I have long admired the beautiful work of Spirit Level. Landscape design is the often neglected cousin of interior design when it comes to exposure, recognition and press. I've only found a handful of landscape designers whose work sets them apart from the rest. The men behind Spirit Level are in this bunch of mavericks.
Which five words best describe you? Creative, crafty, capable, cosy, crazy.
What was your first career/job and what path have you taken since? I studied art in London in the ‘conceptual’ 80s and wasn’t too concerned with finding a job for a while. I travelled a lot but one of my favourite first jobs was in a paint & hardware shop in Clapham Common. Later in Australia I specialised in colour, working as a colourist and lecturing at UTS.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Enjoy what you do and avoid the flurry, don’t rush.
What’s your proudest career achievement? There have been many personal achievements. Every day has challenges... I delight in ticking them off. In terms of career, I’m extremely proud of our team at Spirit Level, they do amazing work and the detail they put into each job is exceptional. Landscaping is possibly the slowest form of design to come to fruition. The design process often begins before a property is built and even after construction has finished it’s another couple of years before the original vision is realised.
What’s been your best decision? I don’t know if I’m good at making decisions. My life has progressed intuitively, there has always been room for change and I’m not frightened of stepping sideways.
Who inspires you? Artists inspire me, famous or fringe-dwellers.
What are you passionate about? At the moment photography but I can easily be distracted and obsessed with many things: gardens, art, pattern design, colour theory, philosophy, my partner Vlad, our home, our cats.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Would be great to have hung out with the Bloomsbury Group or to have attended the Bauhaus (School of Art) in the 20s, wow!
What dream do you still want to fulfil? Publish a Spirit Level book, have our gardens/photos feature in Gardens Illustrated, live on a mountain with an alpine garden.
What are you reading? Forests: The Shadow of Civilization by Robert Pogue Harrison
images courtesy of spirit level