The Australian Chair Survey

The Gallery of Australian design opens a new survey into Australian chair design featuring some of the country’s most prominent designers and creatives.

09 Jun 2011

Next week in Canberra a new exhibition will launch, examining 18 chairs by designers from across Australia.

“You can’t reinvent the wheel. A chair is a chair is a chair,” says the show’s curator and president of the board of Craft Victoria, Ramona Barry. “What makes a special one is if the designer imbues the object with something of their own philosophy.”



The show features some well-known designer makers, such as Jon Goulder, Charles Wilson and Darcy Clarke, whose chairs seem to speak of an Australianness in their individual ways.


Jon Goulder’s Amore Mio chair

“People have to have their own style, their own energy in the work otherwise it just falls flat. One thing that seems consistent with Australian designers is their lightness of touch, their sense of humour and also their generosity”

“Australian designers have to be flexible to survive of course but I think that comes naturally to them.”

The show has been divided into four different areas or disciplines Art, Craft, Design and Icon, with many of the pieces represented in more than ne category.

“Art implies a sort of parallel thinking that goes with the design; ideas-based work. Craft is more about bespoke one-off pieces, very precious work… [and] Design includes well known makers Jon Goulder and Ross Diddier as well as some emerging designers who are just incredible.”


The Feedaway Chair

Icon, Ramona explains, is about designers “using imagery that is intrinsically Australian and creating something functional”.

“Not working from ‘inside’ the design industry meant I was looking at work from the position of the client, visitor, consumer. All the work in the show ‘sang’ to me in a particular way whether it be form, function or fun,” Ramona says.

The show opens at the Gallery of Australian Design next Wednesday 15 June and will run until 23 July.


The Gallery of Australian Design