Monday, October 19, 2009

Gypsy Find: Miv Watts

I have been introduced to Miv Watts by a delicous post at An Indian Summer.....I enjoyed it so much, that I had to share it......please go and visit both sites.

After beginning her career as a window dresser for Burberry, Miv then travelled extensively in the sixties, thus developing from very early on her eye for the unusual and the exotic, the wild and the wicked, from an early age. Both Miv's children (actress Naomi Watts, and successful New York fasion photographer Ben) were born in the late sixties, meaning her wings were clipped, and so she set about developing her talent for home making, coupled with buying and selling antiques and decorative items from a boutique in Greys Antique market, Bond Street, London.

Freelance fashion consulting and decorating for boutiques such as Granny Takes a Trip and Ace King Road Chelsea fuelled a keen and flamboyant interest in design, bohemianism and free spirit. Her clients included artists and musicians on both sides of the Atlantic for whom she sourced art and individual pieces as seventies record sales lined velvety pockets and rock stars became the new gentry.

Moving into the film industry in the mid seventies, Miv worked initially on TV commercials Music Videos, art directing and costume styling. By the early eighties, she decided to try her hand in the Australian film Industry (having family in Oz) and moved to Sydney with the children.
In this new and inspiring environment, Miv's taste for sunshine and good living flourished, and acceptance and irreverent approach to conformity fed an obsession with colour and exciting new textures. Places such as Martin Sharp's Luna Park and Jenny Kee's shop Flamingo Park were inspiring. Freedom of expression in everything was the word, in food, in fashion, in living. For the creatively motivated, Australia was heaven.
Shortly after her arrival in Sydney, Miv was asked to costume design a small film directed by Australian art dealer ClytieJessop, starring Lee Remick. The film was set in the Blue Mountains ,a place full of mystery and aboriginal legends of women and warm earth. Miv found a weatherboard cottage by a waterfall and from there all thoughts of the bleak English winter quickly disintegrated. Moving on to design a number of TV series and feature films Miv lived in Australia for over a decade travelling to Indonesia and India as projects required.

In the East, she devoloped her taste for the exotic and still enjoys working with the indigenous craftspeople as a creative team: the Rajhastani women in their vivid silk saris and silver jewelry, the Balinese dancers, the temples, the rituals of the offerings and the religion. The idea of these things being a part of an individual and a purpose for living made sense. These influences continue to inspire Miv's work.Back in the UK, Miv's focus shifted from film to Interior Design, inspired as she was to bring some colour and warmth to her homeland. Two big commissions in London soon followed and she also continued to travel to Indonesia and Australia for film work.

Moving to Norfolk in the nineties Miv worked on projects for Houghton Hall and Holkham, designing The Victoria at Holkham in 2002, which has sustained continual success as one of the UK's most popular boutique hotels. More recently she has designed The Bath Arms at Longleat and is currently working on the refurbishment of the Holkham Hall family wing.
In conjunction with Norfolk, she now also works in the South of France while keeping a holiday home in the beautiful hinterland of Byron Bay NSW which she visits for three months each year. Colour, warmth and exuberance have become an integral part of her life and she regards this as the most inspirational gift she has been given and is passionate about passing it on to her brave and wonderful clients.


Queen Of Småland said...

Oh, that bed is stunningly beautiful. And I want that kitchen!!! Thank you for sharing and have a magical day.

Vita små hjärtan said...

Thank you for you visit me! So nice blog you have!
Have a nice day/Agnetha

Änglarnas hus said...

Hallo gypsy!

How nice to have a visitor from Southafrica... it´s a long way ;)
Love the net!!

You show us a lot of beautiful colors today..lovley!!

Have a nice week!!/Sanne!

Les Cotrions said...

What a beautiful blog you have! Thanks for your visit! It's my first one from South Africa! Gorgeous photos you share!

un abril encantado said...

Thanks for your visit...ohhh Gypsy tu mundo es MARAVILLOSO, FANTASTIC...tú un regalo para mi, Lourdes

The Enchanted Room said...

I just love everything you post! It is just like peeking inside a magic world. Thank you for sharing and making us dream! Alina

Ana Trigo said...

Hi! Thank you so much for visiting La página escondida and for leaving a so nice comment. I really love your blog too! It´s been a great discovering.

My Carolina Kitchen said...

What an exciting career. I love the kitchen with the shuttered cabinets.

Livet på Berget said...

Wow I Love your pictures! Really beautiful. How wonderfulit must be with summer, here in the northen part of Sweden it is cold and soon we will have snow everywhere. I visited South Africa two years ago. It was an adventure, stayed at some friends house near Johannesburg for 15 days!
Best Regards

koralee said...

wow...such lovely lovely fabrics...I could use some of those cushions around my home. Thanks for sharing the beauty today!

Jennifer Lee said...

I came across your blog through Alkemie's (Karen's) and I'm glad I did. This was a great post. I'll be visiting often :)

Happy Bloggings.

Amanda said...

The daybeds in the first photos look so inviting! Just came across your lovely blog and will definitely be coming back to read more.

winnsangels said...

more scrumptious finds. Wow. thanks for sharing Miv's story and photos with us.

The Things We Carried said...

There is whimsy and warmth! Love the style.

Mélanie said...

I love every single pic . this is such my style even if my shop doesn't look like that but my home : OUI

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