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Andrew Taylor in vogue living

Vogue Living 2018


Stars – they’re just like us! So goes the title of a popular American gossip site that serialises candid snapshots of celebrities pursuing their everyday a airs. “They pick up the dog poo”, “put money in parking meters” and even “drink green juice”, jest the captions accompanying ‘money-shots’ that are framed for their mundanity. No one buys their normality. In the living room (from left), Guzzini floor lamp and Cassina Soriana sofa, both from Castorina & Co; Baxter Matera side table from Criteria Collection; Halcyon Lake rugs; Mingardo Satin side table (beside fireplace) from Hub Furniture; Matter-Made Slon coffee table from Criteria Collection; Kazari + Ziguzagu ottoman; Molteni & C Glove-Up armchair from Hub Furniture; Ligne Roset Togo chair from Domo; artworks by Andrew Taylor (from left) — three glass pieces from Golden Fleece (2017) series, Outside 15:33 (2012), unfinished life drawing, Velvet Goldmine (2017), two pieces from Sisters (2017) series. 2/10 But on a chilly spring morning, inside a recently renovated period home in proximity to the St Kilda foreshore, the Oscar-nominated and Golden Globe award-winning actor Rachel Grifiths and her artist husband, Andrew Taylor (represented in the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria), are doing an extremely good job of convincing that they’re conventional. Griffiths, who is make-up free, shoeless but still arrestingly soigné, greets at the front door and directs passage down a hall festooned with the ornament of another period and the obstacle of everyday living. It communicates school- age children — Banjo, 14, Adelaide, 13, and Clementine, 9 — the compulsive construct and collection of fine art (floors layer with work fed from front studio and friend) and the commitments of two working parents (production office in full hum) whose energies electrify the air. In the front garden, Hans Wegner Papa Bear chair and footstool; Hans Wegner oak Peacock chair. 3/10 The actor stops at the end of the hallway, grabs an eyeful of a blue jacaranda in the garden beyond, then veers right into a kitchen layered with a miscellany of artefact, appliance and Taylor, who presents both in person and ceramic portrait. Of this smooth, white effigy with drooping feature, which sits next to a Peter Booth work on the rangehood, he says, “That was made by one of the kids. I was beardless then, but if you turn it upside down...” 4/10 Taylor presides over a generous galley space that exudes all the industrial aestheticism of a jazz-age Parisian bar. It imperceptibly sutures the old Victorian front of the house to a fulsome two-storey addition, the sum of which Griffiths informs was planned by Powell & Glenn architects along the lines of Italian palazzos — officiating rooms flanking a front foyer that flows to private quarters. “We call it the mullet house — short front and long back,” says Gri ths, using the no-bullshit vernacular of Rhonda Epinstalk, the social outcast she characterised in 1994’s Muriel’s Wedding. She positions herself in front of the pot-belly stove and picks up a poker to stoke its fire, but is chided by Taylor. “Don’t touch that!” he says, stealing it from her hand. “That’s my job.” Griffiths acquiesces and Taylor then offers coffee, promising a “proper Melbourne brew” from an eagle-badged Bezzera machine that signals the couple’s regard for best-in-class retro design and bistro- worthy appliances. In the dining room, Still Life With Kutan (2005) and Still Life With Artichokes (2006) artworks (in mirror reflection) both by Chris Beaumont; Untitled 1 artwork from Bunny (2004–05) by Polly Borland (on back wall); The Chaos of Warm Things(2012) artwork by Augusta Woods; Chicken Lithograph (2010) artwork (on floor) by Laura Owens. 5/10 “Andrew is the cook,” says Griffiths. She calls two years on the time taken to drill down to the family routines and rituals that ultimately customised a steel-framed island bench plumbed for hidden machines and fitted with a fluted glass alcove for the concealment of food-prep clutter and cookbooks. “The design of the kitchen is 90 per cent me. The breakfast and lunch-making zone is here,” she adds, opening the fridge dedicated to morning meals. “It’s the Andrew zone there — he doesn’t like anyone crossing his path when cooking — and the baking zone is there.” In another view of the living room, Rhino the French bulldog; ikebana vase (on coffee table) from Kazari + Zigazagu; another view of Outside 15:33 (2012) artwork by Andrew Taylor.

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