RECENT EXHIBITION ~ ROSSANA ORLANDI

9 - 14 APRIL 2019 ~ SALONE DEL MOBILE, MILANO, ITALY

For the Salone del Mobile in 2019, the Pankalangu Wardrobe from the Broached Monsters Collection was exhibited with Galleria Rossana Orlandi in Milano, Italy.

Australia was England’s last great conquest. With colonial possession came the right to imagine, in anticipation of populating the country, what amazing creatures resided there. Fabulous creatures of incredible proportions and improbable anatomy filled the void of knowledge.

Fear of imaginary creatures gained fuel when early British colonists had sustained contact with Indigenous Australians and learned of local folkloric creatures. In Australia’s unforgiving natural environment these monster stories served a purpose, to warn that the wilderness is not benign.

Early monster stories represent a point of cultural confluence for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. This is what attracts Trent Jansen to them, as the intersection of indigenous and non-indigenous narrative is a focal point of a design practice that aims to foster a new Australian culture of hybrid stories, informed by both Indigenous Australian and European traditions. Broached Commissions, Australia’s leading narrative driven design studio, has a long standing relationship with Trent Jansen and supported this show as it epitomised a shared interest in how the past informs the present.

Two creatures are represented in Broached MONSTERS: The Hairy Wild Man from Botany Bay and the Pankalangu: Hairy Wild Man from Botany Bay is an English myth formed after Captain Cook reported back to England of his brief experience of the Australian eastern coast, prior to British colonisation in 1788. Just as many convicts thought it was possible to walk from Sydney to China, and died trying, so too many arrived thinking a giant of nine feet tall, with a broad face, deathly eyes and a coat of long, sparse wiry hair was a real creature to be feared.

This Big Foot of the antipodes probably occupied the minds of many early settlers who tried to rest, surrounded by the sounds of animal stirrings in the pitch dark bush, on their first nights spent in the new colony.

Pankalangucomes from Arrernte Country in the Northern Territory of Australia. Trent Jansen was introduced to the story by Baden Williams, an Arrernte elder who assisted Trent in his research on Indigenous Australian mythical creatures. Pankalanguis one of three groups of creatures whom frequent Western Arrernte Country. He is a territorial being that lives in the scrub and is completely camouflaged in the desert and bush. Pankalangumoves with the rain, and is made visible when the water droplets falling over his body are caught by the light, defining his form in a glistening silhouette. Our Hairy Wild Man born from afar and the rain gliding Pankalanguare the two protagonist creatures of this Broached MONSTERS Collection, embraced to make sense of a hugely jarring collision between two cultures.

Words by Lou Weis.

Where
Galleria Rossana Orlandi,
Via Matteo Bandello 14,
Milano, Italy.

Exhibition dates
9 – 14 April 2019

Supporters
Galleria Rossana Orlandi
UNSW Art & Design
Broached Commissions

Image Credit – Michael Corridore

RECENT EXHIBITION ~ LOCAL MILAN No. 4

9 - 14 APRIL 2019 ~ 5VIE, SALONE DEL MOBILE, MILANO, ITALY

For the Salone del Mobile in 2019, the Shaker Family Home was exhibited with LOCAL DESIGN in Milano, Italy.

The Shaker Family Home is a collection of work inspired by the austere religious and furniture making practices of the Shaker people, during the early 19thCentury. It is during this period that the Shaker religion was at its strongest, centred around New England, in the north-east of the United States. It was also in this era that the Shakers began to make the artefacts for which they are most renowned, their refined timber chairs, cabinets and objects for living, a pre-cursor to Modern design.

The Shakers see labour of all kinds as an act of prayer, as indicated by their central belief – “Hands to work, hearts to god”. As a result, they became dedicated furniture makers, devoting countless hours to this fastidious craft, and perfecting their skills and designs as a testament to god. The Shakers were also celibate, meaning that one could not be born a Shaker, but had to choose the religion. Members of the Shaker faith lived in isolated villages, occupying beautifully crafted houses as collections of disparate individuals who lived and worked together as families, referring to each other as sister, brother, mother and father, despite the absence of blood relation. At its peak, in the early to mid 19th Century, there were 6000 Shaker believers, but by the early 20th Century there were only 12 Shaker communities remaining in the United States and by 2017 only 2 Shakers remained in the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in New Gloucester – Brother Arnold Hadd and Sister June Carpenter. As with all religions, believers came and went as their faith waxed and waned and their motivations evolved, an attrition that has meant the near extinction of this humble religion.

The Shaker Family Home is an homage to this way of life: Furniture design and making as an act of prayer; the fragility of faith; and the complexity of family in a community where no children are born. The cabinet in this family of objects represents the Shaker home, a structure that houses the family members in a series of drawers – the rooms of the house.

The members of the family are represented by a series of functional object, each living in its own drawer within the cabinet. No two objects are the same, tied together only by the Shaker sensibility that governs their design. As in Shaker communities, these objects can remain in the fold, functioning as part of the family unit, inside the cabinet. However, they are also free to leave the fold and function as autonomous objects outside of the cabinet, the family home, and the community.

The Shaker Family Home required a truly collaborative approach to design and making. The conception of this narrative driven furniture piece required a designer with a strong history of embodying story in physical form. The realisation of this family of objects required a maker whose skills and sensibilities were fully attuned to the complexity and fastidiousness of the Shaker approach to living, worshiping and making. The Shaker Family Home brings together Trent Jansen’s heavily research-led, anthropological design approach with Chris Nicholson’s sensitive understanding and recreation of Shaker theologies and making methodologies in a nuanced homage to the purity of the Shakers, their beliefs and their cabinetry.

Where
LOCAL DESIGN presents,
LOCAL MILAN No.4 in 5Vie,
Via Cesare Correnti 14,
Milano, Italy.

