I feel very grateful to have had the pleasure of collaborating with Artist and friend Sally Garrett at Folkstore over the years. Refined, discerning and a gifted Artist and Maker, Sally has the ability to discriminate visually with ease. She is one of those rare souls that can deftly compose visual poetry with such simple natural objects as twigs, floral blooms and twine.
Wise, measured and graceful she lives her life by honing in on what is most important to her.
Environmental awareness is critical to her art and life and she is highly conscientious and aware of her individual footprint.
Her balanced perspective over the years has been such a comfort and blessing to me and the Folkstore Family.
We continue to enjoy and support Sallys artistry by stocking her magical wildflower cards, posies, wildflower wreaths, and pastel art in our online store.
Tell us a bit about your background? Where did you grow up and do you have any memories from childhood that inspired your current vocation as an artist?
I grew up on a vast, remote wheat property in Queensland. It was a nature filled childhood and I remember pressing flowers from our garden and picking wild paper daisies, which my grandmother taught me to wire and make into everlasting bouquets. I was always drawing and painting as a child and later when we moved to Brisbane, I loved to visit galleries and I attended art classes after school and on weekends. I also used to pick flowers from around the neighbourhood, make them into posies and sell them back to the neighbours! After school I completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Queensland College of Art, majoring in Illustration.
You are so versatile creatively, and work with different mediums, from painting, drawing and using dried floral materials -what is your favourite medium?
My favourite medium at the moment is oil pastels as they have such an immediacy and vibrancy, and I love the playfulness and vivid textural finish.
For Meadowsweet, I am really enjoying making the pressed flower frames, capturing seasonal moments from my garden and neighbourhood walks.
You only use naturally dried untreated blooms, can you tell us more about this?
Dried flowers have had a resurgence in recent years and with that demand, a lot of bleached and dyed material have become prevalent. I’ve always found artificially dyed bouquets a bit tacky for my taste and of course I hate the thought of all those chemicals ending up in the environment! Natural drying takes time but the end result is a beautiful, organic floral arrangement, which is a true representation of the local rhythm of the seasons and nature's unique colour ways.
What does an ideal day look like for you?
My ideal day is a Saturday, starting out at the Fitzroy market, for vintage finds, flowers and fresh food stalls, followed by ramen for lunch at Dojo, in Northcote. In the afternoon, drawing from a little still life scene I have set up or making a wreath in the garden, followed by reading the newspaper, listening to music and drinking beer, in the sunshine, preferably!
Who is a maker or creative that is inspiring you at the moment?
Currently I am loving the art of Rosa Roberts and Galina Monroe, both young, female artists from the U.K. For flowers, the moody beauty of Leigh Chappell Flowers London and The Lost Orangery.
Handmade pressed wildflower cards by Sally available at Folkstore
How has your art practise evolved over time?
My art practice has evolved constantly over the years, both in medium and style. From three dimensional work in my art college days, to oil paint & acrylic on canvas and more recently, the oil pastels, which I had never really used before. The work is a reflection of my life at the time, from extensive travel to domesticity, my practice now simply capturing small daily scenes amid the changing seasons. I started exploring floristry around four years ago, and only undertook a few short courses and workshops, so I am changing, improving and refining my style all the time with a vision to create simple and naturalistic work.
Do you have any self care routine or rituals during the challenging lockdown periods in Melbourne?
I have practised Iyengar yoga for 20 years and even with many breaks along the way, it is something I always come back to. I usually start the day by opening the windows, lighting some incense and doing some Sun Salutations, often with collie puppy Clover trying to join me! I have really enjoyed buying a few bunches of local fresh flowers during lockdowns and spending time making different arrangements with them. It's very therapeutic, as is a glass of red wine!
You live in the culture rich inner city Melbourne Northern suburbs -any local favourite shops or cafes?
In Northcote, Before March, a beautifully curated clothing shop with a unique aesthetic; Iroha, for bento boxes and curries. In Collingwood, Cibi for more yummy Japanese food and homewares. At Fitzroy market, Small Goods for vintage jewellery & homewares and in Carlton, Lune Selects, the sweetest little vintage and pre-loved fashion store.
Anything you are dreaming about right now?
I am dreaming of a secluded beach somewhere tropical, surrounded by masses of frangipani flowers and also always dreaming of a slightly ramshackle country house, with a beautiful garden!
You have a long relationship with Folkstore and worked with Sasha for many years. You are now stocking your beautiful pastel drawings, floral wreaths, wildflower pressed cards and dried posies both online and at the Folkstore Home Studio.
What are some of your favourite Folkstore products?
I loved my time in the light filled, heritage shop which was home to Folkstore and the many beautiful products that filled it! My all time favourite label is Opia, they do simple styles in natural fabrics with lovely details, timeless dresses that I wear often. (I have 8 Opia pieces in my wardrobe!) I really like all of the local Melbourne pottery and have collected some of Daisy Cooper’s hand built pieces in blushing white. Happy Society’s Mother Space Mist, is a blend of Australian Buddhawood, Sandalwood & Blue Cypress, which I spritz around the house and onto my clothes. I love to run a hot bath and light The Wandering Craftsmen, Hearts on Fire candle, which smells like a divine rose garden!
Hearts on Fire Candle-One of Sally’s favourite items from Folkstore..
You can find more of Sallys work at @sally.garrett and @_meadowsweet