Sarah Emily Rowe is the creative force behind her brand Miss Moresby, which is named after the street she grew up on in Adelaide, South Australia.
Sarah is an artist and designer all rolled into one, having studied both Fine Art and Textile Design. Half of her practice constitutes oil painting and collage creation whilst the other half consists of textile design where many of her motifs and colour ideas are extensions of her art practice.
Sarah’s finished artworks are regularly exhibited and sold throughout Australia. Her design work is bold, intensly coloured and unique.
It really strikes a chord with those who love colour. We caught up with Sarah to chat all things Miss Moresby.
Q. Tell us a little about you in a nutshell?
A: I am a mum to three boys. I love music and cooking and movies. I love spending time with my family and pets (I have 2 dogs and 2 cats) I've always been interested in art and design and have a particular love of Japanese arts and crafts. My boys think I'm funny, which therefore must be true!
Q: Tell us about your special corner of Melbourne. How did you come to call East Brunswick home?
A: East Brunswick is very nice corner of Melbourne! When I first arrived here from Adelaide to study, my flatmate had already chosen North Carlton for the both of us and so for me northside it has predominantly been. When I first got here, I fell in love with all the cute rows of miner's cottages and iron railings. I feel very at home here and don't think I'd rather be anywhere else.
Q. Your work is adored for its intricate organic designs. How has your artistic style evolved throughout your career?
A: I've always been a fan of layers. Getting dressed of a morning for a long time was the only means of self expression so played around a lot with scarves, multiple skirts, textures, colour and patterns. Without really forcing a style, I've landed here, my work is a product of a natural need to layer and organise shapes. All my works go through many stages to get to an end point. The beginning never looks like the end, and I don't often paint the first layers with a fully formed idea. The trick is to 'find' the image, as if creating a puzzle for myself to solve.
Q: It’s clear that you draw inspiration from the natural world around you. How does your lived experience of your environment translate onto canvas?
A: I have happened upon a botanical theme which suits me very well. I delight in observing the shapes and patterns I see in nature firstly. These details could be tiny or very big. I have never wanted to translate these observations on to canvas in a botanically correct fashion. I prefer instead to let these experiences happen and be inspired by osmosis. Sometimes I'll take a photo, sometimes I won't. Living in an apartment with two dogs has meant very regular twice daily walks. I always keep my eyes open while we take our walks.
Q. What inspired your pieces "Rosy Posy” and "Cityscape"? How did these pieces evolve along the way?
A: Cityscape is my version of showing a love for an urban environment. Cities are built up, interesting places that change and grow all the time. They are shaped by the people that live in them and the the way they spend their time. I like the exciting feeling of being in place where there could be an adventure around any given corner and wanted to express the joy in the unknown possibilities that cities offer.
Rosy Posy was more led by an idea for a colour palette. Greens and pinks and reds altogether have been a firm favourite of mine for ages, I seem to gravitate towards this palette.
Q: You work from a studio near home. Tell us about your work space?
A: I have a lovely studio in Collingwood. It's an old brick factory building populated by many other artists and makers. I love being there, it's wonderful to have a dedicated space to make things! There's lot of freedom to creatively explore.
Q: Tell us about your creative process? How do you get into your creative happy place?
A: Once I'm in my creative mental space, that's where I like to stay for as long as possible. I can be productive for many, many hours if I'm in the right frame of mind. I forget all time and space when I'm in the thick of it. I forget to eat! I work best in the latter part of the day, I've never been much of a morning person. I listen to music a bit and I also listen to podcasts and audio books. Shutting out the peripheral noise and listening to a story can help me figure things out.
Q. What are you currently binge watching?
A: Black Mirror and Billions
Q: You have worked with some fabulous brands to bring your work to functional, beautiful products. What’s next for Sarah Rowe?
A: Some quite exciting things are in the works! I hope to be selling my own yardage from my website before Christmas. Also, I'm putting a lot of time into launching my own line of homewares products which I can barely believe! I'm super keen and invested into putting my own Miss Moresby stamped offering out there and I've been relishing the new creative challenge.
Q: Where else can we find your art?
Art to Art
Satch & co.