Exhibition dates
9 – 14 April 2019

Supporters
LOCAL DESIGN
UNSW Art & Design
5VIE

Image credit – Romello Pereira

RECENT EXHIBITION ~ DESIGNBYTHEM

9 - 14 APRIL 2019 ~ STUDIO VIAFARINI, SALONE DEL MOBILE, MILANO, ITALY

For the Salone del Mobile in 2019, the Nuptial Pendants were exhibited with DesignByThem in Milano, Italy.

The Nuptial Pendants were designed as a sustainable piece of lighting, aiming to be involved in a lasting personal relationship with their owner, fostered by the human characteristics that this piece possesses. These pieces hope to play an important roll in the life of their owner, thus becoming sustainable instead of disposable.

The Nuptial Pendants were designed as an expression of the beautiful intimacy that exists between two people that have been together for a very long time. Like an elderly couple that have spent their lives together, just as in love as the day they met. When two people commit themselves to one another completely, this is a unique bond.

 

The Nuptial Pendants are two identical, cotton lampshades that appear to have been fused together as life-long companions.

Where
DesignByThem,
Studio Viafarini,
Via Carlo Farini 35,
Milano, Italy.

Exhibition dates
9 – 14 April 2019

Supporters
DesignByThem
UNSW Art & Design

Image credit – Alex Kershaw and Pete Daly

RECENT EXHIBITION ~ DESIGN STORYTELLERS : THE WORK OF BROACHED COMMISSIONS

16 AUGUST 2018 - 15 FEBRUARY 2019 ~ NATIONAL GALLERY OF VICTORIA

Founded in Melbourne in 2010, Broached Commissions is Australia’s most noted limited-edition design studio and leading international exponent of narrative based object design. The studio collaborates with Australian and international designers to produce furniture and objects that respond to context, history and mythology.

Since 2010 a broad array of projects have been developed for international exhibition or through direct commissions for leading architectural projects. In its own way, each project follows a research-led process – fusing cultural narrative and historical research with contemporary design. The outcome is work that combines legacy (political, social, industrial, material and formal) with contemporary functional and material expectations.

Comprising of works by Australian and international designers, including Trent Jansen, MAD Architects, Lucy McRae and Adam Goodrum, this exhibition, as the first Broached Commissions retrospective, brings together the most celebrated pieces across the studio’s output in addition to presenting newly realised commissions.

The exhibition, presented in the Design Studio at NGV Australia, offers a rich journey into the ideas and inspiration behind the works, providing a unique insight into a coming of age for Australian design, while examining the contemporary phenomena of collectable design-art realised through rich collaborations between contemporary designers, industry and craftspeople.

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

Included Works
Briggs Family Tea Service – 2011
Chinaman’s File Rocking Chair – 2013
Pankalangu Collection – 2017
Hairy Wild Man from Botany Bay Collection – 2017
Jangarra Armchair – 2017 – Designed in collaboration with Johnny Nargoodah and Rita Minga for Mangkaja Arts Centre and Fremantle Arts Centre

Where
NGV Australia
Federation Square, Ground Level,
Melbourne, VIC

Exhibition dates
17 August 2018 – 15 February 2019

Supporters
National Gallery of Victoria
Broached Commissions
UNSW Art & Design
Criteria

Image Credit – Michael Corridore, Scotty Cameron and Bo Wong

RECENT EXHIBITION ~ PANKALANGU CREDENZA WITH BROACHED COMMISSIONS & GALLERY ALL

5 - 9 DECEMBER 2018 ~ DESIGN MIAMI, MIAMI, USA

At Design Miami 2018 in Miami, USA, the newest work in the Broached Monsters Collection, the Pankalangu Credenza, 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.

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

Where
Gallery All – Booth G31,
DesignMiami,
Meridian Avenue & 19th Street,
Miami Beach, USA

Exhibition dates
5 – 9 December 2018

Supporters
DesignMiami
Gallery All
Broached Commissions
UNSW Art & Design

Image Credit – Michael Corridore

RECENT EXHIBITION ~ PANKALANGU CREDENZA WITH BROACHED COMMISSIONS & GALLERY ALL

11 - 17 JUNE 2018 ~ DESIGN MIAMI/BASEL, BASEL, SWITZERLAND

At Design Miami/Basel 2018 in Basel, Switzerland, the newest work in the Broached Monsters Collection, the Pankalangu Credenza, 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.

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

Where
Gallery All – Booth G27,
DesignMiami/Basel,
Halle 1 Sud, Messe Basel,
Basel, Switzerland

Exhibition dates
11 – 17 June 2018

Supporters
DesignMiami/Basel
Gallery All
Broached Commissions
UNSW Art & Design

Image Credit – Michael Corridore

RECENT EXHIBITION ~ POROSITY KABARI

5 APRIL - 22 MAY 2018 ~ AUSTRALIAN DESIGN CENTRE, SYDNEY

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 by Sydney’s Australian Design Centre in April 2018.

Where
Australian Design Centre
101 – 115 William Street,
Darlinghurst, NSW

Exhibition dates
5 April – 22 May 2018

Supporters
University of Wollongong
UNSW Art & Design
Studio X Columbia University
Parsons University Mumbai
Australian Design Centre

Image Credit – Neville Sukhia

RECENT EXHIBITION ~ IN CAHOOTS : ARTISTS COLLABORATE ACROSS COUNTRY

25 NOVEMBER 2017 - 28 JANUARY 2018 ~ FREMANTLE ARTS CENTRE

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

Artists from six key Aboriginal art centres invited leading independent artists – both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal – from around the country to work with them. The resulting collaborative artworks were 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 presented 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 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 was 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