ORIGIN STORY & PHILOSOPHY
A unique background of experience with her family's business Paperhangings, sees Maree Wilding create interesting interiors of juxtaposition. A blending of tradition with a contemporary and forward thinking mindset. Her unique work brings a well informed knowledge of traditional interiors to contemporary design and a style that blends old world and new.
Maree Wilding's experience in The Arts, Architecture, Design & Building industries was established through her family's Heritage Conservation, Restoration, Building & Wallpaper Manufacturing Consultancy business, Paperhangings.
Established by Barbara Lyons Wilding and John Wilding Family in 1986, with support of The National Trust of Australia and guidance by Architectural and Wallpaper Historian, Phyllis Murphy AM, along with late husband John Murphy, whom together designed the 1958 Olympic Swimming Pool and were instrumental in establishment of The Trust.
Acquired through her 39 years exposure to the family's rich business history, Maree has a deep appreciation and understanding of historic interiors, an archival knowledge of document wallpapers and a skillset that allows her to make wallpapers and design window dressings and soft furnishings. Combined with her knowledge of fine art, antiques, lighting and modern designer furniture, Maree produces bespoke interiors influenced by the classic yet fresh and relevant to a style of living for today.
Her unique background enables her to identify and date wallpapers and interior schemes from specific timezones of the past and to understand them within context of their socio-political history. She is custodian of the family business' archival wallpaper collection (1830 to 1950). She produces these designs in small production runs for clients involved in bespoke decorative interior design projects as well as being involved in creating wallpapers for the newest concepts for contemporary architecture.
Maree was first exposed to this World of Heritage Conservation, Wallpapers and Design at the age of 3.
"I remember vividly being at a house in the country, I recall numerous chickens in the yard. There was a sense of how different it felt from our house which was in Hawthorn - an 1870s High Victorian Gothic Revival Italianate, Rotha, designed by renowned Historic Architect John Beswick for his family home - my parents were there, I sensed, for something important! It was Kyneton, at Phyllis and John's. And I recall them, with my parents, standing around the rustic kitchen, light streaming through the windows looking at colours and patterns - of course it was the Historic Wallpaper Remnants collected over the course of Phyllis’ career from numerous public and private buildings, each researched, documented and archived for her Phd.”
My mother would soon establish a wallpaper manufacturing business after developing a bond with Phyllis through their shared passion for conservation, restoration and design. My mother invited Phyllis to see the historic wallpapers in situ at Rotha, some in much need of repair or replacement. Phyllis seeded the idea by saying to her "I've collected it Barbara, you have the property, I think you should make it!"
Barbara and John traveled to the UK meeting manufacturers to acquire the production methods to make handprinted wallpapers. They returned to commence Paperhangings, and so the journey began. For Maree also.
Her mother immersed her in this world throughout her journey to establish Paperhangings. Barbara, rather unconventionally, took Maree on client consults habitually in her early learning years, then throughout her school years. She was exposed to incredible buildings, top level clientele and a way of interpreting and understanding time-zones of our past to either preserve, restore, recreate or reinterpret these for specific purposes, ie to keep things true to the original whilst bringing other areas into the contemporary or future contexts through renovation upgrades. Indeed a very interesting groundwork analogy for understanding convergence of times, cultures and places, and the spirit that drives that inquiry, advanced through all this history of lived-experience.
Maree, during the teenage years and into early adulthood found she was naturally inclined to the arts and humanities and developed a strong sense of social justice whilst also finding intrigue in notions about time, colour, light and spirit. In recent years she has discovered interest in concepts pertaining to energy, human cognition, number patterns that occur repeatedly in daily life and the meaning behind their representation, also advanced technologies and business models that aim to solve critical problems facing humanity.
Her own continued exploration and experience carries on from the legacy of her family’s broad work in the arts, education and public service and their practical real world business activities. She continues to grow a deeper interest in the unions we can make between Science and Technology, Architecture and Design, The Arts and the Business world, to the purpose of discovery of best practices for the preservation and advancement of humanity. She is interested in theories that merge Philosophy, Spiritualism, Quantum Mechanics, Neuroscience - and the Arts as a communication tool.
She loves learning and discovering new things and always seeks to do so, in order to be able to imagine, ideate and create solutions in new ways.
In 2007 Maree established her own interior design studio Interior Productions Textiles | Wallpaper | Design. The journey to commencement was in part informed by a 6 month journey to India where she immersed herself in deep learning the spiritual nature of India, its complex socio-economic, cultural and political systems, combined with a first hand experience of the global textiles industries from the Indian perspective. She met with leading global manufacturers in partnerships with companies in Europe and the Uk, large scale domestic manufacturers, all the way down to the villages where she watched local men and women making textiles by hand for their local communities' clothing and furnishings. These were still getting spun on Ghandi's spinning wheel; the technology whose invention had begun a hopeful path to liberation of colonised peoples about 60 years prior to her arrival. She also witnessed first hand the devastating impacts of mass chemical manufacturing plants in the form of air pollution and contamination of the waterways to the water tables to oceans, resulting in sickness to the local people and natural flora and fauna and more broadly to the environment at the national and global levels.
