Claire: I danced a lot as a little girl. I have vivid memories of performing on stage and feeling an incredible force in my body moving to music. I’ve always loved to dance, and performing has always been such an integral part of who I am. I think the truest expression of a person is in dance. Kristen: Laughing hysterically with my best friend at about age 13. Laughing was our main gig back then.
Claire: I’ve lived in many places throughout my life but my favourites include London, Mexico, Melbourne and Byron Bay. My home is now is by the sea in Clovelly, Sydney. This area holds great significance for me, as it’s where my Italian family immigrated to from the Aeolian Islands. By fate, I now live in the apartment block my Italian Grandfather once owned for his children, which was sold in the 1970’s. Clovelly is my little Italy. Kristen: At the moment I live near Manly and have lived in Sydney my whole life except for a two year stint in London. My heart is spread out all of the world though and I have a deep love for Italy and New Zealand.
In your owns words, please tell us what you do for a living?
Claire: By day I am the Co-Director of auór and by night you’ll find me working at The Opera House and Carriageworks. I’m also currently completing my Masters in Fine Art at UNSW Art & Design so I guess you could call me a practicing artist. I like to describe my career as being ‘a creative’. I’ve worked hard to forge a career that puts creativity before everything else and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Kristen: I work as a product designer in textile design and I am the Co-Director of auór. I’m also raising my little boy Remy.
“I love photographing for auór on my film camera. There is so much spontaneity involved in this process and a lack of control, which I like. I never know what the outcome might be and there are always pleasant surprises.”
How else do you spend your time?
Claire: I stay true to my Italian roots. I’m a sun worshipper, I love the water, a fine wine and spending all my savings on pizza and pasta. I also work in the arts, so you’ll always find me at an exhibition, watching a show or a foreign film. I’ve recently seen the Tamara Dean exhibition at Martin Browne Contemporary, Nick Cave in conversation at The Opera House and the Polish film Cold War, which I adored. I can also be quite the introvert, so I spend a lot of quiet time at home pottering around the house or making my own creative work in solace. The down time for me always provides a space for creativity to happen.
Kristen: Beyond caring for and soaking up my little family, my favourite things to do are reading a good book, going on photography adventures, swimming in clear deep water, pottering at home listening to music, watching beautiful films, and catching up with friends and every once in a while I also love to dance.
Do you have a morning ritual?
Claire: I wake up slowly and live for my first cup of coffee and Brookfarm muesli. I have to plug that muesli because it’s just that good! I also go through the slow process of grinding my coffee beans by hand each day. A ritual I can’t escape because it’s so satisfying. I then tend to my plants like children, checking in to see what each of them needs before a quick dip at Clovelly to start the day.
Claire: It’s something that’s unique to everyone. I always look at people photographically and think about which part of them I’d like to photograph. I’ve failed to see a person without seeing something interesting about them. I believe beauty operates on many levels, both physically and emotionally. I’ve always thought that the mind of a person far outweighs their physicality.
1. My partner Luke. He works so hard to help disadvantaged people in his job, and he does this with such positivity and humility. I admire his strength and determination so much.
Kristen: The process of shooting film photography, expansive conversation and connecting with like-minded creatives.
“Listen to your creative longings. Be brave in your experimentation and experiences. Trust that you have a voice worth listening to.”- Kristen
What is happiness to you?
Claire: It’s knowing that I’m loved and that I love those around me. Happiness is also something that grows out of hardship. You can’t enjoy the full extent of it unless you’ve felt sadness. I think it’s something you feel in high doses when you spend time giving back to others. Kristen: Good company and peaceful solitude in equal measures.