the viewer. Trudy’s artworks are created by printing many layers of monotype and solar plate etchings. With mindful observation, the initial drawings are etched in the very sun and water in which the specimens are found. She creates works on paper, and these inform the designs for her signature range of textiles and homewares including designer cushions, table runners, tea towels as well as projects with murals and wallpaper. These homewares depict a transference of her art from paper to fabric. With an ethos of protecting our environment, she uses organic product, recycles as much as possible and manufactures in Australia.
What was the spark for “Captured, Australian Bush”? Where did the story begin?
I’ve always been creative. As a young teenager, I played many instruments, the flute, cello and then the guitar. I kept playing the guitar and still do from time to time. In my 20’s I made beaded jewellery and sold my work at markets. I’ve always drawn, and in my 30’s I started painting. In amongst raising a family, I decided that I really loved painting and took myself back to art school to do an Advanced Diploma in Visual Arts and Contemporary Craft. I was introduced to printmaking for the first time and LOVED it and have never looked back. In my early years, I worked as a fashion model for some of Australia's most talented designers. I do not sew, but I love fabric, so the natural progression of my works on paper seemed to flow into fabric design. My current artworks in lockdown are a little smaller than the large framed artwork currently showing at Feliz Home and furniture, Brighton ‘Captured, Australian Bush’.
What inspires you creatively?
The spark of creativity comes when I find something in nature that stirs my interest. I’m doing more walking at this time of COVID, only 5km from home due to Victorian stage 4 lockdown and this means even something as simple as a particular leaf shape, texture or colour is sure to inspire.
How would you describe your style when it comes to your products?
My style is feminine, delicate and based around nature. I have often been told that my work ’smells like the bush’. I love making colours from scratch and hope that these encapsulate happiness, balance and a sense of calmness.
Most memorable place you've travelled?
The most exciting and memorable place I have travelled so far has been India. I love the diversity, the colours and the food. I look forward to being able to travel again, and Japan is on the top of my list.
On a typical weekend, we'll find you?
Right now in stage 4 lockdown….. but when I can, we spend time in Lorne, on the Great Ocean Road. My mother-in-law Heather has the most beautiful garden, full of inspiration.
What's your best piece of advice when buying items for your home?
Function and beauty. Find these two things in a product, and your home will be a haven. I am lucky to do what I love, and art has the function of providing beauty.
A favourite quote?
‘Creativity is not an occupation, but a preoccupation’, Sir John Hegarty
At Feliz, we love this because…
Trudy’s work is delicate with layers of muted tones and textures. The fine detail in Trudy’s work is beautifully complemented with the delicate paper used to hand screen print the patterns.
It’s great for any home…
The series we feature at Feliz home is the perfect size for above your buffet, sideboard or featured in your bedroom. Inspired by her surroundings and Australian botanicals this series will perfectly compliment any space.
When styling we encourage you to hang your art at eye height. Currently, the ‘Captured, Australia Bush’ series we have at Feliz Home hangs on our Designers Guild Brera Grasscloth Steel Wallpaper. The tone of the Steel accentuates the beautiful delicate details of the bush leaf screen print.