David Hosking and Taylor Ferguson met, like many young couples, at a concert. But it wasn’t just any gig – it was a gig for Hosking’s band Boy & Bear, whose barnstorming Australian music career spans four albums, five Aria Awards and shows at sold out across the world.
Ferguson, one of Sydney’s most exciting young writer-directors, admits she didn’t know who the band was at the time.
“We met backstage [at the Enmore Theatre], I had drunk a few wines and I was wearing Invisaligns. So I had red wine throughout them and I had no idea,” she laughs. “We had a brief romance after that. But then I disappeared.
But like a catchy tune (or red wine on an Invisalign brace), something about the affable leader wouldn’t budge.
“I randomly called him five years later. And he was like, ‘I don’t know if I want to catch up.’ For some reason it stuck in my mind. I always knew something might happen again, but it just wasn’t the right time. But we met and had breakfast and the rest is history.
The couple would bounce around Sydney’s northern beaches (living together first in Manly, then Newport and Balgowlah) for a few years, plus a stint with Hosking’s brother in Bronte. But they recently replaced sand with cement and moved to the western suburbs of Sydney to be closer to the community of like-minded designers. They are pragmatic about the change of scenery.
“It’s a compromise,” Hosking said. “When we were on the beaches, it was a treat to come to the Midwest and go out for dinner. We just did it the other way. In the summer, we’ll be going down to Tamarama and getting our little beach fix. .
When Large format visits their home Enmore on a chilly winter afternoon, the barking of Max – the couple’s cuddly beagle-cross-jumper – echoes down a long hallway leading to a cozy and bright living room and combined kitchen-dining room . We drink peppermint tea at a round dining table overlooking the small covered terrace and the grassy courtyard beyond.
Ferguson, who recently became in-house manager at the Paddington production studio good oil, does some of his best work in the couple’s home office, which also houses Hosking’s Aria Awards and his beloved Gibson ’54 walnut acoustic guitar. She writes from a plush chesterfield chair her mother bought her for her 30th birthday, recently stained with ink from running in with a fountain pen. She starts work around 6 a.m. – long before Hosking moves.
“I think anything you write sounds really good in the morning, so I tend to go for it,” she explains. “Then throughout the day I usually have meetings with Good Oil. Plus, I’m still acting, so I might do an audition tape. And then I’m about to direct an episode of a TV show, so if I’m not going to cast any readings, I’ll be out doing reccies.
Hosking, meanwhile, works from Boy & Bear’s studio in Marrickville, where the band have been rehearsing for an extensive national tour – their first since the pandemic began.
“We’re about a month away and it’s been really good. With this post-Covid stuff, it’s so hard to know if people are going to switch. We haven’t done a full tour of Australia in a long time. Some of these towns we haven’t been to in almost four years.
With such a long interval between drinks, Hosking admits there were cobwebs at the start: “I almost had a little impostor syndrome. ‘Won’t they understand that I have no idea what I’m doing?’ But muscle memory kicks in. We’ve taken a few gigs to settle in, and we also have a new song we’re playing.
The song in question, flight statusdubs the booming indie rock found on Boy & Bear’s previous album, Suck the light. Its music video – a stunning period piece intercut with a contemporary dance routine – was written and directed by Ferguson. (“She was constantly telling me to do less. Acting isn’t really my forte,” Hosking says with a laugh.)
But this is not the first time that she has collaborated with the group. She made her directorial debut on Boy & Bear’s 2020 single 3 moonswhich gave him the creative impetus to write and direct Hardthe short film for which she won numerous international awards, including Best Director at the Sydney Film Festival in 2021.
It’s been a whirlwind since – she just ran a campaign for the Starlight Children’s Foundation with Good Oil and received funding for a new feature film she’s currently writing. Combined with an acting career that includes roles in Intelligent man, Problem and more recently Firesshe is determined to own her status as a creative triple threat.
“I feel like I’m living my job, and so is Dave,” she says. “I don’t know how to slow down, but it’s okay, because I don’t feel like I have the privilege to screw up right now.”
Although her professional relationship with Hosking is relatively new, Ferguson says their creative partnership continues long after the cameras have stopped rolling.
“It’s interesting, I couldn’t write a song, and I don’t think Dave can write a movie very well. But we have a lot of creative conversations. Even though we’re in different industries, there’s this overlap when it comes to writing. It’s nice to be able to exchange ideas with each other. We love doing it.
For more, check out our Creative Couples series.