After yesterday’s feature on Melbourne stylist, writer and creative agent Julia Green of Greenhouse Interiors, it seems only fitting to follow up with a story about one of the talented local creatives Julia has long championed – UK born, Melbourne based artist Ali McNabney-Stevens.
Ali’s latest works explore a more figurative aesthetic that previous paintings, with floral and feminine forms taking centre stage.
We first featured Melbourne based artist Ali McNabney-Stevens WAY back in 2013. At that time, Ali’s work was characterised by intense colour and bold abstract forms. In recent years, though, her style has tended towards a more literal and figurative aesthetic. It’s about time we did a follow up story!
‘I feel my work has changed so, so much since the last time I was lucky enough to be on TDF’ says Ali. ‘I do work a bit more conceptually now, on florals, nudes and definable landscapes, but I can only go so far with this, and the moment the painting becomes too literal I’m no longer comfortable with the work.’
Ali was born in Lincoln, England. She completed her tertiary studies at Edinburgh College of Art in 1991, and since then has lived and worked in Edinburgh, London, Hong Kong and Paris! ‘I am now glad and proud to call Melbourne my home, and have painting as a blissful job!’ she says.
There’s a distinct humility about Ali. Though her work has gathered a large following in recent years, she hasn’t always been so confident, and is full of gushing gratitude for those who have supported her practice from day one. ‘The jobs that I had after art college were the ‘proper jobs’ to pay the bills, until the painting could begin’ the artist recalls. ‘My return to full-time painting commenced with the encouragement of one of my friends, Paula Mills of Sweet William, and with the 100% backing of Julia Green, Greenhouse Interiors, who is my manager and supports me in all my artistic practices and keeps me right on the business front.’
In addition to her sought after original paintings, Ali has recently made the decision to allow some of her artworks to be digitally printed onto canvas. This option has allowed her to reach a broader market – these pieces replicate the look of an original at a more affordable price, also allowing for different size options.
Up next for Ali is a move across town, to bayside Sandringham. ‘I’m really looking forward to being able to see the sea everyday, and discovering how the breezy Sandy vibe will impact upon my work’ says the artist. She’s also working on a ‘very different and surprising collaboration’ with another well-known Australian artist, to be launched at an exhibition in August. Watch this space!