CURRENT EXHIBITION ~ IN CAHOOTS : ARTISTS COLLABORATE ACROSS COUNTRY

25 NOVEMBER 2017 - 28 JANUARY 2018 ~ FREMANTLE ARTS CENTRE

In Cahoots: artists collaborate across Country is an expansive exhibition of new work taking over the Fremantle Arts Centre galleries. The works are the result of 18 months of artists’ residencies in remote and regional Aboriginal art centres across Australia.

Artists from six key Aboriginal art centres have invited leading independent artists – both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal – from around the country to work with them. The resulting collaborative artworks are significant, striking and bold in their inventive use of materials.

Featuring sculptural works, installations and films drawing together the ideas of artists from diverse backgrounds, In Cahoots presents a range of
fascinating, potent collaborations happening across Country today.

For In Cahoots, I was invited by Mangkaja Arts in Fitzroy Crossing, remote Kimberley region of Western Australia, to spend six weeks over the past 18 months working with artists on community in the development of a significant body of collaborative new work.

Over this period I worked with Elsie Dickens, Yangkarni Penny K-Lyons, Myarn Lawford, Rita Minga, Eva Nargoodah, Illiam Nargoodah, Johnny Nargoodah, Duane Shaw and Gene Tighe at Magkaja Arts in Fitzroy Crossing, and Illiam Nargoodah and Johnny Nargoodah in my studio in Thirroul on the NSW South Coast, designing and making four new pieces of limited edition furniture, inspired by the geographical and cultural beauty of Fitzroy Crossing and surrounding country.

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

Where
Fremantle Arts Centre,
1 Finnerty Street,
Fremantle, Western Australia

Exhibition dates
25 November 2017 – 28 January 2018

Supporters
Fremantle Arts Centre
Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency
Australia Council for the Arts

Image Credit – Tony Albert, Kieran Lawson and David C. Collins, and Erin Coates

RECENT EXHIBITION ~ BROACHED MONSTERS WITH BROACHED COMMISSIONS AND GALLERY ALL

9 - 13 NOVEMBER 2017 ~ SALON ART+DESIGN, NEW YORK CITY

At Salon Art+Design 2017 in New York City, Broached Monsters was on show with Broached Commissions and Gallery All.

Prior to colonisation Australia was imagined, in the northern hemisphere, as a vast southern landmass … and little else was factually known. Fabulous creatures, of incredible proportions and improbable anatomy, filled the void of knowledge.

Fear of these creatures was legitimised when early British colonists started to learn of the frightful monsters in Aboriginal folklore. This fear of what lurked in the unknown fathoms of Australian bush land soon became a point of cultural confluence for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

Over 5 years of research and design investigation Trent Jansen recreated two creatures that represent both Indigenous and non-Indigenous vernaculars – Pankalangu and the Hairy Wild Man From Botany Bay – suggesting these conflating myths as central figures for a national mythology that is inclusive of both cultures.

Both the Pankalangu and Hairy Wild Man From Botany Bay Collections were on show in New York City at Salon Art+Design.

Broached Commissions was co-founded by Lou Weis & Vincent Aiello.

Where
Gallery All – Booth D7,
Salon Art+Design,
Park Avenue Armory,
643 Park Avenue,
New York City

Exhibition dates
9 – 13 November 2017

Supporters
Salon Art+Design
Gallery All
Broached Commissions

Image Credit – Salon Art+Design and Gallery All

RECENT EXHIBITION ~ CREATING THE CONTEMPORARY CHAIR

17 MARCH - 15 OCTOBER 2017 ~ NATIONAL GALLERY OF VICTORIA

During Melbourne Design Week 2017, the Chinaman’s File Rocking Chair, designed for Broached Commissions, was on show at the National Gallery of Victoria, as part of the ‘Creating the Contemporary Chair’ exhibition, curated by the NGV‘s Department of Contemporary Design and Architecture.

Chinaman’s File is a rocking chair designed for the roughly 16500 Chinese gold diggers who walked from Robe in South Australia to the Victorian gold fields during the mid 19th Century.

“To reach the gold fields, they would load the heavier equipment onto drays, for the trek could be several hundred kilometers. The Chinese men would travel on foot in single file, each carrying supplies in two baskets hanging from the ends of a long pole over their shoulders. Each man could carry up to 78 kilograms – more than their average body weight” (Hill, 2010, Page 116)

Because of these unusual processions, ‘single file’ became known as ‘Chinaman’s File’ during this period.

These men were economic nomads, moving from digging to digging in the search of their fortune. During these grueling journeys across a forbidding and alien countryside it is likely that these men would have longed for the comforts of home – familiar food, familiar domesticity, the welcoming embrace of a mother, or the irreplaceable touch of a lover.

Chinaman’s File Rocking Chair was designed to simulate the rock experienced by a baby while being walked by its mother: each rock of the chair is designed to subject the user to the same arc and cadence that a baby experiences during its mother’s single step. In theory this action will produce a feeling of contentment that we have not felt since our infancy.

