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Bruce Slorach's 'Botanica'

Textiles

Esteemed Australian artist and designer Bruce Slorach returns to his regional Victorian hometown of Hamilton for his latest show, Botanica.

Well-known for his botanical illustrative patterns of Australian flora, Bruce and his partner Sophie Tatlow have been producing hand-printed textiles together under their line, Utopia Goods, since 2012. Steeped in personal significance, this latest show at Hamilton Gallery in the South Grampians contributes to Bruce’s ongoing ‘obsession’ with the Australian bush.

15th September, 2018

‘Botanica’ by Bruce Slorach. Photo – Peter Dillon.

Sophie Tatlow and Bruce Slorach. Utopia Goods hand screen printed ‘Fig Blue’ furnishing linen. Armchair covered in ‘Fig Blue’ furnishing linen. Photo – Peter Dillon.

Utopia Goods hand screen printed ‘Fig Blue’ furnishing linen. Armchair covered in ‘Fig Blue’ furnishing linen. Photo – Peter Dillon.

‘Mountain Devil’ painting, Hans Wegner Oak Armchair covered in Utopia Goods hand screen printed ‘Mountain Devil Garnet’ Furnishing Linen, ‘Kookaburra Series’ of three drawings. Photo – Peter Dillon.

Utopia Goods hand screen printed ‘Paradise Ultramarine’ furnishing linen. Photo – Peter Dillon.

Bruce and Sophie in front of Utopia Goods hand screen printed ‘Imperial Waratah Forrest’ furnishing linen. Armchair covered in Utopia Goods hand screen printed ‘Native Meadow Blue’ furnishing linen. Photo – Peter Dillon.

Artist, Bruce Slorach, in front of Utopia Goods hand screen printed ‘Paradise Ultramarine’ furnishing linen. Photo – Peter Dillon.

Utopia Goods hand screen printed ‘Angophora Blue’ furnishing linen. Kerstin Hörlin-Holmquist armchair covered in Utopia Goods hand screen printed ‘Paradise Ultramarine’ furnishing linen. Photo – Peter Dillon.

From left to right: Large ‘Fruit Mallee Series’ of three drawings. ‘Wild Waratah’ print, ‘Native Meadow’ painting. Photo – Peter Dillon.

Canola fields in the Hamilton landscape. Photo – Peter Dillon.

Hans Wegner Oak Armchair covered in Utopia Goods hand screen printed ‘Firewheel Earth’ furnishing linen. Utopia Goods hand screen printed ‘Flowering Gum Earth’ furnishing linen. Photo – Peter Dillon.

Bruce grew up in Hamilton and left for the city when he was 16. Photo – Peter Dillon.

Utopia Goods hand screen printed ‘Waratah Heritage’ furnishing linen. Photo – Peter Dillon.

Large ‘Fruit Mallee Series’ of three drawings, Photo – Peter Dillon.

‘Mountain Devil Painting’, Hans Wegner Oak Armchair covered in Utopia Goods hand screen printed’ Mountain Devil Garnet’ furnishing linen. Photo – Peter Dillon.

Photography – Peter Dillon.

Sally Tabart
Saturday 15th September 2018

Though Bruce Slorach and Sophie Tatlow are world-renowned for their exquisite hand printed textiles created under the name Utopia Goods (with high-profile clients including Christian Louboutin), Bruce originally achieved cult-status in the 80s through his fashion labels with Sara Thorn, and time spent as Creative Director for Mambo. Although many don’t know the extent of his influence, Bruce can be credited as a fundamental part of shaping Australia’s streetwear aesthetic, even today. Much of his archival textile work from this period is held in the permanent collections of the NGV and Powerhouse Museum.

But back to Hamilton. ‘About 200 people showed up – we got mobbed!’, Sophie tells me of Bruce’s return to his hometown. Despite leaving at 16 (‘a country boy with big city dreams’), the local community embrace Bruce as one of their own. In fact, Hamilton Gallery were the ones who reached out to Bruce to hold Botanica. Established in 1961 and, since 2015, under the expert leadership of Director Sarah Schmidt, Hamilton Gallery holds one of the best art collections in Victoria (even Australia), featuring a renowned decorative arts collection.

Coming to the end of a busy year with Utopia Goods, which took Bruce and Sophie around the world, the creative couple are showing no signs of slowing down. In November the pair will hold an exhibition at Saint Cloche contemporary art space in Paddington, Sydney, where Bruce and Sophie will be debuting their brand new line of 16 custom-print wallpaper, and they’ll kick off the new year with another work trip to New York, where they have multiple stockists.

‘We work 24/7’, says Sophie, ‘life is short – who wants to sit down?’

Bruce Slorach 
Botanica
September 7th-October 21st
Monday to Friday 10am–5pm
Saturday 10am–12pm, 2pm–5pm
Sunday 2pm–5pm

Hamilton Gallery 
107 Brown Street

Hamilton, Victoria

 

‘We work 24/7. Life is short – who wants to sit down?’ – Sophie Tatlow.

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