Artist Prudence Caroline's Torquay Home Is An Ode to Texture and Colour
Welcome to The Makers. Each week, we’re celebrating innovators, artisans and crafters of all types, taking you on a private tour of their creative spaces. For this instalment, we head to the Torquay apartment of artist Prudence Caroline.
Australian abstract artist Prudence Oliveri—professionally known as Prudence Caroline—is known for her fluid, colour-intensive and textural grand-scale pieces. Awash with watercolour, her works simultaneously radiate intensity and tranquillity, as if mimicking the duality of her life as a painter and mum of two young kids.
Though Prudence always loved to paint, it wasn’t until she gained recognition for her work after a stint on The Block that she began pursuing a career as a full-time artist.
When she’s not creating in her studio, you’ll find Prudence working with her husband, Damian, founder of Oliveri Design and Construction, on their latest renovation project—a concrete home perched overlooking the Great Ocean Road. As they work towards building their new space, Prudence and her family have set up in a sun-soaked, modern apartment in Torquay, Victoria.
Here, dusty rose and rich blue hues (her favourite palette) set the scheme, with oversized tan leather couches and vintage armchairs punctuating the space—it’s a modern Australian space that nods to laid-back Californian aesthetics.
In the living room, Prudence’s large pastel artworks take pride of place atop a wooden bookcase carefully curated with art magazines and design books, while her forever-growing ceramic collection adorns bespoke consoles and countertops throughout.
From the light-filled dining room where she works through her email inbox, to the effortlessly cool bedroom mixing contemporary text art with Lavender and Pinstripe linens, her home is as unique as the one-of-a-kind coke cans she paints. What are those? Peep into her pastel peppered studio to find out.
Hi Prudence! This series is called The Makers. What is it that you make?
How does the act of “making” relate to your personality and who you are?
I need to create every day as an expression of myself. Even if the creation is as small as what I’ve chosen to wear for the day. Or, what’s more fun is dressing my children—at least while I can still can!
Tell us about your career journey to date. Did you always know you wanted to pursue this line of work?
I never really thought it was possible to have a career as an artist, so it’s not something I studied. I had a beauty salon and was painting as a creative outlet on weekends. When my work appeared on magazine covers and popular TV shows, I no longer had time to hold both jobs so I sold my salon to paint full-time.
Talk us through your creative process. Where do you start?
When I start my day in the studio, my ritual is to light a candle and put on some music. At the moment I’m listening to Little Dragon, circa 2011.
What’s been the single most crucial tool or strategy you’ve used to grow your business?
Stepping out of my comfort zone.
What’s been the most challenging lesson learnt since you started your business?
The days aren’t long enough. And book work is a brain-numbing necessity to running your own business!
What’s been the best thing that’s happened to you since you started your business?
My artwork appearing on a magazine cover for the first time–Inside Out magazine–styled by Julia Green & photographed by Armelle Habib.
Do you have a single piece of advice you’d give to your younger self or someone looking to start their own business?
Be true to yourself, and look for inspiration in your everyday.
Now, the home stuff. How long have you lived in your home?
We have just moved into this rental home after selling our last home/project.
How did you initially know this was the space for you?
We choose to live close to town, while we are temporarily renting. We’re within walking distance to our favourite cafes and restaurants… but we moved in just before COVID hit, so enjoying the area hasn’t exactly gone to plan!
What was the thought process behind the way you’ve styled the interior?
We have very oversized furniture! Finding a rental property that fitted our items was difficult. We’ve always tried to purchase classic or vintage items that will get better with age, and purchase pieces that we fell in love with.
What are your favourite pieces in the home?
A newly found vintage, tan leather Wassily armchair. And my commissioned denHolm entry console.
Do you have any special décor pieces you’re looking to add?
I’m always adding to my ceramics collection. I have my eye on some Kirsten Perry pieces!
Which is your favourite room in the house?
The light-filled dining room. The sun pours in on a good day, making it an ideal spot for replying to emails!
What are your top tips for a well-styled bedroom, and home generally?
Don’t be afraid of colour. Dusty pinks and blues are my favourite, they make a great base for adding in brighter colours.
Do you have any projects coming up you want to talk about?
I’m currently working to commission on artwork projects. And, my husband Damian and I are starting our next building project @wyeconcretebunker—a concrete home perched above the Great Ocean Road.
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