As far as we at EL are concerned, choosing art is as important as choosing furniture, especially when you have masses of white walls to fill up in your tropical abode. Both wall art and sculptures add depth, colour and personality to a room, though they do need to reflect your personality, so buy something you really love. And don’t worry about what others think – art is strictly subjective.
(Tip: if you and your partner don’t agree on the same thing, just sneak in and buy it while they’re not looking; it’ll add a bit of excitement on the home front!) Sometimes it even makes sense to buy art before you choose a colour scheme for a room. After all, it’s much easier to buy sofas and chairs that link in with your artwork than the other way round.
Rosie Thompson, Scottish – Talking Textiles Art Studio
I have admired Deborah McKellar’s artwork for many years and have often bought her smaller prints for friends as leaving presents and her tea towels and glass platters as birthday gifts. I always liked different parts of different pieces of her work. So, for my birthday, my husband gave me the gift of a bespoke piece from Deborah, picking out my favourite parts and colours from all her various pieces. I also had cards made of the painting, which she named “Rosie’s Shophouse”.
Deborah’s work is very well known and admired among the expat community and I often see her pieces displayed in peoples’ houses. She uses many different and evolving techniques, so each piece is unique and tells a different story about Singapore.
I had a specific wall in mind for my bespoke piece. To fit the area, I commissioned a traditional Chinatown shophouse as the centrepiece, including details of Chinese lanterns, bamboo window bars, hand-painted frangipanis and bamboo in my favourite greens and gold leaf, and a double happiness symbol. Deborah also had some beautiful Christian Lacroix fabric and batik that was sewn onto the painting to add dimension.
I visited Deborah’s art studio and she spent lots of time with me, listening to my ideas and likes. She created a mock-up piece that I could then edit as desired. Different framing options were also presented. I’m not an artist at all, but I know visually what I like, and I was very impressed at how easily Deborah interpreted on paper what I was visualising in my head.
My husband Alistair was born in Singapore and spent the first few years of his life here. We have now commissioned Deborah to create a painting to reflect his memories of that time, including family photos as well as Alexandra Hospital and Jalan Pemimpin where he was born and lived. We can’t wait to see it.
Talking Textiles To book an appointment to visit the studio, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stephan Amling, German – Art from Gallery 278
We have been art lovers for many years and always lived with art around us. When coming to Singapore five years ago, we were looking for local artwork and found this wonderful painting of a black-and-white house, which we immediately fell in love with and brought home.
Our real estate agent, who assisted us during our house search, introduced us to Gallery 278. We liked them due to the warm-hearted and friendly people working there and the high-quality and hand-picked styles in their portfolio. We ended up using the store to kit out our entire house, as we had arrived in Singapore without any furniture.
Owner Felicia Koh provided us with very professional and elegant advice in building our new home. Along the way, if anything needed some maintenance or was to be replaced with a different item for redecoration purposes, she and her team were extremely courteous. Based on all our experience in collaborating with Gallery 278 over the last five years, we can definitely recommend them to anyone aiming to build a cosy home that leaves an impression.
Juliet Kelly-Wong, British – Paintings from Livingwithart
We had just moved house and had a very large wall space that needed one large piece of art to be featured in it. I already knew of the artist Eleftharia Lasthiotaki and loved her art. We ended up purchasing two paintings of hers from LivingwithArt. One is called “Sometimes The Sky Is Pink”. This reminded us of a certain port in Greece that we love. The colours are gorgeous and, indeed, sometimes the sky is pink!
The other painting is called “Lines And Fragments”. The colours of this painting just transfixed us from the moment we saw it. It draws you in and transports you to another world. It’s now in our living room and there is not a day that goes by where I don’t immerse myself in it; it literally transports me to a place of calmness, serenity and happiness.
The service we received from LivingwithArt was fantastic and we would definitely purchase from them again!
This article first appeared in the October 2021 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase the latest issue or subscribe, so you never miss a copy!
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