outdoor art

Outdoor art for your alfresco gallery

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Turn your yard into an alfresco gallery with creative pieces that reflect your personal flair

Outdoor spaces are integral to Australian homes, providing places of refuge, peace, recreation, play and socialisation. As Australians navigate to a life more focused on home living, it is only natural that we are creating spaces that act as a comforting sanctuary, oozing with personal style. One way that this can be achieved is through outdoor art.

Outdoor art is a true emphasis of self-expression, allowing us to create focal points within our landscapes that say “Hello, here I am, this is me”. Helen Neyland, sculptor and director of Entanglements, explains; “Art allows you to express your own personality and support your lifestyle in your outdoor space.” Whether that means congregating with family and friends or enjoying personal peace as you watch the sun rise. “Everyone is gravitating towards home and making a haven,” says Helen.

As we face the uncertainty of the future, now is the time to create the outdoor space that you truly want, and to build a sanctuary for you and your loved ones to retreat to in any season of life.

Choose your style

The first step in finding the right art for your outdoor living space is to decide on the theme or vision that you wish to express. Art is an exhibition of personal expression and the benefit of it being placed outdoors is that you’re not so constricted by furniture placement and pesky walls; you are free to embrace your wild side and choose artistic pieces — big or small — that you would normally balk at putting inside your home.

There are so many styles to consider and the limit is, truly, your own imagination. From a peaceful sanctuary to a bold expression of personality, art will add that unique flavour your outdoors has been missing.

To create a calming space that celebrates nature and art, consider including pieces that depict native scenery, such as wall sculptures, standing sculptures, ornate firepits and water features. Enhance this theme with nature-inspired pots made from organic materials; leave them empty or fill them with lush greenery to further emphasise the feeling of a wild haven. When choosing this type of palette, keep the colours of your art pieces neutral with earthy browns, terracotta oranges and soft creams. Consider using Corten steel for your sculptures and firepits to introduce a deliciously rustic finish and complement the surrounding landscape.

Don’t be afraid to step outside the box and try something bold and daring. A vibrant sculpture crafted from unique materials paired with an artistic arbour can turn your backyard from basic to bold. Sculptures with unique patterns and planters in vibrant colours can really up the style factor in your space. Offset the browns and greens that fill outdoor landscapes with bright contrasting colours such as reds, purples and even gold, to grab the eye and hold it.

For a more classic look, choose pieces that are contained within a monochromatic palette in shades of white, grey and black. Consider elegant black pots, silver sculptures in sultry shapes and white accent pieces to create a certain je ne sais quoi that will remain classy and timeless for decades to come.

Balcony art

Just because you don’t have a lush green lawn and endless backyard space doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the joys of outdoor art. With more Australians moving into apartment living, it is only natural that art trends would follow.

An excellent way to add art to your balcony without taking up space is through wall art. A wall sculpture will transform a plain, blank wall and give the space a lively boost. You could even try including a mirror, which is a great way to bring light and the illusion of space to your balcony — and it looks absolutely fabulous, too. Opt for something small for a touch of class or go all out and invest in an ornate floor-to-ceiling affair that boasts a unique design. If you can’t put up large pieces of art on the wall, consider instead small hanging sculptures that can be attached by easily removable stick-on hooks, such as wind chimes or macramé planters.

If you have the space, a feature planter that boasts a small tree or shrub can really enhance the atmosphere of a balcony. You can even plant your own little herb or flower garden in fun and stylish pots. Don’t be afraid to try something different and choose bold colours and patterns to really bring the space to life.

Elevate it

Do you have an art piece that you’re particularly fond of? Make it stand out by lifting it up a notch. Place it on a deck or construct a plinth to keep it in your line of sight at all times — even better if the plinth is made from a complementary material.

Your art pieces can also be elevated without literally placing it on a higher surface, with the use of accent pieces. Lights that draw attention, such as backlit wall art or purposefully placed outdoor lamps can be incredibly effective and will enhance the mood of the space. You can also strategically arrange plants around the artwork to make it pop out of the greenery or be a hidden surprise for any garden wanderers.

At the end of the day, your outdoor space is your own personal haven. Whether it’s a minimalist planter or an abundance of extravagant sculptures, choose art that calls to you and expresses your own individual style.