A deep level of care and a hawkish mind’s eye for exceptional quality and detail - of concept, of product, craft and technological processes in manufacturing - bestows an ability to bring the conceived and imagined into the physical reality, to create thoughtful and impactful, aesthetic, artistic interiors. She strives to achieve this within an ethos that pertains to cosmological well-being which considers nations and lands, places, communities, peoples and their connection to each other and all of it. Indeed, seeing and experiencing herself in our world within this cosmos, as relational to all existence within it - as one dynamic, interconnected, yet delicate system.
A consultant who engages in insightful, creative, visionary thinking focused on achieving artistic yet practical outcomes that contributes to making a real world difference. She is interested in ecology, sustainability, advanced technologies, social justice, designing for wellbeing, and generally the essence of human connections - to each other, to the land and its flora and fauna, to built environments, to advancing technologies such as AI - how they can enhance and unite vs split and divide - and to esoteric questions about the nature of our existence within, and in relation to, the cosmos.
She is interested in this new focus of “Evolving Totalism" where flexibility takes way over rigidity and allows these individual elements to intermingle and interchange in dynamic and robust ways, yet form a totality that allows for rigorous enquiry at the intersections and unions of its parts - and where design thinking through this lens can aid in deriving solutions for the pressing social issues of our times and into the future.
Maree has worked on numerous projects across Architecture and Design, The Arts (museums, art galleries, film & television), Insurance & Construction Industries, Hospitality, Government, Philanthropic Trusts, Private enterprise & more personally with private home owners. She works in collaboration with colleagues, clients and stakeholders to deliver professional, authentic outcomes delivered with artistic integrity. She consults on projects from ideation, design and development, sourcing & procurement and oversees manufacture of bespoke furnishings, through to delivery and installation.
She is a strong and empathic communicator with the ability to foresee & solve problems before they arise. She relates and engages easily with those at any social or organisational level - architects, designers, builders, artists, crafters, manufacturers, work rooms, tradespeople, administrators, organisers and planners etc. This enables her to keep engaged with projects at all stages and to drive solutions that are realistic, pragmatic and practical, commercially viable, yet artistic at the core.
In 2023 she is interested in the intermingling and unions of our pasts, presents and futures to effect better outcomes. In particular, transcendence over the linear notion of the ‘arrow of time’. Her exploration into indigenous cultures, ancient religions and societies, spiritualism, quantum mechanics and global money markets through historical and contemporary perspectives throughout 2020-23 has brought her awareness to transcend the world of mere material matter and the reality of bricks and mortar to re-enter and merge with the world of timelessness, nature, soul and ideas.
She is interested in the process of looking back into our individual and collective pasts to see what stories might be uncovered, discovered, retold, or reimagined and how we bring those stories together, into our contemporary context - to sit and live with them and empathically share them with each other - to learn from our individual and shared experiences to find our relatable commonality through that enquiry. The purpose being to see what emerges in unison from the process; the new learning to reshape existing notions, or create entirely new versions of how we might design better futures for individuals at the local level in context of powerful dynamics at play at the global level - geopolitics, global corporate enterprise connected to fragile financial systems and a rapidly changing climate as examples. She looks with interest to design in the ever evolving here now that encompasses inclusion of our past/present/future combined; to allow better opportunity for transcendence of what hasn’t and isn’t working whilst continuing that which does to no exclusion; to write new transformational change-making models.
Key interests rising from her own method of enquiry in this manner is a growing focus on core societal problems. The ever present global housing crisis and the contributing factors and causes such as geo-politics and wars, nation building based on immigration policy, a failing global monetary system which has generationally fueled speculative housing markets, an ever increasing global debt burden, economic and social divisions caused by global media and advanced technology corporations and the numerous social impacts that can arise at the local level due to the trickle down effect that stems from these; vacant inaccessible and unaffordable housing as well as lack of supply, leading to stress on families and relationships, disenfranchisement from community, mental health decline, disconnectedness from nature, country and native wildlife and domestic pets, systemic under-employment and unstable non-continuous working conditions ie in the construction industry, and the phenomena of the mass-resignation leading to increasing numbers of vacant commercial, office and retail buildings falling into dilapidation etc.
2024 carries her with interest in participatory engagement in research and development in the academic world alongside her practical studio work.
She desires to continue to explore new materiality that can help to reverse the damage we are currently projected to continue to inflict on the planet and find new ways to educate people and businesses to reduce their consumption and environmental impacts. To attempt to “reverse entropy” at the macro level by thinking about needs versus wants at the micro level - the media we consume, our capability to support good design through our purchasing power by way of consideration of products for our bodies, families, homes, vehicles, offices and thereby putting pressure on businesses to change, by forced consumer attitudes and demands, and by doing so, inform governments to change. Also to find ways to connect communities together in highlighted awareness of key socio-economic and environmental issues. Whilst remaining on the exploration path to find new ways to change and develop better business practices.
She is interested in the power of the people from all levels and diverse backgrounds coming together, to form bonds, to tackle these issues with a positive enlightened attitude. To drive a renewed hope to find our love and grace in awareness of how these problems interconnect; in order to inspire a desire to drive and design change for the future generations.
Consultancy, Collaborations and Commissions for public, private, commercial spheres and philanthropic trusts.
Special projects for Heritage and Historic buildings, National Trust & Heritage listed buildings and places of significance, contemporary bespoke architecture and arts for galleries and museums. R&D studies with educational institutions are welcomed for the first time.