Creating the Contemporary Chair presented arresting and provocative chair designs by some of the most interesting Australian and international designers practising in recent decades. Comprising thirty-five new acquisitions supported by Gordon Moffatt AM, this exhibition explored the significance of chairs as markers of design evolution and as objects embedded with meaning, expression, experimentation and utility. Works on display ranged in date from 1980 to 2016 and included examples of both mass-produced and studio-created chairs sourced from around the globe.

Where
NGV International
180 St Kilda Road,
Melbourne, VIC

Exhibition dates
17 March – 15 October 2017

Supporters
National Gallery of Victoria
Broached Commissions

Image Credit – National Gallery of Victoria

RECENT EXHIBITION ~ RAMSAY ART PRIZE

26 MAY - 27 AUGUST 2017 ~ ART GALLERY OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA, ADELAIDE

The Pankalangu Wardrobe for Broached Commissions was announced as one of the twenty-one finalists of the inaugural Ramsay Art Prize.

Designed to ‘change the way we view artists under 40 and value their work in the canon of contemporary art’ and supported by the James and Diana Ramsay Foundation, this $100,000 prize was announced at the Art Gallery of South Australia on Friday 26 May 2017.

According to Western Arrernte story telling, pankalangu is a territorial being that lives in the scrub and is completely camouflaged in the desert and bush. Pankalangu can only move with the rain, and is made visible when the rain that falls on him is caught by the light, defining his form in a glistening silhouette.

The Pankalangu Wardrobe is a designed interpretations of pankalangu – this animals is adorned with scales which camouflage as they move, but when the light catches these copper scales the form is defined by a glistening silhouette.

Where
Art Gallery of South Australia
North Terrace,
Adelaide, SA

Exhibition dates
26 May – 27 August 2017

Supporters
Art Gallery of South Australia
Broached Commissions
Criteria Collection

Image Credit – Saul Steed and Michael Corridore

RECENT EXHIBITION ~ POROSITY KABARI

9 JUNE - 9 JULY 2017 ~ NISHI GALLERY, HOTEL HOTEL, CANBERRA

Porosity Kabari was an interdisciplinary,
cross-cultural, collaborative project whereby
Australian object designer Trent Jansen, and
architect/artist Professor Richard Goodwin, worked with Indian creative thinker Ishan Khosla.

The project challenged these three designers to collaborate in Mumbai’s ‘Chor Bazaar’ (thieves market) and Studio X, using the bazaar as their only source of materials and making processes. In the bazaar, the designers learned from spontaneous conversation and experimentation with the vendors and crafts people working in this manic market place. Conversely, Studio X afforded the designers a space for considered discussion and precise prototyping, in the development of refined ideas to be taken back into the bazaar.

Porosity Kabari ~ Creative Rationale:

How can something become something else? This is the essence of sustainable design in a contingent society such as India – a society without the common social safeguards of developed nations, one where the survival of each individual is determined by their unique ability to be creative and resourceful. While the rest of the world struggles with the environmental implications of designed obsolescence and disposable consumption, India is a place where resourcefulness is part of the everyday. Found throughout India, ‘Kabari Bazaars’ (junk markets) and ‘Chor Bazaars’ (thieves markets) are the neighbourhoods where many of India’s useful things end up at the end of their long lives. It is in these bazaars that many useful objects are given a second life – car panels are transformed into ad-hock cookers and old clothing is quilted into rugs for snake charmers. Radical transformation at its best.

One core principal of the Chor Bazaar is the ad-libbed nature of making, where time spent agonising over a design decision is income lost. The short period of time allocated to the designers (3 weeks) and the ad-hock making methods adopted by bazaar workers meant that design decisions were made quickly. The designers made decision in the moment, as the maker with whom they worked gave shape to those decisions with an immediacy that is seldom experienced in the Australian context. The complete novelty of these work practices, combined with the exotic material palette found in the Chor Bazaar, forced the designers to adopt an entirely new method of designing, changing their practices and providing the potential for a series of outcomes that are unique within their portfolios.

The sculptural furniture objects created in
Mumbai’s Chor Bazaar and Studio X formed the Porosity Kabari Exhibition. This exhibition was presented by Mumbai’s Studio X in February 2016, and will now be on show at Canberra’s Nishi Gallery, part of the Hotel Hotel complex in New Acton.

Where
Nishi Gallery
17 Kendall Lane,
Canberra, ACT

Exhibition dates
9 June – 9 July 2017

Open
11am – 3pm, Wednesday-Sunday

Supporters
Nishi Gallery
University of Wollongong
Hotel Hotel
Studio X Columbia University
Parsons University Mumbai

Image Credit – Lee Grant

RECENT EXHIBITION ~ OBJECT THERAPY

6 APRIL - 7 JUNE 2017 ~ AUSTRALIAN DESIGN CENTRE, SYDNEY

Object Therapy was developed part of the Hotel Hotel Fix and Make program, culminating in an exhibition of 30 broken objects that underwent therapy – treated and creatively repaired by a designer or artist. The exhibition is now open at the Australian Design Centre in Sydney.

