Welcome to Polly Coulson, my Painter in Residence for the closing months of the year 2020!
Polly’s love of interiors started young, and though nascent during her early adult life (at which point Polly forged a career as a dancer, travelled the world, and met her husband), it was something she found herself returning to once she began making her own home. The pair undertook renovation projects together, maximising their small budget by undertaking work themselves and making the most of Polly’s talent for redesigning furniture.
In 2013 Polly and her husband moved from the UK to Queensland Australia. Polly tells me, “I was so homesick I needed a project and I quickly started to pick up old pieces to paint and up-cycle. It was hard to find and made it all the more exciting when I did get an old unloved piece to make a new life for it.”
Another motivation to paint was the environmental aspect of reusing and restoring rather than buying new. “I also feel that if I can save something from going to landfill, I have done a good deed and helped the planet a little in my own way. I try and keep things as sustainable as I can and I love that Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan is low in VOCs as well as having the most beautiful pigment and texture”.
Polly began sharing her work on Instagram under the name ATTIC Furniture QLD, where she caught my eye with her confident, quirky, playful use of colour. In 2019 we actually used a piece of furniture painted by Polly for an official Annie Sloan advert which appeared in magazines across the US and Europe! Polly was also making a splash in her own community, curing that initial home sickness by connecting with local like-minded creatives, artists and makers.
What most charmed me about Polly’s work is the joy inherent in each piece. I spoke to Polly about how she achieves that and she told me; “I love using colour and like to have fun with my style, I guess I’m still not wanting to grow up so by using playful colour and patterns I get to feed my inner child”
“Attic Furniture” was a name that for me had a nostalgia of home, the idea of searching around in my Nanny’s or mum’s attic and finding forgotten treasures and giving them new life really appealed to me. Painting furniture is really a part of my soul; something I can do to feel happy and fulfilled and I think most people get that”.
I can’t wait to see what Polly produces during her residency and I’m hoping my own painting will become more childlike and celebratory as I follow her journey! Do make sure you’re following on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter or sign up to my newsletter so you never miss a piece!