At Home With Artist Jade Townsend

Drawn to her ability to foster ideas and bring people together, mother and artist Jade Townsend is, in our mind, a true connector. Having collaborated with Jade and her gallery Season, which she co-found with Francis McWhannell, it is a pleasure to see nodi inside her own home. Nestled in with textural, hand crafted artworks, that have as much place of priority as the dinosaurs and the lego collection, we capture Jade and her whanau on our Mini Waffle Rug in Moss on a Sunday morning... 
What comes to mind when you think of the colour 'moss'?

A mid-century colour palette which I love. Natural timbers, ceramics, paintings, and even quite complex textiles feel anchored against moss. It is an incredibly enduring hue in interior trends, and I am transported to some of my favourite places such as famous libraries and lobby’s. My parents had a moss green Temuka dinner plate set and Sheraton duvet – perhaps it was popular in the late 90’s too?

I love that you mentioned the rug 'smells so good', what does this fragrance conjure up for you?

It’s 100% New Zealand wool – an incredibly luxurious textile – plus at 4m x 3m in size it was always going to overwhelm the senses. As soon as we rolled it out the smell reminded me of putting on a new school uniform jumper – the beginning of a new chapter in life.

"I’m very attracted to patterns that aren’t too uniform - there are rows in this weave - but the wool never lands in quite the same way."


Why were you drawn to the mini waffle weave?

Our needs as a young whānau are quite specific – we love beautiful things, but currently functional items need to be hardwearing too. Lots of running and rolling happens. I thought a tight or mini weave would be dense enough to withstand an active household – and it is! It is incredibly grunty but also soft and inviting. I’m also very attracted to patterns that aren’t too uniform - there are rows in this weave - but the wool never lands in quite the same way.

How would you describe your home's style or feeling?

Beachy – bohemian. We want our home environment to inspire new lines of enquiry. Rare records collected from our travels to dance to, musical instruments from Adam’s days having a recording studio to noodle on, books full of poetry from friends or the kids’ drawings on the walls to wonder at. It is an artist’s home (all 4 of us!) and it feels that way.

Why is it important to have handcrafted objects around you?

The presence of cultural stories and hand skills are important qualities for our whānau to live alongside. Our Neke Moa adornments made of pounamu, muka and driftwood are tools for remembering Atua (Maori deity’s) and Adam’s carved wooden shakers bought from the side of the road in Zimbabwe remind us of where he was born. The values we surround ourselves with in the home help us recognise other places we belong to in the wider world. I wonder what memories this rug will become a symbol over time?

How are you and your whanau spending time on the rug?

Lots of cuddling and tickling with māmā. Zombie, dinosaur and hot lava games with pāpā. It’s a bit like a picnic blanket, we keep gravitating to the floor with cushions and books – just to hang out together. I like to lie down and stretch out the niggly pains from painting. It is an absolute joy to live with.

How has the rug changed your space / living style?

The simplicity of its pattern, shape and colour has amplified everything around it in a way that I wouldn’t have expected. It has been a very good lesson for me in terms of complementary pairings and reducing the visual noise in a space. Less is more… I can’t wait to change the artwork around and see what happens with our more earthier paintings in conversation.
Our Mini Waffle in Moss Green, from our FOUNDATIONS collection, adds an earthy layer to Jade's living space - the dark green bouncing off the nearby paintings and flowers.