Bobby Clark is a Scottish-born artist living in Melbourne, Victoria. Her artworks explore symmetry and balance, creating minimal studies of shape & composition. We're always looking to combine time- honoured staples in new and interesting ways so naturally we had to find out more!
Words & images by Bobby Clark wearing our Ramie Pantsuit by Arthur Apparel.
Bobby, can you please tell us a little bit about yourself? How did you come to be doing what you're doing?
I grew up in a river side town in Scotland called Greenock surrounded by a small but loving family for artistic women and hard working men. My earliest memory is exploring my oil painter grandpa’s green garden shed with my cousin, looking at his works and squeezing out his oil paints and getting into trouble. After his passing my granny Joan took up painting and taught me how to paint and draw at her kitchen table covered in plants. All the women in my family are incredibly artistic so naturally a creative path awaited me. From school all I wanted to go was draw and chat (I’ve got the gift of the gab) I studied Art & Design, then Fashion with Textiles in Glasgow where I met my now husband, Scottish sculptor Steven aka Den Holm. We both went onto study at Manchester Art School – myself textiles and Steve embroidery. Steve came home one day a month or so after graduating with the idea of going to Australia to play soccer. We worked our asses off for the summer, packed our bags and arrived on 29th October 2010 and the rest is history.
What does living well mean to you? Where do you find it? What matters?
Being a pretty textbook Taurus my home is so important to my wellbeing, so living well can start with home life. Having a space with character, that I have made my own is really important until the day we build our own. I like to be surrounded by books, art and collected items that inspire me daily. It also means community. I come from a relatively small town where you know everyone, Steve from a tiny village of 600, so community and knowing ‘thy neighbour’ is paramount to us as we are so far from home it really makes us feel part of our surroundings when we know the people around us.
I love living in Thornbury, the sense of community is really strong. It took us a while to find ‘our spot’ in Melbourne and for now we have found it. It’s really important to interact and be kind to those around you. I try to support and help the local makers and businesses around us as well as my neighbours. I have two old besties both called Frank who have become my surrogate grandpa’s – I went honey collecting with one of the Frank’s the other day. It’s moments like that, slow moments where I might be late to a meeting because Frank has called me in to show me his Raspberries that slow life down and remind me to be more present. Also Melbourne food – it’s up there with the best in the world. How can you not live well with the beautiful fresh fruit and veg around you?
Working for myself is pretty incredible, I have always dreamed of being an artist and living that is actually pretty over whelming sometimes. We are both doing what we set out to do which I know is incredibly lucky and we are both so incredibly thankful that our lives are where they are right now.
That was a crazy long answer – can you tell how much I like talking?
What are your staples?
I am always drawn to quality and simplicity. I am really into linen at the moment (just like the whole of Australia) but it is such a beautiful fabric. In the hot summers it’s the most beautiful cloth to have against your skin. At the beach, at dinner, walking in the bush. It matches every space. I am definitely more aware of the garments I buy. It’s amazing that the demand has moved away from fast fashion to slow again. To supporting the crafts (wo)men and really highlighting the importance of the construction of a garment, the footprint of its material and the quality that should last a life time through the seasons instead of trends. It feels good to see that change happening.
Staple for me stands for quality and a simpler life. And also beauty.
Thankyou Bobby for letting us to get to know you better.