Grace Burzese is a Sydney-based abstract painter who revels in colour. We've recently had the opportunity to digitally print three of her original artworks as silk scarves, and couldn't be more thrilled with the result. We sat down with Grace for a quick Q&A to chat about her process, and to discuss how her work translates to textiles...
Grace, your work is a beautiful exploration of colour and form and it seems to truly come alive when rendered on silk. Was it this that made you decide to collaborate with us using our custom printing services?
First off, thank you. I have really enjoyed the process of seeing how the paintings translate onto silk. For a while I had been thinking of transferring some of my artworks onto fabric as an adjunct to my practice, so when I came across Skarfe and their custom printing services, it was such a great option. The quality of printing is so rich and detailed, that it provided a foolproof way to experiment and try a new venture. It meant I didn’t have to trail around to different printers searching for the results I was after and Brad is such an easy-going and lovely person to work with.
You have mentioned that abstraction allows you to explore your sense of being. Do you feel by turning your works into scarves you are adding another dimension to your work? Perhaps allowing others to explore their own sense of self just by wearing them, or seeing the work abstracted further as it is artfully tied?
Absolutely! Yes, to all of the above. Whether one is making art or collecting it, it’s an expression of self - what we like to surround ourselves with and how we adorn ourselves and lives. The scarves act as an extension to the practice - the articulation of forms and colours in space with fabric. A couple of years ago I made some sculptures which explored the idea of a three-dimensional painting, essentially veering the painting away from only existing within a two-dimensional picture plane. Similarly, through draping and folding, the scarves act as a soft sculpture. Because the materiality of the paint and mark making is rendered so richly, your eye follows those marks as actual forms and this adds another layer when wearing the scarf as parts stand out as being quite three dimensional.
As an artist what does it mean to you to see your work not just hanging on walls but turned into something more commercial, more viable – does it change the way you approach your practice?
The work I make is process based and all about experimentation and play. I love the making aspect of it. Turning paintings into scarves is another avenue to maintain my creative practice. The scarves are essentially limited edition prints of the work, but one you can wear and play with. Being an artist and having gallery shows is wonderful, however, one of the best parts of this is when a work sells and you get to see it live through someone else. It’s always such a joy to come across your artwork in someone’s home or work environment. Making scarves allows this process to be a lot more accessible. That’s one of the reasons I created the hashtag #creatingcolourchemistry. I sincerely would love to see how people style themselves or objects around them with the scarves. And then in a way, it becomes a moving, morphing installation. I want to encourage people to bring beauty, colour and art into their lives. To have fun with it.
How would you like people to interpret your scarves?
I’d like people to primarily interpret the scarves as utilitarian pieces of art. To enjoy them, but not be too precious with them, let them become a part of your everyday expression of self.