As our 'new normal' increasingly shifts towards working and spending time at home, we decided to reach out to some of our favourite creatives to see how they are adapting and staying inspired during these uncertain times.
First up, we hear from Chloë McCarthy, Joseph Gardner and Nat Turnbull, as they answer five questions on how they are adapting their practices in isolation. Whether it's connecting with loved ones, diving into a deep cleanse of the home or finally getting around to enjoying a good book in the bath, their time in isolation, albeit stressful, has allowed an opportunity for unexpected reflection and reset.
Over the next two weeks, Great Dane looks forward to sharing more of these responses with you.
"Most of my time at the moment is spent with my three year old son Max" – Chloë McCarthy.
How has your day-to-day workflow changed? For the past few years I’ve actually been living on Lord Howe Island with my family. Lord Howe is a tiny UNESCO World Heritage listed subtropical island that’s around 10km long. It’s part of NSW and the population is only about 400. My partner is a builder and we moved from Sydney to take on a project which was meant to be a six month stint, but it’s been hard to leave! I normally commute back to Sydney every month or two for work (it’s a two hour flight), however the whole island is currently in lockdown, making it impossible to leave. Jobs have slowed a bit, so I’ve been using the time to work through my own DA for our terrace in Bourke St. Surry Hills where we’ll live when we return to Sydney.
Have you had to change your home to suit your WFH needs? Luckily I already have a home office, but I do find myself often gravitating to the dining table where there’s more natural light and a view over the front yard.
Which area of your home are you gravitating to the most and why? Most of my time at the moment is spent with my three year old son Max. Given Lord Howe is so remote, it’s still possible to go to the beach or hike and not see a single other person. The kitchen is definitely where I spend most of my time indoors as I love to cook.
Are you reading any good books, listening to podcasts or watching movies to get you through? I just finished reading Shoe Dog, a memoir by Phil Knight, the creator of Nike. I’m currently reading Joan Didion’s Slouching Towards Bethlehem and also watching various MasterClass online lessons (mainly cooking or design related).
"My role at Vogue Living has become more digital, so I've had to learn the CMS and am uploading trend galleries and stories... " - Joseph Gardner.
How has your day-to-day workflow changed? My workflow has changed quite a bit actually, not being able to shoot would be the biggest change, and not being able to get out and source beautiful pieces, too. My role at Vogue Living has become more digital, so I've had to learn the CMS and am uploading trend galleries and stories to vogueliving.com.au. It's kinda cool to experience another part of the business, but I am definitely missing human contact and creating imagery with my favourite photographers!
Have you had to change your home to suit your WFH needs? Hahaha yes, I have created myself a beautiful desk situation on our round dining table which has prime position in our apartment surrounded by a giant bay window looking out over the city that is flooded with light throughout the day.
Which area of your home are you gravitating to the most and why? The bedroom! I am going to sleep so much earlier and really enjoying it. Second would be the kitchen and bathroom, as we are cooking more than ever and I'm running myself a bath in the evenings, which is a real treat.
Are you reading any good books, listening to podcasts or watching movies to get you through? All of the above, but two books that I am particularly enjoying right now are 'François Halard : A Visual Diary' by François Halard and 'The Touch' by Kinfolk and Norm Architects, both for the interior porn but also for the beautiful stories that come from them.
What is your favourite GD piece and why? I love the Gemla 'Clara' Bed Head by Sara Helder and Gert Wingardh and the Gemla 'Butler' Mirror by Mathieu Gustafsson, both for their playful yet refined curves. Sorry, I know you asked for one, but I'm a greedy stylist who likes options!
"I've gone on a bit of a Mari Kondo clean outof my home during isolation, which feels so productive and so nice!" – Nat Turnbull
How has your day-to-day workflow changed? My days are very different during COVID-19. I would usually be out on shoots, sourcing elements and visiting suppliers, so more time at home has caused me to re-think ways of working, which has been a really insightful challenge. While some work is possible, I’m also enjoying the down time to develop concepts, organise my website and look through my folio to make plans for future projects.
Have you had to change your home to suit your WFH needs? Prior to this, I was often on the go, so my workspace was always changing. I’ve had to settle into the dining table or sometimes an armchair as my new office. All I really need is a comfortable chair, my laptop, notebook and a cup of tea and I can be anywhere.
Which area of your home are you gravitating to the most and why? I’ve gone on a bit of a Mari Kondo clean out of my home during isolation, which feels so productive and so nice. Since doing that, I’m loving sitting on the armchair in our spare room and reading. We have a Maralunga chair in a wool finish, so it’s really comfortable and with some cooler weather kicking in, you can often find me there with my ginger, honey and lemon tea.
Are you reading any good books, listening to podcasts or watching movies to get you through? All of the above. I just finished reading a great fictional novel ‘Pachinko’ which had me hooked. I’ve been listening to the ‘How I Built This’ podcast, which is always amazing. I’ve been watching short films on Nowness and interesting films on Mubi. There are also some great studio visits by Loewe via IG Live. It’s a good time to learn something new and challenge your brain, something that the pace of normal day to day life often doesn’t allow.
What is your favourite GD piece and why? I love the Verpan x Prada Inflatable Stool because it challenges the norm and is a really interesting piece. A close contender for my favourite piece is the Flag Halyard Chair - it’s such a classic piece and I love the mix of materials in its finish.