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Archive for June, 2009|Monthly archive page

Heads up – five diary dates for Sydney Design 09

In architecture, exhibition, festival, graphic design, industrial design, photography on 29 June 2009 at 7:12 am
While the Sydney Design 09 festival (1–16 August) is still more than a month away, I wanted to give you advance notice of a couple of ticketed events that will sell out quickly, and some more to consider for your diary.
English lighting designer Paul Cocksedge http://www.paulcocksedge.co.uk/ is known for innovations like lights that can be switched on by drawing pencil lines on a piece of paper or moulded from styrene cups, and a waterfall bent out of shape by a static generator. The object he is pictured with here is filled with gin and tonic water and fluoresces under UV light. He’s the Sydney Design 09 international speaker and he’ll be delivering an illustrated lecture about his inspiration, process and work.
6pm Monday 3 August, Powerhouse Museum, Ultimo. $15. Book online here.
A pop-up restaurant? Why not? Eat Green Design http://www.eatgreendesign.com/ is a purpose-built environment conceived by Collaborate’s Cilla Maden and designed by architect Hannah Tribe, with a menu of bio-dynamic and organic food devised by Danks Street Depot’s Jared Ingersoll. The concept demonstrates best practise principles in sustainable architecture and interior design, with tableware and furniture has been commissioned from Australian designers. A program of guest speakers who will lead discussion at each of the sessions will be announced shortly.
Breakfast: 8am–10am on 3, 5 and 10 August.
Brunch: 9.30am–11.30am on 2 and 9 August.
Dinner (three courses + wine): 6pm–9pm on 1, 6, 11 and 12 August.
Dinner (two courses + wine) 8pm–10pm on 4 August.
Outside these times, the venue will be open for coffee. Breakfasts or brunches are $66 a head and dinners are $110 a head. At the Powerhouse Museum, Ultimo. Bookings are essential, and you can book online here.
Pauline Kiernan in a gown by Theo Haskin of Salon Milano, Melbourne, 1956. Photograph by Bruno Benini.
Bruno Benini was an Italian-born Melbourne-based fashion photographer whose archive spanning 1950 to 2001 contains wonderful fashion shots and a suite of important portraits of actors, writers, dancers, designers and artists. The archive was very recently acquired by the Powerhouse Museum and its curator, Anne-Marie Van de Ven, will share her insights into it as she works through the acquisition process. Special guests will include some of Benini’s models.
12.30pm–1.30pm Wednesday 5 August, Powerhouse Museum, Ultimo. Free with museum entry.
Marcus Piper is the joint creative director of the internationally recognised creative agency one8one7 http://www.one8one7.com/
which is based on the south coast of NSW. one8one7 created the identity and campaign for Sydney Design 09. Thanks to technology and transport, Australia incubates great creative talent that works with clients around the world, as well as attracting them from overseas with our climate and lifestyle. Piper will be talking about  the benefits of working internationally and the effect the digital age has had on achieving international recognition “remotely”.
2pm-3pm Sunday 9 August, Powerhouse Museum, Ultimo. Free with museum entry.
SANAA: Christian Dior building, Omotesandō, Tokyo
Two big names in Japanese architecture, Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, are the founders of the Tokyo-based SANAA (Sejima + Nishizawa and Associates). They are staging an “architectural intervention” at the Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation during Sydney Design 09: a translucent curvilinear acrylic wall that meanders through the gallery creating a sense of interior/exterior space. There will be a free public forum chaired by Margaret Throsby, with speakers including Professor Leon van Schaik, Professor of Architecture (Innovation Chair) at RMIT and Yuko Hasegawa, Chief Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo.
 3pm–5pm Saturday 15 August, Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, 16–20 Goodhope St, Paddington.

While the Sydney Design 09 festival (1–16 August) is still more than a month away, I wanted to give you advance notice of a couple of ticketed events that will sell out quickly, and some more to consider for your diary.

Paul Cocksedge

British designer Paul Cocksedge is known for innovations like lights that can be switched on by drawing pencil lines on a piece of paper or moulded from deformed styrene cups, and a waterfall warped out of shape by a static generator. The object he is pictured with here is filled with gin and tonic water and fluoresces under UV light. He’s the Sydney Design 09 international speaker and he’ll be delivering an illustrated lecture about his inspiration, process and work. 6pm Monday 3 August, Powerhouse Museum, Ultimo. $15. You can book online here.

