Tuesday, 15 September 2015


‘Macaw’ by Jordan Conaghan

Sarah Neilsen chats with us about the beginnings of Penny Farthing Design House
and introduces the talented artists within the collection

 A bit about Penny Farthing Design House and how it was formed?
Penny Farthing Design house is a print gallery working with a range of artists in various stages of their creative journey. The Business was created originally in conjunction with my sister and was born from a desire to find modern and accessible artworks that really enhance the interior at a reasonable price point.
We began purely as an online presence but we now also run the business out of Balmain East. Its great to see the collection come to life in a physical form and we really enjoy how the gallery really is a connection to our customers and the community. However the online business does allow us to access a customer base overseas and we get a real buzz when we send a ‘Frank’ to New York, or a Gabrijela Polic to a boarding house in London.

Tell us about the team behind Penny Farthing?
We have a talented and eclectic team coming from a range of backgrounds including architecture, industrial design, marketing, film and fine arts. This allows for a certain diversity and creativity that comes together to bring our collection to market. We find the workplace is a constant source of inspiration for us all, and we really enjoy the collaborative atmosphere.

How do you select the right artist for your collection? What are you looking for?
At Penny Farthing we find our artists organically and the process has been very natural to date. It might be that they have walked into our space, or that we saw their works in an exhibition. We work with artists who are passionate and pour heart and soul into their artworks. Our pieces come together as a total collection, while also suiting a range of interiors. We want them to enhance and inspire any space and its been really interesting watching the business evolve over time as new artists bring a new style and energy to the collection.

Coogee SLSC by photographer Phil Noller

Can you give us a little background on each your each artists at the moment?
We currently stock works by 10 different artists.
Erica Smith, who has been with us from the beginning, works with a range of mediums including typography, and a fun collection of animals including a deer named ‘Reginald’ and a Bulldog named ‘Frenchy’.
Chloe Harris is a newer artist who is inspired by the beauty within nature. Her works include detailed etchings of landscapes and a series of fine drawings of bugs and beatles.
Jordan Conaghan is a National Art School graduate. One of his series’ is very graphic and sharp, while the other is a lot more organic and features birds painted in watercolour.
Gabrijela Polic is an artist whose works feature a strong emphasis on colour, intricacies and pattern and is both organic and abstract.
Madeleine Luschwitz is our in house artist who completes finishing touches to artworks that have an additional layer after production and also creates original pieces as part of our collection.
She is a talented being that works on creating a wide range of installations for the gallery and our windows fronting Darling St.
Anne Delaney our new sculpture artist has recently joined us with a highly clever ceramic bone like sculpture that we have in a range of sizes in both black and whites.
Flavia Julius is a Brazilian artist that has been deeply inspired by Aboriginal works so these pieces are a colourful collaboration of both cultures.
Heather Brodie is an art teacher whose works are an exploration of patterns and form. They are simple statement pieces in both abstract painting and detailed drawing.
Tim Pascoe and Phil Noller have both produced amazing photographic works that round out our diverse range. From detailed shots of Sydney, to cafe scenes in Venice they are all timeless and modern works within any space.
We also carry a range of Max Dupain prints from his estate.

‘Silent Joy’ by Gabrijela Polic
Do you have a favourite piece in your collection?
There are many favourites within the collection, but it is always very exciting when something new comes in. Over the last couple of months we have remodelled our web site to showcase these recent additions so at the moment I am really enjoying how these new works breathe new life to our collection.

Do you have any tips in how to choice the right piece for your home?
The obvious answer is to choose something you love. Once you have got that right it is then important to think about the size and scale and how it will fit in your space. Even in small spaces it can be good to put large works in order to make the room feel larger.
A vast portion of our collection is monochromatic, as we want it to enhance the space and not to necessarily over power it, so colour choice is a really good thing to think about.
Also, having a connection with an artwork is going to allow it to build its own personality amongst the home or space and other collectables within the room.
So when it comes to choosing the right piece of art, as it is in life, you should always trust your instinct.

Who are some of your favourite artist at the moment?
David Bromley’s work is very identifiable and always adds a bit of attitude to any interior.
I have a real passion for photography and especially iconic photographers such as Bert Stern, Bruno Benini, Louise Dahl Wolfe and Arthur Elgort, whose works I have a couple of in my home. It would not be complete without mentioning Max Dupain who is Australia’s most iconic photographer and it is a real privilege to be able to sell his works through Penny Farthing Design House. These are timeless, beautiful pieces that hold an important aspect of Australian history and so it feels really special to have them within our collection.

‘Bloom’ by Jordan Conaghan

What has been Penny Farthing’s biggest highlight?
The biggest highlight was to see the business evolve beyond just an online presence to a physical gallery space in Balmain East. Over the last 18 months the business has grown significantly and this important step has been vital to this process. I still pinch myself when I drive by and see this historic building that was previously vacant and has now come to life with our gorgeous team and artworks.

Do you have anything new in store for Penny Farthing?
This week we received a new series due to be online shortly which includes a detailed study of bugs, beatles and flora. They are by Chloe Harris who is a gorgeous, young and very driven artist from Sydney.
However at the beginning of winter we added just over 35 new works to our site, so it is a really exciting time for the gallery.

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