MM Friend: Caroline Walls
Caroline Walls is an Australian artist who paints abstract interpretations of the female form. Through the artist’s highly reductive process, Walls creates a visual language that challenges the traditional female nude and speaks more directly of the female experience, offering an alternative and progressive representation of womanhood and identity.
During our collaboration meetings, we sat down with Caroline to discuss her daily activities and what inspires her.
_ How do you begin and end your days?
My mornings are very much focused on family time. My wife, 2 year old daughter and I are up around 6.30am most mornings and we always share breakfast time together – porridge or muesli with berries, yogurt and a hot tea. We have a small room with a round table next to our kitchen we like to call the breakfast room and use that time together in the morning to discuss the day ahead, whether we are heading out for a walk to the park or I’m heading upstairs to my art studio.
Night-time is when I have a little more time to myself, our daughter goes down at 7pm and my wife is 31 weeks pregnant so she’s enjoying earlier nights than usual. I like this time of quiet all to myself, our bedroom has a high ceiling, a beautiful fireplace and two large Victorian windows with a special feeling of calm so more often than not I will jump into bed next to her and spend a few hours unwinding while everyone sleeps. I love watching films, reading or researching new ideas for work with no distractions. We have been enjoying these lazy, slow nights so much as we know once our second daughter arrives soon our routine will look a lot different to this!
_ What advice do you have for living a more considered, simple, sustainable life?
At home we aim to shop locally, ethically and support small community businesses around us – we are very lucky to live in an area that is filled to the brim with this kind of offering - farmers markets, Australian-designed and made apparel and community social enterprises that are part of the movement away from globalisation and toward localisation. Where we can, we buy locally sourced food and quality-made products and clothing that leave a small footprint. Within my art business I am dedicated to using art packaging that is plastic free and recyclable and timbers that are sustainable. Ultimately, I think it’s about making small choices each day that make way for a more sustainable lifestyle with conscious consumerism in the front of our minds.
_ How is colour important to you and how does it influence your life?
Colour is an essential part of my life, both in relation to my art practice, how our home is filled and what I choose to wear day to day. I’m drawn to contrasting neutrals, deep blues-blacks, earthy clay and rust tones. On a really basic level my choice in using such a colour palette comes from a really pure and honest aesthetic response I have to these tones – they make me feel good and they provide a sense of calm within our home. Colour and the very subtle nuances in the colour palettes I create are paramount to the work that I produce. My use of line and form are minimal, bold and abstract so I look to colour to add depth and fragility to my work. The tones I create take a lot of playing around to perfect them before I put paint to canvas, there is real intention behind my colour schemes which aim to resonate with the suppleness of skin and enhance the soft, rolling curves within my work.
_ What have you been consuming of late, can you share the artists, books, podcasts, albums, films and brands you have been drawn to?
I’m loving the co-musing between visual artist Jenna Gribbon and her girlfriend Mackenzie Scott of band TORRES. The way they use and capture intimate parts of their relationship within their retrospective artforms is really beautiful. Jenna’s paintings of Mackenzie feel so immediate and alive and the lyrics of TORRES are so moving and raw. There is a palpable tenderness and honesty to their art and music that I find incredibly inspiring.
I’m absolutely hanging out for the exhibition of Hilma af Klint at the Art Gallery of NSW opening next month I am so looking forward to soaking up her pieces in the flesh.
Pets – The man of the house, our beautiful black cat Major Tom.
People – My wife and daughter, always.
Artists – So many but here is a start for some of my favourite women artists: Marlene Dumas, Tracy Emin, Louise Bourgeois, Polly Borland, Louise Bonnet, Jenna Gribbon.. closer to home.. Amber Wallis, Julia Trybala, Judy Watson.
Piece of art in home – Mostly my own but I have dreams of filling our space with artworks of my favourite artists..one day.
Favourite furniture – My mid-centry desk that I have had for many years and use to work in my studio.
Designer you love – Arnsdorf
Cookbook – My mums hand-written one, falling apart at the seams and nearly 50 years old.
Go to dinner – I love cooking, my go-to recipes would be a slow-cooked beef ragu or a curry with naan.
Snack – Chipotle hummus, yummy on everything
Exercise – Walks along the Merri Creek
Dish – Chilled buckwheat soba noodles
Beverage – I’m very partial to an ice-cold chocolate milkshake
Wine – A buttery chardonnay or a crisp riesling on a warm day.
Tea, Tonic – Decaf tea or coffee
Perfume – Comme Des Garcons, Play Black
Products for face and body - masks, soaps, makeup
I’ve just started using Drunk Elephant, it’s in those early days so am patiently waiting to see if my skin likes it.
Nighttime rituals – An hour or two of time to myself whilst everyone else sleeps.
Morning rituals – Breakfast and tea at the table with my little family.
Stress Relief – Friends with a glass of wine in hand
Meditation tool – Mostly long walks in nature and music.
Inspiration – Melbourne’s amazing galleries
Song – Don’t Go Puttin Wishes in My Head, TORRES
Photographer – Nan Goldin
Films –The Piano, Call Me By Your Name, Before Sunrise, Brokeback Mountain,
Charity – Black Rainbow
MILOU MILOU is so excited to have collaborated with Caroline Walls on creating a limited edition heavy weight 100% Australian Merino Wool Blanket featuring one of her artworks.
The artwork on the blanket is titled 'She Began’ and it depicts the female form in an abstract figure - conveying notions of womanhood, sensuality, inner beauty and the intangible qualities associated with the feminine in a black and creamy beige colour palette.
To find out more, click here.
Caroline Walls has also just released her latest series of original paintings on canvas titled, Gestures. You can view the collection here
Follow Caroline on Instagram here.