11.03.20 - Meet Barbara O’Donovan

Artist, Wallpaper Designer & Artist in Residence at The Gerald Apartment Hotel

Barbara is a talented and highly respected artist, based in Geraldton Western Australia. She is one of the state’s leading artists and has recently been engaged by the Scandinavian Wallpaper Décor Company to collaborate and design the ‘Renaissance’ collection.

The beautiful collection was picked up by Stylist Steve Cordony and was featured in Belle magazine in July last year!

Barbara O'Donovan Artist

1. Where did you grow up?

I was born in Bendigo Victoria. We lived about 20km out of town at a place called Emu Creek. We ran through the paddocks, played in the trees, swam in the dam & thrived in the freedom of life in the bush back then.

2.  How long have you been living in Geraldton?

I’ve been residing in Geraldton for 15 years – but have been visiting for well over 20 years. Geraldton is perfectly located in the heart of the Coral Coast, surrounded by natural beauty from the beaches to the wildflowers. I find an abundance of inspiration for my work in the flora native to WA.

3. When did you begin your art journey?

I had amazing parents – looking back now on my childhood – I think they encouraged all of us to think outside the box. My Father loved nature, animals and listening to Pavarotti and my Mother loved art, history, music and books, so, as kids we were always creating stuff in one form or another.

I guess I really started to create images in a commercial sense around 10 years ago.

4. Where do you find the most inspiration?

Easy! Nature. I find inspiration everywhere but without a doubt it comes from plants and I’ve always been drawn to the Dutch Masters – I’m a big fan of Rembrandt. His use of light is beautiful – that’s why a lot of my work is quite dark. I like the mystery those early painters created and I’m obsessed with plants and flowers in all their forms.  I usually prefer them dead or in the stages of dying – I see a lot of beauty in this process rather than a big bright blousy flower!

5. Where can people purchase your works?

There are a range of my designs on display at The Gerald and they are all for sale. If you see something you like, simply ask the team at The Gerald for details.

You can also follow my Instagram page @barbaraodonovandesigns for regular updates, insights and art pieces.

6. When did your Artist in Residency at The Gerald commence?

My works have been on display at The Gerald for around 12 months. I’m very grateful to have the opportunity to showcase my locally produced artwork to visitors from all over the world.

Barbara O'Donovan Artist

7. What’s next for Barbara O’Donovan?

Following on from my wallpaper collaboration, I’m working on putting my designs onto linen and cushions next.

It’s a long and involved process to organize therefore I might consider a pop up shop later in the year.

I’d really love to see my work displayed in hospitals and health services as it’s very calming to look at. The first client to install my wallpaper when it was released was an Orthodontic Specialist rooms in Applecross.

8. Are you working on a particular project at the moment?

After the success of the first range, I’m currently excited to be working on new designs for a possible second release of wallpapers in collaboration with the Scandinavian Wallpaper Decor Company.

View a selection from Barbara’s stunning range at The Gerald Apartment Hotel or local Geraldton boutique Ivy Vibe.

Learn more about Barbara by following her journey on Instagram @barbaraodonovandesigns