When Eve and I first stepped through the front door of artist Greg Irvine’s incredible South Melbourne home, we were, in short, dumbfounded. We wandered from room to room, mouths open, casting our eyes in disbelief over Greg’s truly remarkable and seemingly endless collections of antique furniture, Victorian ceramics and tableware, glassware, enamelware, tortoiseshell and bakelite objects, vintage fabrics, suitcases, decorative boxes, jewellery and antique purses… the list goes on, and on, and on! It is a ‘down the rabbit hole’ experience, a truly magical space that feels a little like stumbling absent-mindedly into some kind of alternate universe.
But don’t be deceived. This is not the home of a hoarder. Greg’s collections are tightly controlled. The rule is ‘if I can’t display it, I don’t own it’ – he’s not interested in simply amassing things and squirrelling them away. Each collection is carefully considered, and artfully displayed. To Greg, they are installations – curated, and meticulously well kept. There is not a skerrick of dust to be seen, either, which I know seems unfathomable, but it’s true. Greg takes ‘house proud’ to new heights.
For Greg, collecting is an extension of his artwork – collecting, displaying and being surrounded by beautiful things is paramount to his practice. Indeed, there is a great deal of crossover between Greg’s eclectic home and his meticulously detailed paintings. His favourite household objects often find their way onto his canvases, whilst vintage fabrics often influence the patterns and colours in his works. If not surrounded by beauty, he reasons, he ‘might as well curl up in a ball and die’. Passionate words, from a very passionate aesthete!
For the full story and many more pics of Greg’s truly remarkable home, do POP BACK and revisit the original story. And don’t forget to watch the VIDEO below, if you haven’t already!