The Constructive Unknown – Marsha Golemac

Words by Millie Thwaites
Photography by Lillie Thompson
Marsha Golemac Issue 10 Feature The Local Project Image (5)

After many years working as a creative director, Marsha Golemac is acutely aware of the ambiguity surrounding her chosen profession. She admits her work can be difficult to define, yet its very obscurity seems to give her impetus. Across art direction, photography, product design and exhibition curation, she produces imaginative reworkings of everyday objects, concepts and details with an appealing, sculptural likeness.

“Over the past couple of years, I seem to have always mentioned that I’m at a crossroads,” Marsha says. “I think I always will be, and I think that’s a good thing.” Her work as a creative director lends itself well to this fluidity. Not only does each new brief allow her to explore unfamiliar territory but its very nature negates the need for a single focus. “I touch a lot of things, and I’m fortunate that I’m able to do that,” she reflects.

“Over the past couple of years, I seem to have always mentioned that I’m at a crossroads,” Marsha says. “I think I always will be, and I think that’s a good thing.”

This insouciance has not always been so easy to grasp; she has had to grow into the confidence to back herself across her varied pursuits. Years ago, after acting on a whim and leaving her job in product development, she spent eight months cutting her teeth and gradually identifying her aptitudes and interests. “I tried everything,” she reflects. “Photography, set design, interiors styling, visual merchandising – not all of it was right for me but I was happy because I was being challenged, and I was the driver.”

Yet, even after developing a regarded practice as a stylist and creative consultant, she still found herself questioning her professional capabilities. “I remember releasing a product for a brand, and I was so nervous about the fact that I didn’t have a design degree.” She adds that for a long time an “internal fear” of not being a qualified art curator stopped her from curating exhibitions and pursuing projects in that sphere. Thankfully, she has let go of this way of thinking – an evolution she puts down to experience and, quite simply, growing up. “I’ve really moved on from that,” she states with certainty, adding, “now I think, ‘if you have a creative mind and there’s something you want to explore, then go for it’.”

Harnessing this advice has proved advantageous. Her portfolio is rich in its diversity, spanning campaigns, product design and editorial work for a string of likeminded clients. Recently, she has also been working as an art consultant in the hotel sector and, perhaps most gratifyingly, exhibition curation has joined the fold. Over the past two years, Marsha has curated two exhibitions for Melbourne Design Week. The first, Future Inheritance, invited 20 multi-disciplinary artists to consider how and why objects carry meaning, whilst Material Culture explored how the past’s ideologies can coexist with the future’s innovations.

“[Those exhibitions] have been rewarding because I’m supporting creatives that may not have the financial means or the presence – be that social media or other – to showcase their work.” She adds that her involvement in Design Week is “incredibly important” as it represents an opportunity to collaborate and connect with other creatives who share the same values. “It’s not just me bringing something to life. I really enjoy that each artist, designer or maker works with me in what they want to create. I love that conversation, that back and forth – there’s a real joy in that.”

Marsha’s creative output cannot be defined by one thing, and it is anything but vague. Her portfolio demonstrates a considered interpretation of things – be it physical or conceptual. She exceeds in adapting ideas into existence and works outside the confines of expectation, leaving her future delightfully open-ended. As she says, “I’ve got a lot of ideas about where I’m headed, but there’s a real excitement in not knowing what’s around the corner.”