The Little Branch story began in April 2010 by Maree Oaten & Anna Johnson. Creative collaborators with a long standing friendship. We designed books together, collaborated between London and New York. Finally when we both found ourselves back in Sydney, started a paper line.
Little Branch is Australian but not Australiana. This was never going to be art from just anywhere but was conjured instead with a strong sense of tactility, sensuality, and seasonal colour. It was Sydney in the rain or Queensland in winter, Melbourne at dusk. Nuanced. Poetic. Often whimsical. Because we had kids, children are a passion at Little Branch and because we are romantics. As a result the line is always in full bloom.
Meanwhile re-launching in 2015 with a new chapter in the Little Branch story containing classics and new works, Maree is now the sole director and creative force. Anna is at the helm of her own art studio. All of the celebrated signatures of Little Branch carry on: the presence of watercolour, the scrambling faint lines of pencil, the importance of original art. Little Branch thrives on the presence of the hand made, of touch and the natural moments of chaos and indecision in the act of drawing. Maree is always very careful to keep pencil lines and signs of process IN and not clean things up too much. The line is the map!
The Little Branch story begins with Maree
Maree Oaten: graphic designer, world traveler, photographer, mother of three and collector of shoes, textiles, art books, paper (of course!) miniature clothes pegs and vintage fabric swatches. Long story short: “Family and the promise of an endless Summer brought me back to Australia after six years designing full time in London, and into the adventure of a paper line rooted in the mutable seasons and flowering world of the southern hemisphere. Little Branch concentrate on art prints and beautiful paper offerings, the dream is to stay in perpetual bloom. Always drawing, always dreaming.”
What we are made of
All of the original art work and drawings for Little Branch are created in watercolour and ink on hand made French watercolour paper with a size four paint brush by Anna Johnson, Maree Oaten and other select artists. Maree paints, draws, designs, collages, montages, layers and mutates works, and then adds to artwork scanned layers digitally. Sometimes that could mean a simple compositional change or something much more complex. Something originally drawn on craft paper might end up somewhere completely different. Maree’s perspective on artwork is very spatial and experimental. She love’s the way space, proportion and texture change an image, therefore essential to the Little Branch Story.
Little Branch cards are printed on carbon neutral made paper, sourced from well managed forest then designed and printed in Australia. Little Branch limited edition large scale art prints are printed with archival pigment on museum quality etching rag to a tightly limited run. We also offer smaller open run prints that are magic for kid’s rooms and gift giving. Often people will fall in love with one of our cards and therefore want something slightly larger for their walls. This is the happy place for digital poster prints.
‘Umbrella Love’ Photography by Chris Warnes