Australian Art Collaboration with Urban Road

Australian art has a new home! They say ‘art changes the conversation’ and, in our case, it was a photograph of some art which started it.

“Would it be possible to feature this image on LinkedIn,” enquired Mishelle Morgan, Sales & Operations Director of Urban Road. What was potentially just a quick chat with Catherine McGowan, Web & Marketing Manager for Materialised, developed into so much more. There followed a conversation full of raw energy and possibilities! The result? A move away from a large, global stock image library to a partnership with this Australian-owned and run powerhouse.

Aged Care Design, Australian Art
The image that started it all! Japara Aged Care, Robina Rise © Ryan Linnegar

And who doesn’t love a homegrown success story! Much like Materialised, Urban Road started from humble beginnings, their journey beginning in a Sydney garage back in 2010.

Artist and illustrator Suzie Atkin set out to do something nobody in the Australian art market was doing: make unique high-quality art accessible to everyday art-loving Australians. Three years later and operations and product development expert Mishelle joined as a co-owner.

Together, Suzie, Mishelle, and the Urban Road team have dedicated their time and energy to giving thousands of customers an outstanding art-buying experience.

Crowne Plaza Sydney, Australian Art
Crowne Plaza Sydney
Crowne Plaza, Sydney

So Where Does Materialised Fit Into The Picture?

Well, our team of expert Project Managers is based throughout Australia and New Zealand with Design Studios in most States. Already specialising in the sale of framed acoustic and textile art to contract and interior design markets, it was a natural progression to add Urban Road design, canvas and framing expertise to our suite of products.

Not only that, Urban Road’s vast image library enabled us to select a stunning curated collection to sit with other local artists and photographers in our art/frame app.

Typoflora framed paper print
Patricia Braune art
Patricia Braune framed paper print
Panama I, II, III
Panama I, II and III framed canvas prints

The beauty is, our team work with designers and architects on co-ordinating high performance fabric, wall covering and art for aged care, hospital, hotel, education and hospitality projects. Whole room solutions. This reduces the number of suppliers that our clients need to work with, resulting in a beautifully well-executed and co-ordinated fit-out.

Customisation Is Key

We offer clients many ‘off the shelf’ solutions with a host of beautiful imagery, frames and fabric to suit any project. But it’s the ability to customise art through Suzie’s skills that perfectly aligns with our renowned delivery of bespoke product for commercial projects.

In Wonderland
In Wonderland
A Grand Adventure
A Grand Adventure
The Coronation
The Coronation

“Our talent lies in attention to the brief and offering solutions for the wow factor in a project. Customisation is in such high demand and so by partnering with Urban Road we can execute that across our entire range,” states Belinda Price, Product Marketing & Sales Director at Materialised. “Moreover, they offer a whole other level of art expertise which we have adopted through the upskilling of our team.”

Australian Art Selections Tailored To Your Brief

Whilst the initial curated collection was selected by our Design Team and Project Managers, representing art that we feel our clients will love, there is so much more that we can offer. We work very closely with designers and architects on their brief, delving into all sorts of image archives and new collections, to offer a tailor made selection. This works particularly well for the large commercial projects we work on, coupled with coordinating fabric and wall covering. As a result it’s a bespoke, enjoyable, easy process.

Robbi Wymer art
Robbi Wymer framed paper print

Female Entrepreneurship

Suzie Atkin and Mishelle Morgan Urban Road
Suzie Atkin & Mishelle Morgan, Urban Road

Urban Road and Materialised boast strong female leadership and teams and whilst both companies celebrate inclusiveness, the number of women employed is notable.

“We embrace flexibility which suits many of our female staff who work part time or need flexible hours. As a 40-year-old family-owned business I’m really proud of how progressive we are,” says Belinda.

Mishelle adds, “As a company that is proud to be founded, owned and operated by women, we know just how important it is to encourage and champion females – whether it be within our own walls, or the wider community. The commercial design industry in particular is heavily male dominated, and we’re so happy to be able to continue forging Urban Road’s path as strong, capable businesswomen.”

Australian Made And Owned

In the wake of 2020’s COVID-19 challenges it is also of paramount importance to both Urban Road and Materialised to focus on ‘Australian made’.

“Whilst the Australian textile industry is just a small fraction of what it used to be, we try to keep as much production as we possibly can onshore,” explains Belinda.

“The fact that we now work with a dynamic local business as opposed to a huge global conglomerate is very exciting for us all,” adds Catherine. “We are both well known for exceptional customer service so this elevates that to even greater heights. Add all the other benefits of customisation with Urban Road’s Australian framing and installation expertise and this makes for such a powerful offering to our trade and contract markets.”

Max Hamilton Australian Art
Max Hamilton framed paper prints
Yinaagang aboriginal wall art
Yinaagang by Amanda Hinkelmann, framed canvas art

The Outlook For Commercial Australian Art In 2021 & Beyond

With a soft launch in January 2021, the partnership has immediately flourished. There’s also scope for Suzie to launch textile and wall covering collections to pair with her art. Additionally, Urban Road will add acoustic art to their print offering. There’s no end to the possibilities!

Lynne Tanner
Japara aged care artwork with our Crown Furniture chair upholstered in our Lynne Tanner Wattle print

“As a small, Australian business, we love nothing more than getting behind other local businesses. Not to mention encouraging, supporting and celebrating one another’s successes. We are so excited to be working with another incredible Aussie company in Materialised! Like us they are committed to producing and supplying beautiful, high-quality products throughout Australia and New Zealand.” – Suzie Atkin.

Find Out More

There’s more information on our wall art page, see the curated collection with framing options and download our digital brochure.

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