Words by Rosie Wang | Images by Marina Locke
Victoria McGrane is an artist who has not only liberated her soul but her whole life! Following a full circumnavigation of Australia where the passing sights were her artistic inspiration, Port Douglas is now the place she wishes to call home.
Little did she think when she was studying textile design in Sydney that her artistic journey would take her winding around Australia in Daisy (a 7m long Toyota Coaster Bus) her partner Darren, and their dog Gypsy to finally park up and cut the motor in Port Douglas.
“Art should be something that liberates your soul”
– KEITH HARING
Once you know her art you’ll recognise her beautiful textile designs everywhere. From face masks, to greeting cards, toiletry bags to wallpaper (featured in the current season of The Block) and, of course, on an array of clothes (Spotlight stock her material).
Originally from the northern beaches of Sydney, her early internship and study found her working for seven years in the bustling and frantic London fashion scene. She designed and hand- screened collections for trade shows and leading retailers (Top Shop). As a freelance seamstress for high end clients, including royalty, and the heavyweights of fashion, Mulberry, Pringle and Burberry she learnt her craft. All in a day’s work for her to turn up, sewing machine in hand, to make final adjustments to the model’s clothes as they strutted their stuff on the fashion cat walks.
“I paint flowers so they will not die”
– FRIDA KAHLO
Whilst in London she met her partner of 18 years, a debonair Scotsman called Darren, who was less Scots brogue but more Merchant Ivory. Darren had studied politics and was working in local government and he provided the pragmatic balance to Vicky’s whimsy, the grounding anchor for Victoria’s creative soaring.
Initially, Victoria’s plans were to keep all her production, development, shipping and marketing ‘in house’ but this took Vicky away too much from creating. With Darren becoming increasingly involved in the logistics of the business they decided the best strategy was one of licensing the artwork and building up collaborative collections, including a beautiful range of eco-friendly stationery and cards with Australian brand Earth Greetings. This freed them up to be more flexible and the need to base themselves in one place was no longer required.