Dion Horstmans, Grace Barnes-Horstmans and Family


10th September, 2014
Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 10th September 2014

The Sydney apartment of artist Dion Horstmans and family.  Above - Living room, painting by , sculpture on book case by Peter Lundberg, and bookshelf built by Dion. Photo - . Production - Lucy Feagins / Btslive.

Living room details. Coffee table made by Dion, both artworks hanging on the wall are by , who Dion says is 'mad as a cut snake, I love his work'. Photo - . Production - Lucy Feagins / Btslive.

Master bedroom details. Two of Dion's earlier sculptures hang above the bed. The bed was also made and designed by Dion and is one of his most prized possessions. Photo - . Production - Lucy Feagins / Btslive.

Bed and side table both made by Dion. Side table part of a collection of sculptures made by Dion, exploring negative space. Photo - . Production - Lucy Feagins / Btslive.

Sideboard details in master bedroom including sculpture by . Photo - . Production - Lucy Feagins / Btslive.

Artist Dion Horstmans outside his Bondi apartment with daughter ZaZa and Dion's beloved 1964 Pontiac Parrissenne! Photo - . Production - Lucy Feagins / Btslive.

If there's one thing we LOVE around here, it's a home decorated boldly and with confidence. Such is the Bondi apartment of Sydney artist , his wife Grace Barnes-Horstmans and Dion's two teenage daughters Juna and Zaza, who split their time between here and their Mum's place in Byron Bay.

Dion and Grace have been here just 18 months, but have wasted no time in making the place their own.  When they first took possession, all the walls were white.  Dion's first priority was injecting colour into the space.  From the dark, moody master bedroom and dining rooms to punchy orange in the living space, and sunny yellow in ZaZa's room, the palette is consistently bold, yet supremely sophisticated.  Quite a feat!  But Dion is good like that.

Dion's decisive creative vision and incredible way with colour should come as no surprise.  After all, he is an incredible artist his own right.  (You might recall our interview with him here!).  I adore Dion's striking angular metal sculptures, which always seem ready to scuttle across the walls on which they are mounted.  You'll spot many of these pieces throughout his apartment, as well as artworks by various other Australian artists,  collected over many years.

'The artworks on the walls are our favourite things'  says Dion.  'The primitive and ethnographic pieces scattered through our home are also pretty awesome. It’s been a life time love affair, we are collectors'.  Alongside treasured antiques and collectibles, many contemporary artists are represented here, including ,  , , and indigenous artists such as  to name a few.

Aside for a passion for art, Dion and Grace also have an impression collection of furniture and design pieces, both new and old.  'My favourite piece of furniture would be my bed!' says Dion enthusiastically. 'I designed and made it, formed ply with a beech veneer. It’s beautiful, really simple clean lines. I tried to create it so it looked like it hovered above the ground… not dissimilar to my ’64 pontiac!'.

Dion is a gregarious character - in many ways he is larger than life!  He's a proud Dad and happy newly wedded husband, but he also treasures his alone time.  'I love everything about this apartment' he says.  'I love the high ceilings, there’s enough room to get away from every one. I love sitting in the living room listening to music, I love cooking with Gracie, I love my dark bedroom'.  Mainly though, the drawcard of this apartment is the beach. 'Mostly I love that the Pacific Ocean is less than two blocks away, constantly beckoning for us to bathe in it' Dion says.  Because really, no matter how beautiful your house is... nothing beats having the beach at the end of your street!


Master bedroom details. Photograph depicting drag racing on the salt plains in the United States by Simon Davidson was part of an artwork swap with Dion. 'Graceland' neon light was a gift from Dion to his wife Grace. Photo - . Production - Lucy Feagins / Btslive.

Artwork on wall by . Photo - . Production - Lucy Feagins / Btslive.

The two white sculptures are works by Dion, the left sculpture is one of his 'roly poly' men that were inspired from a dream he had as a kid, and the scultpure on the right is from his 'Future Primitive' body of work. Colourful sculpture in the middle is by Stephen Ormandy. Photo - . Production - Lucy Feagins / Btslive.

ZaZa's bedroom.  Sculpture on wall is part of Dion's ever evolving 'roly poly' series. Photo - . Production - Lucy Feagins / Btslive.

ZaZa's room.  Various artworks by , Dion, and . Dion says 'Watch out for Ollie Lucas, I love his work!' Photo - . Production - Lucy Feagins / Btslive.

Dining / Kitchen. Photo - . Production - Lucy Feagins / Btslive.

Looking from kitchen back to dining room. Photograph by Derek Henderson, part of his 'The Terrible Boredom' series, one of Dion's sculptures, and two works on the right by Christopher Bruce. Photo - . Production - Lucy Feagins / Btslive.

'Burger King' artwork by Luke Temby, part of a show in tribute to the King aka Elvis! Photo - . Production - Lucy Feagins / Btslive.

Painting by Nathaniel Kiwi and Dion's collection of cockatoos. Dion says about his collection, 'Funny story when Juna my eldest daughter was two or three, I pointed out a cockatoo and she turned around and said "No dad, that’s a cock-a-one" - couldn’t argue with that!'  Photo - . Production - Lucy Feagins / Btslive.
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