Newlyweds indulge in nesting impulse

ANNA PEARSON
Last updated 14:08 16/05/2012
Luke and Michaela Mills
COLIN SMITH/FAIRFAX NZ
HOMELY: Luke and Michaela Mills with their work, The Nest

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Wellington couple Luke and Michaela Mills have created a nest together at Arthouse Architecture in Haven Rd.

The couple, who got hitched three months ago, graduated with design degrees in 2010.

Luke, an industrial designer, is from Nelson and Michaela, a graphic designer, is from New Plymouth.

The couple have transformed the corridor at Arthouse Architecture as part of an installation project aiming to give regular users a new appreciation for the space.

Auckland artist Jessica Pearless was behind the last installation, which featured brightly coloured geometric adhesive vinyl shapes.

Luke and Michaela's installation, The Nest, showcases their design talents with a bit of extra creative freedom thrown in.

Says Luke: "We're not really fine artists, but we're trying our hand at it."

Luke designs homeware products for Joster International and says it's similar to creating artworks.

"It's all the same – the process and the way you think."

The couple had been tramping in Nelson Lakes National Park when they saw the Arthouse Architecture's call for installation proposals on The Big Idea, a website dedicated to New Zealand's creative community.

"We were reading through it and just got really excited," says Michaela, who works for a Petone fashion label called Mondegreen.

Their resulting installation features three to four kilometres of hand-dyed string, which flows up the stairwell, with lamps made from jute twine and water-based glues hanging from the ceiling.

Says Michaela: "I won't be looking at string the same way any more."

The Nest hints at the couple's strong connection to nature and their love of the outdoors.

Luke says, for him, the installation also represents the nostalgia of coming home.

"We wanted to make some nice objects, with really simple materials, that represented something. It's nice to just use an everyday product in a creative way. They gave us complete freedom."

The Nest, Luke and Michaela Mills, Arthouse Architecture.

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