Catherine Martin's creative collaborations have been essential to Luhrmann's plays, operas, feature films and live events for 20 years.
Along with Luhrmann, Catherine is a partner in Bazmark Inq, which includes subsidiaries Bazmark Live and Bazmark Music, and is one of the world’s most innovative producers of film, theatre and entertainment.
Catherine began collaborating with Luhrmann during her final year at NIDA, when she was hired by Luhrmann's experimental theatre company to design his production of Lake Lost for the Australian Opera. This earned Catherine and colleague Angus Strathie a Victorian Green Room Award for Best Design.
Since then, Catherine has designed almost all of Luhrmann’s subsequent productions including Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream for which she won the Sydney Theatre Critic’s Award for Best Opera Design, and a version of Puccini’s opera La Boheme set in 1957. The latter went on to open on Broadway in 2002 to critical acclaim and won Catherine the coveted Tony Award® for Production Design.
1992 saw Catherine’s film debut with Luhrmann on the hugely successful Strictly Ballroom. Her design on this film earned her Best Production Design and Best Costume Design at both the BAFTA and AFI awards.
She followed this success in 1996 with William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet, also directed by Luhrmann, for which she was awarded another BAFTA for Best Production Design and an Academy Award® Nomination for Best Art Direction.
In 2001, Catherine won two Academy Awards® for Costume Design and Art Direction for her work on Moulin Rouge! as well as AFI awards for Best Production Design and Best Costume Design and a Los Angeles Film Critics Award for Best Production Design among numerous others.
Catherine was Production & Costume Designer and Co-Producer of Luhrmann’s epic Australia in 2008. The film starred Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman and earned Catherine an Academy Award® Nomination for Costume Design.
Catherine’s other projects with Luhrmann include guest editing the first signature edition of Vogue Australia (January, 1994) and designing the look of 2004’s lavish Chanel No. 5: The Film, a global campaign starring Nicole Kidman for which Catherine designed sets, while legendary designer Karl Lagerfeld designed costumes. In 2009, Catherine designed the costumes for a musical number conceived and directed by Luhrmann starring Beyonce Knowles and Hugh Jackman which was performed at the 81st Annual Academy Awards.
Catherine’s work for Bazmark Live includes her directorial debut with the Autumn/Winter 1998 show for designer Collette Dinnigan at the Louvre in Paris, and the design of a streetscape for Fox Studios Australia’s backlot in Sydney.
A notable exception to her work with Luhrmann has been Catherine’s set design for Neil Armfield’s award-winning production of Diary of a Madman starring Academy Award® winner Geoffrey Rush in 1989. This production was revived with original cast and crew to great critical acclaim at BAM in March 2011. She has also been the Guest Editor for Vogue Living Australia for the May/June 2009 Special Collector’s edition of the magazine.
While undertaking these primary roles, Catherine has also been developing her own homewares brand, collaborating with Designer Rugs, Porter’s Paints (wallpaper and paint), Mokum (fabrics) and most recently, Anthropologie (bedding, furnishings).
Catherine is currently working with Luhrmann again as Production & Costume Designer and one of the producers on his latest film The Great Gatsby. Slated for release in December 2012, the film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan.
Catherine is looking forward to again collaborating with Luhrmann on their upcoming stage production, Strictly Ballroom Live, due to hit the stage in 2013.
Catherine divides her time between Sydney, New York and Paris and has two beautiful children, Lillian (8) and William (6).