Artwork has always taken up a lot of space in my life and on my walls, especially during my childhood and teenage years. But it wasn’t until recently that I discovered my interior style, and with that, the reason why I could not hang anything in my new home for over a year.
When we first moved into our house in 2016, I had no art on my walls. It was strange as an artist to not have anything beautiful around me, just large empty walls, but I felt I needed to fill them up with meaningful pieces. After 6 years I can finally say all my walls are full and for this reason I have decided to share with you a little home tour – art edition.
Before we get there though, let me give you 3 main reasons why I prefer original artwork rather than buying mass produced pieces in stores.
- Better for the environment. Most well established artists know not to wrap their work in plastic, which undervalues the piece. Plus you can always ask them specifically not to add any plastic to your order. Also most artists that are knowledgable in their field use high quality paints that are not as toxic as the ones used in factories.
- Artwork is like jewelry. I like to have pieces to pass down from generation to generation. I find it enchanting to know that artwork that once lived on the walls of my great grand mothers house, is now in my house too.
- Purchasing artwork from real artists means that you are supporting their dream. You are giving them a reason to keep doing what they are doing. And to top it off, you get original artwork that no-one else has.
Now let’s get to it! I hope you love the art in my home as much as I do!
Art lives outside my home too. To start off I have a collection of wooden fish at my entrance. These beautiful sculptures are hand carved by locals artisans in Ghana. These are part of a larger collection of fish art that I will be using in another home project. To keep the fish theme going I have included in my entrance shelves, a glass sculpture of a fish that I found in an antique shop in Savannah, Georgia which dates back to 1940.
Another collection I have going on in my living room is of the traditional blue plates from Holland. My maternal grand mother was Dutch and I find it important to be connected to my dutch heritage, and these plates are the perfect reminder of that. I still cannot choose a favourite because they are all equally beautiful. All of them are hand painted and one dates back to 1728! (A reminder that good quality products can last more than a lifetime). Unfortunately one got broken and therefore I replaced it with this colourful plate from Dubai. I added 2 extra brass plates that my grandmother gave to me, and those were passed on to her from her great-grand father.
In the other corner of my living room, right above my luscious zz plant, I have 3 beautiful paintings. 2 of the landscape paintings, with gold frames were owned by my great great grand father. They date back to the 1800’s. If you look closely they depict the same scene in 2 different seasons: summer and winter. Right next to them is another landscape with a much larger gold frame. This is probably one of my all time favourite pieces, which I inherited after my grand mother passed away in 2021. Above my couch is a still life with another gold frame. How amazing is it to know that this artwork was on the wall in my grandmother’s house and has been present through hundreds of dinner parties, both in her home and mine!
In my dining room I have 4 portraits. 3 of which I created in 2012, for my IB art exhibition in high school. The concept behind these drawings came from the song War by Bob Marley. The lyrics say: “ until the colour of a mans skin is of no more significance than the colour of his eyes, me say war”. I named these pieces ‘victims of culture’. As you can see the skin colour of each person was done in graphite pencil, to emphasise the insignificance of the skin, compared to the colourful eyes. Each person also has another colourful component which has to do with a specific culture, from bright powder to represent the Indian festival of colour, Holi, to kente cloth wrapped around the girls hair, and a turban around the boy’s face. All these are faces of my friends in school. We all experienced different cultures and religions growing up and that is how we learnt to love each other despite all the differences. These portraits serve as a visual reminder of the importance to appreciate different people and cultures.
The most recent addition to my ‘meaningful art collection’ is this beautiful landscape painting by my lovely friend Maya Rahim. I commissioned her to paint a scene of Italy with a stormy sky under the bright greens of the rice-fields so typical to my region. It was finished during covid, when I could not travel back to Italy for summer vacation, and so this painting takes me back to the long summer days where I was surrounded by nature, in the hopes that my children can find a deep love for nature too.
Looking back I am grateful I did not fill my walls with department store art, just to make it pretty. I waited for the right pieces to enter my life, and now I can cherish them with my family for generations to come. It fills me up with joy to know that brush strokes painted centuries ago are still being appreciated today. It’s like having my own little museum in my home.
I hope you learn the importance of original artwork and find ways to fill your home with unique pieces that bring you joy!