The Art of Living with Gemma Ward and Amanda Shadforth

Gemma Ward
Gemma wears Bianca Spender Suit, $795 and Zimmermann Top.

Interview by Laura Collins
Photography by Amanda Shadforth

During their recent trip to Tasmania for David Jones’ ‘The Art of Living’ Collections Launch, model Gemma Ward and Amanda Shadforth of Oracle Fox joined forces for a shoot inspired by iconic female artists – painter Georgia O’Keeffe, optical artist Bridget Riley, sculpturist Barbara Hepworth and photographer Cynthia MacAdams – and sat down with JONES for a chat about motherhood, creativity and Australia as muse.

How do you merge creativity with motherhood?

GW: I think it’s a natural fusion. Of course the fashion industry is creative but, being a mother, you have to be creative in how you teach your children about life and the world around them.

AS: Children are so free when it comes to their own creativity and expression; being a mother means that you are constantly emerged in their little worlds, which rubs off on you organically. Kids also have a special way of looking at things that’s unaffected by the boundaries of age. We could all learn a lot from looking at the world the same way little people do.

Children are so free when it comes to their own creativity and expression; being a mother means that you are constantly emerged in their little worlds, which rubs off on you organically

Amanda Shadforth

What do you love about working in Australia?

GW: Moving back to New York after having children was something I’d always thought about doing – it’s been a whirlwind, and so much fun – but Australia is my home, so coming back to work here is always special to me. There’s an amazing creative culture here. I feel rejuvenated every time I come back.

AS: Every day I think about the opportunities that present themselves. We work from one of the most beautiful backdrops in the world. I’m constantly inspired by Australia’s crisp, clear sunlight and natural beauty, from the open plains and richness of the desert to the opalescent colours of the Great Barrier Reef. There is nowhere quite like it. 

How do you juggle contradicting priorities like family time and travelling for work?

GW: Balancing kids with career and opportunities – it’s a combination of the right timing and having a support system to help out when I need to travel.

AS: I think it’s really important to know when to switch off, too. I’ve transitioned to travelling regularly for short amounts of time, so that I can be back by the weekend to be with my family.

Balancing kids with career and opportunities – it’s a combination of the right timing and having a support system to help out when I need to travel

Gemma Ward

What’s on your wish list for winter?

GW: I’m loving all the beige tones, power suiting and pattern-clashing Rixo London dresses I saw at the Collections Launch.

AS: I’m in love with the Bianca Spender suit that we photographed on Gemma – the colour is perfect. I love the Camilla and Marc top and skirt too. I’m a sucker for a structured sleeve.

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