An Artistic Duo’s Breezy Perth Home

Photography by Olive Lipscome

Emma Lindegaard & Matt Wright seem to have perfected the art of balance both in life, and their Fremantle home. Time spent in nature; the cool of the ocean & the calm of the garden is given the same reverence as their burgeoning careers as tactile artists - a ceramicist & painter respectively. Away from their practice, the couple can just as happily be found at popular Freo haunts, or the confines of their art-laden Hamilton Hill cottage. This week, we head out West to find out the key to this enticing equilibrium of work life & leisure, and see what the new year brings for this immensely talented couple. 

Matt & Emma's bed is dressed with IN BED 100% Linen duvet cover in Walter Stripe & Heavy Linen Pillowslip Set in Caramel.

“Our home is a renovated 1950’s fibro cottage in Hamilton Hill, down the road from Walyalup/Fremantle. Some family friends had lived in this house for more than two decades and decided to build out the back, renting the front house to us. We got very lucky, it is a long-term private rental, which we have been able to settle into and make into our home, after many years in various short-term rental situations."

We love the energy of the space; the gardens & materials of the home really make us feel as though we are in our own little sanctuary.

“We are lucky to have a small garden out the front & back filled with established native trees, grape vines hanging from the rafters and two gorgeous water features filled with water lilies & elephant ears. The house itself is open & light, with original jarrah floors, large windows and French doors to let the outside world in, as well as a lot of precious home-job additions. 

We love the energy of the space; the gardens & materials of the home really make us feel as though we are in our own little sanctuary. Being close to the ocean & the river is so pleasant for our weekends, and the community of Fremantle is unlike anything we’ve experienced in the past.”

“The bedroom is a step-down extension with South-facing French doors looking out to the rear courtyard. It’s a big space for us and feels very luxurious for a bedroom. We like to keep our bedrooms minimal, so it’s mainly just a combination of our favourite linen paired with a handful of paintings and special objects, with a few plants here & there.

“Saturday mornings in bed are always a treat. One of us is normally on tea duty, and the other opens up all the curtains and doors to let the morning air in. We pop the water fountain on, sip tea and chat to welcome our weekend. Our cats, Turkish and Annabelle, invariably join us.”

Emma: “Over the years we’ve collected a handful of very special objects from our favourite artists and friends. Two pieces we invested in when I first started my journey with clay were from Alana Wilson & Cécile Daladier, two artists I deeply admire.

“I’ve claimed a few of my favourite paintings by Matt for the house; his ‘untitled (pink)’ hanging in the dining room next to an Anna Fiedler (a 30th gift to myself) are two pieces that I admire every day. We were also gifted a photograph from Traianos Pakioufakis as thanks for a group exhibition I curated ‘Still, Now’ at Nyisztor Gallery in 2021, a beautiful reminder of this special show.

“We also have gorgeous paintings by Lauren O'Connor, Rose Moxham, Cooper Cooper and Ron Nyisztor, two weavings by our fave Carla Adams, and a small layered sculptural work by Gab Scott. Several of my own works are dotted around the house too. I usually do this initially temporarily as an attempt to see the work in a new context, or to see how it feels in a ‘home’ setting, but inevitably some just end up staying put.

“The first piece of art we ever acquired was a wire work piece by Tipura, an incredibly talented artist from Japan who I was lucky enough to collaborate with for my first exhibition ‘And then it becomes one’. Our most recent acquisition is a gentle abstract painting by Perth-based artist Ron Nyisztor, from his 'Found Abject' series.”

The soft brown palette of Walter Stripe linen creates a sense of calm for Emma & Matt's sleeping quarters.

Matt: “I've been painting for about the last 10 years. I studied music after high school, but slowly moved away from that after graduating as I had no interest in becoming a teacher. I'd never painted before, and it seemed like an impossible thing to do, so I enrolled in a short course at Fremantle Art Centre to just learn the fundamentals, and was hooked from there. I've worked various side jobs while painting, as well as painting full time for periods, but have lately found a better balance when I'm not relying on it financially.

Emma: “I started my styling business 9 years ago and over the years it has evolved in many ways. Although I still offer Food & Tablescape styling, my main focus now is Ceramics. Events really bring a certain ‘hustle’ mentality which no longer aligns with me, so I’ve very much scaled back my offerings and only pursue what’s manageable for both my body and well-being. 

