“Find your Way” is a series of maps, painstakingly pinned and layered, country over continent, colour over shape. However, connections are made organically - with aesthetic decisions about colour, shape and form extended with memory – not with geographical accuracy or veracity.
This first commercial exhibition from artist Rebecca Ross, better known for site specific installations, may be especially meaningful for Australians – plagued by our distance from the rest of the world.
Curator Louise Rollman suggested in 2010 that, “Ross has methodically accumulated a series of elastic genre-bending references that defy time and space, reflecting our experiences of this world.”
Yet there is a simplicity in the making of these works – shaped and coloured maps cut from the stacks of atlases, many collected from second hand book shops and dating from the 1960s and 1970s.
Ross says: “In a sense the works do form like natural geographic masses, it is an organic process.”
Gold Coasts for example began in homage to the Gold Coast (where Ross is currently living). Colour was tied to her geographic location and to other places in the world where the maps happened to colour-match.
Working with atlases from the past, seeing countries that no longer exist, exposes the artificiality of lines on a map and becomes part of the journey of discovery for artist and viewer.
The bringing together of places in reality and concept are long term interests for Ross – these works convey her ideas in works that are both intimate and engaging.
Spiro Grace Art Rooms SGAR
255 Gregory Tce Spring Hill QLD 4000 Australia
Telephone (07) 3839 8925 & 0404 005 413
11am-3pm Thursday to Saturday
Henry Sgourakis is definitely an Australian designer to watch, and with plans to start a multi-disciplinary design firm, it could be anything from houses to chairs to bathroom fixtures. Here, we talk to Henry about his NOOK chair and foot stool.
How did the design come about?
NOOK evolved from some long crochet sessions with my grandmother. Initial ideas drew on my childhood growing up in a post-war home in Warrandyte, outer Melbourne.
Surrounded by arts and crafts, I wanted to create a piece that drew on such fond memories. I began to crochet anything I could find, the process generating some exciting results.
Nook was actually inspired by paper doilies, commonly considered cheap and tacky. Nook takes that tradition, which went wayward, and brings the splendor of lacework into furniture. It was very important to me to have the webbing move back to its original flat when not in use.
Where do you see your furniture being used?
In the beginning I set out to create an indoor piece aimed at residential and commercial applications, but nook has developed into a chair that can be used in almost any application.
As the cord is UV protected and can withstand harsh weather conditions for long periods of time, the chair can be a feature piece in a home/office/hotel, and also a fun outdoor chair for any deck or pool-side.
Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
I find inspiration can come from the most unexpected places. I do enjoy letting a material inspire a design, combining an interesting material with a contrasting 'process' can have exciting results. I regularly draw my surroundings for inspiration.
You recently graduated, how did you go about making your design a reality?
NOOK was a progression from my final year project of Industrial Design. After finishing my course, it was a case of refinement, some material tweaks, and designing the piece to be more manufacture-friendly.
It can be a slow and tough industry in Australia, but luckily I have some great mentors on hand to keep me focused. Networking with an assortment of creative people is a necessary and helpful tool in constructively scrutinizing a concept and growing an idea into a product.
Can you tell us about the ecological aspects of the design?
The steel framing has been kept to a minimum in regards to both amount of material and manufacturing. As my preferred steel manufacturer uses maximum amount of recycled steel, the frame itself generates a very minimal footprint. There is almost no waste in its production.
The webbing is produced from 85 metres of cord, hand crocheted and attached. Preliminary results from RMIT’s Centre for Design 'Life Cycle Assessment' rated the product very well and extremely sustainable due to its durability and low-emission manufacturing methods.
Do you have other products in production?
Recently I have been working in collaboration with ArthurG furniture to create a steel framed dinning chair for their catalogue of locally manufactured high-end furniture.
We have a great relationship and they are an excellent Australian company so the design and development process was fantastic. The piece is soon to be in their showrooms around the country.
Also, I was approached last year by a another Australian company to develop a new range of toilets for their growing brand. We have spent 8 months on the project and are now in final stages. The range consists of a 3 product family.
Longtime couple Felix Ng and Germaine Chong started design studio SILNT in 2005 when he was 22 and she 19, with nothing more than $800 and two Macintosh computers! The missing 'E' in SILNT was meant to represent the removal of the existence of an ego.