Eat Green Desgin logoA pop-up restaurant? Why not? Read the rest of this entry »

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Land rites: new work by Tamara Dean

In photography on 28 June 2009 at 4:38 am

Tamara Dean, BaptismTamara Dean, Baptism

Our lives are measured in moments of ceremony, from baptism to funeral. In an increasingly secular world, these milestones take place outside the context of religion, yet our need for the ritual – and the shared sense of meaning it creates – remains.

Tamara Dean’s series Ritualism envisages these ceremonial moments in recognisably Australian landscapes, where she asks, “if bath can become baptism – if, on meditation, the mundane can take up meaning and repetition become ritual.”

Tamara Dean, The BrideTamara Dean, The Bride

In Dean’s photographs the landscape is not mere background. It is a space that, in its grandeur, creates the inspiration once reserved only for cathedrals. Read the rest of this entry »

The views from here

In exhibition, video on 26 June 2009 at 12:05 am

An outstanding exhibition of video art opens today at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art, fresh from its well-received season at the MCA San Diego.

The show, called Rising Tide, features film and video installations by 12 contemporary Australian artists, including Australia’s representative at the current Venice Biennale, Shaun Gladwell.

Shaun Gladwell, TangaraShaun Gladwell, Tangara (video still)

Gladwell’s work Tangara was shot on a Sydney commuter train. With Gladwell hanging from a handrail, the image is inverted and slowed down to create the effect of zero gravity which, it soon becomes apparent, is really an act of physical endurance. Like a lot of his work, Tangara combines an ordinary public space with an extraordinary action to create something approaching the sublime.

Patricia Piccinini, SandmanPatricia Piccinini, Sandman (video still)

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Whippet good: designer Hugh Thomas

In furniture, industrial design on 25 June 2009 at 2:36 am

Here are a couple of impressive pieces of work by a young Sydney-based industrial designer, Hugh Thomas.

Hugh Thomas - Whippet Chair

This is his Whippet Chair, an intriguing, fluid take on a small chair. Its ergonomic tractor-seat is comfortable but not overly so, making it good for use in places that need fast patron turnover like cafes.

Hugh Thomas - doorstop 1 Read the rest of this entry »

Ken Unsworth’s monumental tribute

In exhibition, sculpture on 24 June 2009 at 7:36 am

Ken Unsworth, Toyland FeverKen Unsworth, Toyland Fever

The Ken Unsworth extravaganza in the Turbine Shed on Cockatoo Island has extended its stay and will now be on show until Sunday 2 August.

Conceived as a tribute to his late wife, Elisabeth, who died in December 2008, the exhibition is one of the largest self-funded projects ever mounted by an Australian artist.

The four large-scale installations are collectively titled A Ringing Glass (Rilke), a line from Rainer Marie Rilke’s Sonnets to Orpheus:

Be here among the vanishing in the realm of entropy,
be a ringing glass that shatters as it rings.

Another space is occupied by the specially built ballroom that hosted an opulent event when the exhibition opened on 28 May. The 160 guests enjoyed a four-course dinner, a live orchestra and, thanks to the two lessons they all had to commit to, dancing. Footage from the night is being screened in the ballroom during the exhibition.

Entry to the exhibition is free, and it’s open every day from 10am to 5pm. Sydney Ferries stops at Cockatoo Island on the Balmain/Woolich and Parramatta routes – more information here.

Twisted and locked together – Dion Lee in ‘Das Superpaper’

In photography on 23 June 2009 at 2:07 am

Issue 7 of Das Superpaper has just hit the streets featuring a great interview by Jasmine O’Loughlin-Glover with Dion Lee, the designer whose debut during Rosemount Australian Fashion Week in April – at 9am in a Kings Cross underground car park – was one of the event’s buzziest high points.

Dion Lee 1

The article is illustrated with Bowen Arico’s photos, art directed by Lee and O’Loughlin-Glover, of Lee’s jackets that reinforce their intricate, sculptural quality. Lee relates them to the steel ribbon and crushed car sculptures of American John Chamberlain, saying, “What I took from looking at his work was this feeling of multiple objects being twisted and locked together. A lot of the construction is achieved through multiple pieces woven together, that can’t be separated.”

Dion Lee 2

The jackets are embellished with cylindrical glass tubing and chains, influenced by Bauhaus designer Naum Slutzky, which functions both as jewellery and a structural element, acting as a transition between panels, changing the way the fabric moves or is shaped against the body.

