Interview with Scott Petrie

Posted by Suzi | April 26, 2012

There’s something about Scott Petrie’s work that makes me want to gawp at it for hours. “They are very big, bold, bright,” he laughs, eyes sparkling, as we meet at The Australian High Commission in Singapore- where his work is currently on show.

Having been born in Sydney, lived in Casablanca and now set-up home and studio with his partner in Singapore; travel, I expected to be a theme of his work. My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding TV series, I did not. “It’s just so much fun”, he says, lighting-up as he talks about the dresses, the fact that they are all probably gangsters, and how he sits taking notes of colours he sees in the programme for hours.

Petrie, I suspect, sees the world in colours: fiery Asian reds, cool calming sea blues, desert skies, Singapore storms. For me looking at his paintings-  with their organic swirls and ripples, the way he blends, layers, smudges- is a bit like looking at the inside of a rock or at dramatic sky. The pattern and shapes seem almost effortlessly beautiful and intricate.

“It’s interesting,” he muses, ” sometimes I just can’t tell if a piece is finished. I have to leave it for a couple of days and then come back with fresh eyes.”  It’s exactly how I feel about both my writing and design work.

I am  surprised though for someone who’s work is so soulful he finds inspiration in Singapore; a city more familiar as a finance haunt than an artistic one. “It’s less obvious but it’s there,” he smiles. “I love Little India, wondering around the Arab quarter – the food, the colours, some of the  architecture is amazing.” Every morning he also takes himself to the Botanic Gardens; “It’s a bit like a walking meditation- there’s just a sense of community there, people doing tai chi or whatever.”

So what’s next? “I’m working on a collection of prints for hotels, the work translates really well and it just makes it a little more affordable. Then I’ve done three paintings on perspex, they sold instantly.”

Luckily for me, Petrie also likes working hand-in-hand with interior designers: “I’m fine to adapt my style with a designer. A good interior is like a story. It’s nice to have an immediate impact but what else is there?”  He’s right, it’s nice to create spaces people want to stay in for hours.



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Sydney Interior Designer, Suzi Boyle, Editorial branding, Interior Sourcing in Sydney and London