“My journey with clay began about 6 years ago after attending a few wheel-throwing courses at Fremantle Art Centre; I fell in love with the medium immediately, it really was the perfect juxtaposition to the life I was living at the time. Shortly after I set up a garden studio at home and started playing around with hand-building, I’d never had a daily practice before, and the routine and discipline brought a huge sense of purpose to my life. I can thank Matt for shining light on this way of living.

"I was lucky enough to have built a platform from my years of styling work by the time I launched my first collection and was overwhelmed by the response, from that point onwards I knew this would grow to be my primary focus.”

I’d never had a daily practice before, and the routine and discipline brought a huge sense of purpose to my life.

Emma: “I’m currently working towards a solo exhibition in NSW with Curatorial+Co, which I’m very excited about! We’re travelling across the Nullarbor in our van to get there, a trip we’ve been wanting to do for years. It’s been 3 years since working on a large body of work for a show, and as of 3 weeks ago I’m in the full swing of things now. The work is very much looking to be a reflection of mornings spent by the water, but who knows what it will look like in a few months from now. I’ve just moved into a communal warehouse studio, which is new for me, but I’m embracing the change, and feel it was the exact move I needed to immerse myself in my work for the next few months.”

Matt: “I’m just finishing up a couple of commissioned works for an exciting development, which is due for completion in the middle of the year. I’m also just ticking along slowly with new abstract works, which I’ll show in the future in some capacity, maybe through a solo exhibition in the new year. I’m starting to just embrace the multiple polarities that exist in my practice; between abstraction and representational work. Just to accept that I make work in these vastly different styles, and to be fine with it and get on with it.”

Emma: “For me, time spent outside of my practice is in nature. Each morning is spent under the almond tree in meditation, a swim in the ocean or river follow and has very much become a ritual to invite the day ahead and to open space for time in the studio. Regular camping trips to switch off our devices and reconnect with the land and each other are always a priority throughout the year. For me this time is not only to recharge but it also informs my work. A favourite quote of mine by Barbara Hepworth resonated so strongly - 'In the contemplation of Nature we are perpetually renewed, our sense of mystery and our imagination is kept alive, and rightly understood, it gives us the power to project into a plastic medium some universal or abstract vision of beauty.' Friends, food & music are the perfect counterbalance.

Matt: “I’m a bit of a homebody, and would happily just potter around the house in my downtime. Having said that, Em is always looking for something fun to go and do and I’m glad that she does, I’d likely never leave the house if it was up to me. I find myself in the garden most days; there’s always something that needs attending to, and it’s the best antidote to working in a room or on a computer all day. I’ve been trying to keep my fitness up this year too, whether that’s going for a run or playing tennis badly with my brother. And then, obviously, there’s the pub, which I truly cherish.”

Each morning is spent under the almond tree in meditation, a swim in the ocean or river follow and has very much become a ritual to invite the day ahead and to open space for time in the studio.

IN BED Heavy Linen Pillowslips in Caramel top Emma & Matt's bed.

“Fremantle really is the perfect combination of culture, food, and nature. For food, we love Parvin’s Persian Cuisine & Tom the Greek, both at South Fremantle Farmers market, Clancy’s Fish Pub, Patio & La Cabana for a balmy afternoon drink and nibble, fish burgers at sunset from Sealanes, Kuld and Chi-Cho for the best ice cream in town, Palace Patisserie at Freo Markets for Gozleme and Turkish tea on a Friday afternoon, and Hinata for Japanese home style cooking made with so much love.

“A few local galleries that we love are Nyisztor Gallery, Case Frames Gallery, and Goolugatup Heathcote. For shopping, our go-to’s are Kate & Abel and New Edition Bookshop. Luna Palace is also a regular for arthouse, contemporary & classic cinema. 

“If we’re looking to get outside, Harvey Beach is a wonderful little spot on the river for swimming - from here we do a big walk through the cliff tops and along the water beside North Fremantle. We also love South Beach for sauna & swims, Mt Brown for a weekend hike, Blackwall Reach for a cruisy bike ride through the bushland, and Booyeembara Park for tea with friends.

“To re-connect, yoga with Steph in Hamilton Hill & with Jane Underwood from Off the Wall, Cacao from Reverence Events and Bodywork with Yenni.”


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