Marnie Gilder is an abstract artist and mum to Annabelle, 8, and Alf, 5. Her beautiful hand-printed screen prints are all limited edition and created with love from her studio in The Barossa, South Australia. Under her maiden name, Marnie Wark, she also paints beautiful large scale artworks for corporate commissions and national exhibitions.
5 MINUTES WITH MARNIE
Mum to… Annabelle (8) and Alf (5). Country of origin… Australia. Currently living… Barossa Valley. Dreaming of… surfing small and friendly waves. Guilty pleasure… watching clips of the Super Bowl halftime show on YouTube. Friends would describe me as… a barnacled storyteller who likes to elaborate the truth. Finding inspiration in… the Australian environment, pop culture, music and fashion. Fate or hard work… hard work, without a doubt.
What’s your house like in the morning? Chaos or organised bliss?
It starts off calm and then descends into chaos the closer we get to 8.30am. Then it’s all about doing my daughter’s hair and finding pairs of shoes.
Do you have a morning routine?
I like to start every morning with a long black coffee in bed at 6.30am. It helps me to start the day with immense enthusiasm! Then it’s getting the kids to school before heading to my studio where I work until I have to pick them up at 3pm.
What would be your favourite inspirational quote?
Originally Hippocrates, I first heard this quote when Malcolm Turnbull used it in reference to the illustrator Bill Leak’s death. It not only resonated with but made me appreciate what I do.
You made the move from painting to printing, what was behind the decision?
Before I was married and had children I lived alone and painted. It was consuming and I was in a cycle of paint – exhibit – take a month off and start again. I then got married and we moved to a remote cattle station and it was becoming harder and harder to get the delivery truck down to the property to pick up my large paintings! I still paint under the name Marnie Wark but launched Marnie Gilder prints as I wanted a project with a shorter production schedule, it also coincided with me becoming a mother and needing a more balanced creative outlet.
Do you still paint?
I do but I find that painting is very consuming and self-indulgent, it’s why I love having both businesses.
Which part of the creative process do you look forward to?
The part where you’re moving on from the idea to when the art begins to reveal itself. It’s the making of the art that gets me excited about going to the studio every day. It’s a metaphor for life, really - it’s all about enjoying the process.
The beautiful video on your site (www.marniegilder.com) shows that you are inspired by your natural surroundings, would that be right?
Nature has always played a huge part in my life and has definitely carried over into my work. I love regional living and spent 10 years living in regional Victoria. When I was single I loved to go camping and to the beach but when I met my husband, Rob, my appreciation for nature increased ten-fold. Rob’s a farmer and over the years he’s taught me to really notice my surroundings. I find that when I’m out walking I pay much more attention to trees and crops than I used to and use being in nature as a letting out process. We live in gum country and so I’ll take the kids and head out away from technology to climb logs whenever I can.
What’s your favourite colour palette?
Warm and earthy tones.
How do your children inspire your work?
I love their naïve interpretation of the world and their stories and drawings are just amazing. My son is showing great flair and I’m in awe of his composition.
VIEW MARNIE GILDER'S WORK > MARNIEGILDER.COM
How has having your children changed the way you work?
Their arrival encouraged me to start my Marnie Gilder brand. It was all because I couldn’t indulge too much time into my paintings but I still needed a creative outlet, not just for the family financials but also for my psychological wellbeing.
Can we talk about the motherhood juggle? What’s the one thing you’ve decided ‘doesn’t matter…’
Eating eggs on toast three times a week. I’ve also become much better at spending my spare time with the people who count.
What’s your favourite way to spend time with the family?
Sitting down to a meal, preferably one that I haven’t cooked. We have a dining room, which the kids have named ‘The Feast Room’. It’s hilarious because it sounds so grand and it’s really not but I do love to decorate the table, get lots of fresh flowers and have my extended family over for special dinners.
How would you describe your family? What makes you most proud of your tribe?
We’re a very tight-knit bunch and I’m so proud of them all. What brings me the most joy, however, is seeing my kids look out for each other.
How would you describe your personal style?
I would say eclectic and casual. I’d love to say that I wander around in high heels but I think I would stand out going to my regional post office like that, plus it’s not practical. I am down-to-earth with a bit of flair - I will wear a mismatch of materials with a sparkly shoe.
Whose style do you most admire and why?
I love the designer Isabel Marant – the textures, the fabrics, the patterns. Everything she designs and wears is so stylish.
How will you spend Mother’s Day?
Lunch with my Mum and Dad and the family in ‘The Feast Room’.
MY PALAS COLLECTION
You have created a beautiful piece of Palas jewellery to give to your Mum this Mother’s Day. Can you share the story behind the charms you have chosen?
I chose a silver bangle for my mum and adorned it with charms that are not only beautiful but have real meaning to both of us.
‘D’ Script Initial Charm – is for my mother’s name, Diane (or Disi, as she is affectionately called by her friends). My cousins and I also often refer to my mum as ‘sweet D’.
Silver Tree of Life Charm – reminds me of the large Moreton Bay Fig Tree at the entrance of my parent’s home where I grew up. My brother and I played in this tree for hours when we were children and it is now a symbol of the freedom, joy and creativity of my childhood.
Opportunity Dances Charm – My mum loves art, music, singing and dancing and from an early age she nurtured, supported and fed my creativity. She introduced me to the dancefloor and I have never left.
ONE LAST THING...
Who would you be charmed to meet, and why?
Prince Charles. I find his life, as well as his philanthropic work, so fascinating. I met him and the Duchess of Cornwall on their trip to Australia and gave him a hydrangea, he was so charming and has a great sense of humour so I’d love to just talk to him about his gardens as well as where he thought the monarchy was heading.