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Issue 60 - The Kitchen and Bathroom Issue

Issue 60

The Kitchen and Bathroom Issue

HABITUS has always stood ahead of the rest with a dedicated Kitchen and Bathroom issue of exemplar standards. For issue 60 we have taken it up a notch with our Guest Editor the extraordinary, queen of kitchen design, Sarah-Jane Pyke of Arent&Pyke, speaking directly to Kitchen and Bathroom design with some increadable insights.

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HAKE House of Art is devoted to “carrying the voices of its artists”
ConversationsSaskia Neacsu

HAKE House of Art is devoted to “carrying the voices of its artists”

We spoke with Ash Holmes, co-founder of HAKE House of Art, about the significance of opening a gallery, its underlying concept and the collaborative design process shaping its interior layout.


Ash Holmes is a practising artist whose work is anchored in two core pillars: colour and landscape settings. Leveraging her background in colour psychology, her work explores how audiences react to certain colours and combinations, eliciting positive and negative emotions. Holmes’ oeuvre embodies and manipulates this notion, using chosen colour palettes to paint natural landscapes that emulate those provoking and altering our energy. By paying homage to the reaction we find in nature and subtly replicating this concept, Holmes’ abstract artwork is highly influenced by external elements.

Unsurprisingly, the artist co-founded a multidisciplinary contemporary gallery space, HAKE House of Art – an environment where artists can collaborate, liaise and showcase their works. “The main driving force for me as an artist [was considering how] you spend most of your days practising […] secluded from others, removed from feedback and the social commentary of others found in a typical working environment,” says Holmes.

HAKE House of Art

The gallery was born from a collaborative idea with partner Jake and cousin Sammy. Collectively, the founders sought to “carry the voices of the work and artists [they] represent and translate that into a physical space” on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.

The original tenant and dear friend of the founders offered the lease to the trio. The space was previously inhabited as a furniture-maker’s workshop and had already set in a lot of the groundwork, including the curved internal wall structures. When HAKE took over the space, the redesign transcended the need for an interior designer or architect and solely conceptualised the gallery leveraging their expertise and using galleries and hospitality venues they have previously visited as precedent. Thankfully, “we were all on the same page with design decisions,” Holmes notes.

Related: ‘Design the world you want’ at Melbourne Design Week 2024

HAKE House of Art

“[Each of the founders] came from a different background, so were able to bring in their own feedback,” while ideas were shared during the design process. Jake’s contribution regarded the build’s quality and how exhibitions could be displayed. The internal structures have been lacquered with gyprock and coated with ply, so artwork can be placed anywhere throughout the space and is not limited to being displayed on the beams. With a background steeped in high-end fashion, cousin Sammy worked for the likes of Lee Matthews and leveraged her expertise to consider the user experience and the overall refinement of the space.

The idea behind the gallery was to design a large-scale space with high ceilings and natural light infiltration, evoking a contemporary feeling. The art speaks for itself and isn’t overshadowed by distractions or surrounding interiors, hence the minimalistic layout and design.

HAKE House of Art

“We have spent some time traversing through Japan, so we took design inspiration from traditional aesthetics and Japanese minimalism,” Holmes adds. Playing with shapes and scale, she describes how they wanted the gallery to feel immersive, encouraging visitors to get lost in the space – “like a maze” within the artwork. 

Over time, the gallery has expanded, not just in terms of the artists represented but its physical presence. The gallery originally occupied the front room of the space, but, a year ago, the founders extended the rear gallery, resulting in a space double the size.

The most recent exhibition, labelled ‘World Making: The Me I Saw,’ was a curation of artworks delivered by all the artists represented at HAKE House of Art. “We sent each artist a concept and the brief, and they were welcome to deliver a new creation or submit an existing artwork from the stock room that met the brief,” Holmes explains. Each artist was limited to submitting one to two pieces, as the gallery currently represents 24 artists and has decided to cap this number for ease of management and to showcase each work in equal light.

Holmes elaborates: “It was an opportunity for us to tangibly see how all the artists we represent sit together within the space and a beautiful way to celebrate each artist simultaneously.”

Upcoming exhibitions include a showcase from Tasmanian artist Loralee Jade, whose work has been housed in the gallery since its opening and this will mark her second solo showcase. “A lot of them have been printed upon silk and were transferred from Tasmania unstretched,” Holmes says.

Musonga Mbogo.

When asked about the process behind selecting art to exhibit and artists to represent, Holmes describes the trajectory as intuitive. “It’s about the initial feeling an artwork provokes and the artist’s practice,” she says. “The majority of the artists we initially worked with were dear friends, but now that horizon has broadened, and we work with international artists and creatives across Australia whom we’ve met purely through opening HAKE House of Art.” The gallery represents both emerging and established artists, selecting artwork purely based on how well it fits in the space without compromising the work of another.

“We are drawn to those who have a strong interest in their surroundings and a physical presence behind their work,” Holmes notes. All the artwork exhibited at Hake is tangible, and the founders have not ventured into representing digital artists.

For Holmes, there is something elusive about the practice itself: “In a sense, we are more interested in the action of creating.” Additionally, Holmes mentions that they receive an influx of artist submissions, with creatives sending through their portfolios and intentions for the gallery, from which they handpick those they believe are the best fit for HAKE.

HAKE House of Art
hake.house

Photography
Courtesy of HAKE House of Art

More art and design news: Clement Meadmore exhibition at TarraWarra


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Saskia Neacsu

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artartistAsh Holmesexhibitionexhibition designGalleriesgalleryHAKE House of ArtInterior Designjapan


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Issue 60 - The Kitchen and Bathroom Issue

Issue 60

The Kitchen and Bathroom Issue

HABITUS has always stood ahead of the rest with a dedicated Kitchen and Bathroom issue of exemplar standards. For issue 60 we have taken it up a notch with our Guest Editor the extraordinary, queen of kitchen design, Sarah-Jane Pyke of Arent&Pyke, speaking directly to Kitchen and Bathroom design with some increadable insights.

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