In 2009, the duo set up Anonymous to focus on content creation. Beginning this year, they also plan to do only 25 projects each year for small businesses under SILNT. We ask Felix why.
Can you describe your approach to design?
We approach our work by stripping things down to their most basic and simplest form – by removing all the unnecessary items. Simplifying complexity – information, content, processes and most importantly, ideas.
So your new strategy is to only take on 25 small projects each year?
Since itʼs still just the two of us doing everything from designing for clients to creating content as Anonymous, we are experimenting with 25 projects to create a balance between the two.
We have just completed the campaign for The Design Society Conference 2011. Weʼre about to launch two websites – one for a photographer, the other an interior design consultancy. In March, we are working on the identity and a book for National University of Singaporeʼs new Division of Industrial Design.
Can you tell us about Anonymous?
Anonymous is where we create content. In a way, we become clients ourselves. It was born from a frustration of not being able to inﬂuence whether a product that we are designing for is good or bad. So by creating our own content, we can control the quality of the content, the distribution model and eventually how much design and marketing needs to be deployed.
How did the 2010 Anonymous initiative, A Design Film Festival, come about?
What started as a suggestion to utilise the cinema space at Old School to create a design-led event for The Singapore Design Festival, became an independent (read: self-funded) travelling ﬁlm festival that launched in Singapore, Berlin, Kaohsiung, Taipei and Bangkok.
The response was overwhelming. In Singapore, 1,800 people attended; honestly, we would have been thrilled if just 10 turned up for each screening. We are planning another one in October in Beijing and in November in Singapore.
In 2011, Anonymous will also be launching a new exhibition celebrating Dieter Rams' 10 principles for good design, and new volumes of Bracket – a publication covering topics that are overlooked and under-appreciated.
Designed by: Woven Image collaboration with Dinosaur Designs
I am: Indoor/Outdoor Upholstery Textile
Woven Image has just released a Summer 2011 colour collection for one of their most popular high performance textiles – Dino Stripe.
Created in collaboration with Dinosaur Designs, the Dino Stripe collection is enhanced with directional new sunflower yellows, kaffir lime greens and a vibrant eclectic magenta.
Perfect for adding a dash of pure colour to the most sophisticated outdoor furniture or making a bold colourful statement, you will have fun harmonising indoor and outdoor spaces with this rich woven jacquard upholstery.
This fabric offers superior longevity, versatility, and ease of use without compromising on good looks. Dino Stripe provides a great high performance solution for the commercial, hospitality and residential markets.
100% modified polyolefin
Dino Stripe’s outstanding performance record provides excellent light fastness properties for outdoor use and the fabric can be cleaned with bleach without affecting the colour, it is also anti-microbial, mildew and stain resistant, and water repellent for enduring indoor and outdoor performance.
ABRASION: 51,000 double rubs wyzenbeek
Words: Andrea Stevens
Photography: Simon Devitt
On a clear day, flying over the Southern Alps offers a surreal view into a craggy milky wilderness. This chiaroscuro landscape of glaciated valleys and snowy peaks traces the length of the South Island and the alpine fault. Alluvial planes fall toward the east coast, and out of sight, peaks plummet into west coast rainforest.
Shades of white eventually give way to rivers, inland lakes and a mosaic of fields. I have reached the old gold-mining settlement of Queenstown, a remote yet international destination for climbers, skiers and scenic tourists. It’s another world for this North Islander, more accustomed to the semi-tropical north. Mountains loom all sides. It is dry, golden and clear.
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Otago stone makes the buildings foreign, and the wines are as dry as the climate. An almost Nordic atmosphere is tinged with English picturesque by the liquid amber and lakeside willow. I have come to see a new house by Noel Lane, twenty minutes drive toward historic Arrowtown.
The road arcs north-east, over the Shotover River and below Coronet Peak. On approach to Lake Hayes, we branch off the main road and on to gravel, to reach a subtle stone and Cedar house. Low and wide, nesting on the brow of a hill, it reflects the materials and colours of the landscape.
It looks like a local, until I see its vaulted copper roof. Lane always does something different with a roof. It is his fifth elevation, and this one is special.