Object Therapy was designed to encourage us to rethink our consumption patterns and re-evaluate the broken objects that surround us. It explores the role of repair in our society and its possibilities.

This project was developed by Dr. Guy Keulemans of the University of New South Wales, Niklavs Rubenis of the Australian National University and Andy Marks, and is an investigation into the culture of transformative repair as practiced by local, interstate and international artists and designers.

Trent Jansen Studio was assigned Teena Harkins’ beautifully nostalgic 1970s washing trolley. We viewed this object as a beacon of the Australian Dream, whereby every Australian family could aspire to own a backyard so large that one would require a trolley just to transport wet clothes from the fibro laundry at the back of the house, to the Hills Hoist planted dead in the centre of the yard. This was not a time of medium density living – washing machines were not squeezed in next to dishwashers in the kitchen, nor was it a time of recycled plastic, injection moulded clothes pegs.

We transformed Teena’s 1970s washing trolley into a collection of clothes pegs of the archetype used during this period, as a reminder that the quintessential Australian Dream is a thing of the past, a bygone component of an ever evolving culture. The relinquishment of the quarter acre block, the washing trolley, the Hills Hoist and the archetypal timber clothes peg is proof that Australia is a culture in flux, just like all other cultures at all times in human history.

Where
Australian Design Centre
101/113-115 William Street,
Darlinghurst, NSW

Exhibition dates
6 April – 7 June 2017

Open
11am – 4pm, Monday-Saturday

Supporters
Australian Design Centre
Hotel Hotel

RECENT EXHIBITION ~ DESIGNWORK 01

14 MARCH – 1 APRIL 2017 ~ SOPHIE GANNON GALLERY, MELBOURNE

During Melbourne Design Week 2017, some of the pieces developed as part of Mumbai Porosity Kabari 2016, will be on show at Sophie Gannon Gallery, as part of the ‘Designwork 01’ exhibition.

Porosity Kabari was an interdisciplinary,
cross-cultural, collaborative project whereby
architect/artist Professor Richard Goodwin and I, worked with Indian artist/designer/writer Ishan Khosla and students from Parsons University, Mumbai.

The project challenged we three designers to
collaborate in Mumbai’s ‘Chor Bazaar’ (thieves market) and Columbia University‘s Studio X, using the bazaar as our only source of materials and making processes.

In the bazaar, we learned from spontaneous
conversation and experimentation with the vendors and crafts people working in this manic market place. Conversely, Studio X afforded us a space for considered discussion and precise prototyping, in the development of refined ideas to be taken back into the bazaar.

The sculptural furniture objects created in
Mumbai’s Chor Bazaar and Studio X formed the Porosity Kabari Exhibition. This exhibition was presented to the culturally diverse audiences of India, by Columbia University’s Studio X in Mumbai.

Designwork 01 will be the first time that some of the results of Porosity Kabari have been shown in Australia. Works on show include ‘Jugaad with Pottery’, ‘Jugaad with Car Parts’ and ‘Dropping a Kumbhar Wala Matka’.

Where
Sophie Gannon Gallery
2 Albert Street,
Richmond, VIC

Exhibition dates
14 March – 1 April 2017

Open
11am – 5pm, Tuesday–Saturday

Supporters
Sophie Gannon Gallery
University of Wollongong
Studio X Columbia University
Parsons University Mumbai

Image Credit – Neville Sukhia

RECENT EXHIBITION ~ BROACHED MONSTERS BY TRENT JANSEN

17 FEBRUARY - 19 MARCH 2017 ~ CRITERIA COLLECTION, MELBOURNE

Prior to colonisation Australia was imagined, in the northern hemisphere, as a vast southern landmass … and little else was factually known. Fabulous creatures, of incredible proportions and improbable anatomy, filled the void of knowledge.

Fear of these creatures was legitimised when early British colonists started to learn of the frightful monsters in Aboriginal folklore. This fear of what lurked in the unknown fathoms of Australian bush land soon became a point of cultural confluence for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

Over 5 years of research and design investigation Trent Jansen recreated two creatures that represent both Indigenous and non-Indigenous vernaculars – Pankalangu and the Hairy Wild Man From Botany Bay – suggesting these conflating myths as central figures for a national mythology that is inclusive of both cultures.

Broached Commissions was co-founded by Lou Weis & Vincent Aiello.

Where
Criteria
66 Gwynne Street,
Cremorne, VIC

Exhibition dates
17 February – 19 March 2017

Open
10am – 5pm, Monday-Thursday

Supporters
Criteria Collection
Broached Commissions

Image Credit – Dan Hocking