Behind the Scenes with

A Dynamic Duo

Artduo Studio
Artduo Studio
Tracy Luff
Terri Brooks
Richard Blackwell
Patsy Payne
Maiju Woodhead
Brett Coeldo
Sonja Brouard and Ilana Robinowitz

When we design a house for our clients, one of the crucial elements is art. An artwork can inspire the design of a room or act as the finishing layer to a project. In many cases clients either start to build or add to their existing art collection when they are creating a new home. While we don’t choose art for our clients, we are often involved in the process. We have had the pleasure of working with art consultants Artduo on a number of projects and admire their passion, ethics and approach to art; so we sat down with Ilana Rabinowitz and Sonja Brouard in their incredible studio in Sydney’s Dover Heights to dig a little deeper into what inspires this dynamic duo. We’d love to know a bit about the Artduo story. We have both always been passionate about art and the creative process, strongly believing that good art communicates, motivates and inspires.
 Ilana had just completed building her home and Sonja was managing an art gallery. Starting the consultancy nine years ago was more instinctive rather than considered. We knew that the combination of our skills (creative, business and project management) was a good mix, together with our passion. What inspires you – in life, in work and in art? Overall for both of us, love, friendship, generosity and kindness are huge motivators. In a world where everything tends towards similarity, it is often the simplest things that are inspiring. On the other end of the spectrum, family keeps us relevant and filled with love. At work we are driven to source unique and diverse artworks. We are drawn to artists working with unusual materials in dynamic ways. Also artists incorporating texture to create tactile surfaces, or using paint and colour to create movement and magic. The proviso is that it must move us. How important is it to have an inspirational space to work in? Our office overlooks the ocean, which is the best canvas, allowing nature to inspire us daily. We also have the privilege of living with some great artworks for short periods of time and naturally have acquired some treasures ourselves. But working with exceptionally talented, creative people is the most inspiring. We have the privilege of living vicariously through them. Where do you source your works from? We mainly source art from the wonderful pool of talent and skills that abound in Australia. We collaborate and partner with emerging and established artists. Getting input from the head of art school departments, to meeting young graduates, to providing feedback and direction to those with existing careers is part of the process. Being invited to a studio to view experimental work and sharing ideas can be extraordinary. Artists are an amazing group of people, committed to their craft and constantly challenging themselves. This inspires us. What is it about a work that draws you in? Often rawness and honesty can be the captivator. Technique or a play with different mediums in interesting ways is compelling. For example a science graduate, now studying art and creating works using complex structures that appear simplistic or playing with illusion is captivating. But mostly when a work conveys emotion. What is your favourite medium? We love texture and coming originally from Africa have an strong affinity for craft and ceramics. It’s difficult to pick a favourite medium. Between canvas and paper, we’d probably choose works on paper. How do you like to work with designers & clients? Our collaboration with creative and talented interior designers brings out our best work. We feel privileged every day working with these original, inventive and smart people. In the process, finding the right art that is an extension of a client’s tastes and personality is the challenge we love. It is very rewarding working with a client who has little interest in art and to take them on a journey that results in them being excited about art. It makes what we do so worthwhile.