Read the rest of this entry »

Two from 30×40: Erin Flannery and Ben Rak

In exhibition, painting, prints on 21 June 2009 at 12:49 am
30×40 is a group exhibition currently running at United Galleries Sydney in Darlinghurst. The title refers to the size of all the works in centimetres. With 53 works commissioned from 31 artists, there’s a good mix of styles and media.
Two young artists, showing two works each, caught our eye.
Erin Flannery Monday Morning Latte Line Up
Yes, that is a peg leg in the middle. Erin Flannery says she is “highly amused by ridiculously over-sized bags and jewellery, flashy brand names, killer heels and killer trends”.
The women in her work might look cool, at first glance, even when they’re missing an arm or sporting a wooden leg which, Flannery says, will be the next big trend: “Get in before the rush.”
A self-taught artist, Flannery lives in northern NSW.
Ben Rak Decoded (All star)
Printmaker Ben Rak is showing two prints: the basketball sneakers show here and a pair of Rayban Wayfarer sunglasses on a yellow background. In these screenprints, the image is broken into vertical lines of different thickness, like the lines in the familiar scanable barcode.
Like a barcode, the lines are not random. A regular pattern can be seen repeating across the work. Intriguingly, the pattern is the same in both works, which suggests that it could be decoded, as the titles suggest. It doesn’t matter what the product is – the code remains the same.
You can see more of Rak’s print work at his website, here.
30×40 is running at United Galleries Sydney until 25 July.
Image details, from top:
Installation view, 30 x 40, United Galleries.
Erin Flannery Monday Morning Latte Line Up. Aerosol, acrylic, pencil, cotton thread on linen. 30cm x 40cm.
Ben Rak Decoded (All star), 2009. Screenprint on paper, edition of 9. 30cm x 40cm.

30x40 - United Galleries Sydney

30×40 is a group exhibition currently running at United Galleries Sydney in Darlinghurst. The title refers to the size of all the works, in centimetres. With 53 works commissioned from 31 artists, there’s a good mix of styles and media.

Two young artists showing two works each and both, coincidentally, about aspects of consumer culture, merit a closer look.

Erin Flannery - Monday Morning Latte Line UpErin Flannery Monday Morning Latte Line Up

Erin Flannery says she is “highly amused by ridiculously over-sized bags and jewellery, flashy brand names, killer heels and killer trends”.

The women in her work are arranged like models in a fashion image. On closer inspection, you see that they’re missing an arm or sporting a wooden (table) leg which, Flannery predicts, will be the next big trend: “Get in before the rush.”

A self-taught artist, Flannery lives in northern NSW. You can see more of her work at her website, here.

Ben Rak - Decoded (Allstar)Ben Rak Decoded (All star)

Read the rest of this entry »

Put a lid on it: men’s hats for winter

In menswear on 19 June 2009 at 7:12 am
men’s hats
Repeat after me: No More Baseball Caps – unless you’re actually playing baseball, in which case, knock yourself out.
Hats in winter are practical and a good look. A footy beanie might keep your head warm, but footy beanies are strictly for before, during and after the footy.
The rest of the time, you’ll want something with a bit more style. Here are three options.
The fedora. Softly creased front-to-rear through the crown and pinched at the front, the fedora comes in many flavours. Adjust to suit your face. Round face? Go for height and a wider brim. Long face? Shorter crown, wider brim. Keep the brim down at the front and flip it up the back to balance a square face. For winter, look for felted wool, like the Akubra Hampton, pinstriped like the Coal Considered Harwood (above), or be bold with an oversized houndstooth like this Goorin Brothers’ Nico.
The military cap. Peaked and with a flat, circular top, the military or train driver cap is the stylish alternative to baseball and truckers caps. Steer clear of khaki, camouflage and embroidered logos; instead, look for structured, banded fronts and smart detailing.
The flat cap. Despite the whole backwards-Kangol thing, the flat cap is still an option, especially in tweedy checks, herringbone, sober solids or bright and bold. Traditional styles sit high on the head, while the modern cut has more coverage towards the back of the head.

Repeat after me: no more baseball caps – unless you’re actually playing baseball, in which case, knock yourself out.

Hats in winter are practical and a good look. A footy beanie might keep your head warm but they’re strictly for the game. The rest of the time, you’ll want something with more style. Here are three options.

fedora

The modern fedora. