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Issue 60 - The Kitchen and Bathroom Issue

Issue 60

The Kitchen and Bathroom Issue

HABITUS has always stood ahead of the rest with a dedicated Kitchen and Bathroom issue of exemplar standards. For issue 60 we have taken it up a notch with our Guest Editor the extraordinary, queen of kitchen design, Sarah-Jane Pyke of Arent&Pyke, speaking directly to Kitchen and Bathroom design with some increadable insights.

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Art imitating design imitating art: Camillo House intertwines place, process and production
ConversationsNicky Lobo

Art imitating design imitating art: Camillo House intertwines place, process and production

Project

Camillo House

Photography

Zak van den Boom from pretty in palms

Design doesn’t just coexist with art at Camillo House – the Artist Retreat Programme there facilitates its creation too. We spoke to artist, Hilary Green, about how the luxury accommodation spurred an ongoing cycle of creative inspiration and production.


As a sculptor working primarily with clay, Hilary’s love of mythology sees her creating ornate and organic candelabras and vessels that bring a sense of the surreal into the home. Recently, a series of visits to Camillo House, in Blairgowrie on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, has inspired not just the production of three sculptures – which are now housed in the luxury accommodation – but also a field trip, a creative collaboration and a new artspace initiative.

“My first stay at Camillo House was a solo artist retreat for three days in March 2023,” says Hilary. “I used my stay to explore the cliffs, gather inspiration from the rock formations by sketching, and create a short surreal film that informed a future collection of ceramic art. I absorbed the rockpool and beaches at sunset and designed a ceramic lamp for Camillo House, which now welcomes visitors as they enter.”

The three-level 1980s holiday home was recently reimagined by owner Clare Hillier and her partner Sean (with guidance from Blair Smith ArchitectureLUBU Building and CS Studio) into a unique accommodation experience imbued with a particularly thoughtful, sensory kind of luxury. But Camillo House is more than a rejuvenating and restful place to stay. According to Hilary, the accommodation and its surrounds are “a haven for artists.”

She continues: “The wild cliffs near the house are my absolute favourite on the peninsula. I cannot tell you how breathtaking it is in different natural light throughout the day,” she enthuses. “The colours of the rocks change and there are so many textures carved by wind, sea and life.”

Hilary’s retreat experience directly informed the creation of the works that now feature at Camillo House. During a cliff walk one evening, the moonrise over the water inspired a sculpted lamp representing the guiding light of the moon. A giant ‘portal’ rock at Blairgowrie rockpool that frames the sea has also led to the creation of ‘portal’ sculptures.

Not just a feast for the eyes, Camillo House and the surrounding natural environment offer a full-blown sensory invitation that lands deeply in the body. “I spent time in that wooden bath feeling so warm and connected to nature even though it’s indoors,” recalls Hilary of the handcrafted Spotted Gum bath by Wood and Water. “Being so close to the sea and tea trees, the smells in the air are invigorating. And the details at Camillo are so lovingly considered – Negroni offered upstairs alongside art books and a beautiful green carpet; the spaciousness and devotion to bathing experiences and rain-like showering.”

Perhaps it is also this powerfully kinaesthetic, psychosomatic experience that has inspired Hilary to nurture her own creative haven and community, Shell Space in Brunswick, which has become a backdrop for sensual and stimulating workshops. “There are touches of rock and orange colours [there] that are directly inspired by my time at Camillo House,” Hilary shares.

Since her initial solo stay, Hilary has run an artist’s Field Trip walk, lunch and discussion at Camillo House with workshop participants – and has also returned for a joint stay with jewellery artist Sacreflux to co-support, brainstorm and connect their art practices.

The place has profoundly influenced Hilary’s output and trajectory – and whether you’re an artist or not, she believes this connection to place can be a balm for the soul. “I think this environment and the house itself is a portal to reset and reflect on what matters most: nature, your body and spirit,” she remarks. “The place offers so many possibilities to be alone or in groups making memories together. It is not hard to nourish your spirit here.”

A trip across the Alps to visit V-ZUG in Switzerland


About the Author

Nicky Lobo

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ArchitectureartartistArtist Retreat ProgrammeAustraliabathBlair smith architectureCamillo HouseCS Studiofurniture


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Issue 60 - The Kitchen and Bathroom Issue

Issue 60

The Kitchen and Bathroom Issue

HABITUS has always stood ahead of the rest with a dedicated Kitchen and Bathroom issue of exemplar standards. For issue 60 we have taken it up a notch with our Guest Editor the extraordinary, queen of kitchen design, Sarah-Jane Pyke of Arent&Pyke, speaking directly to Kitchen and Bathroom design with some increadable insights.

Order Issue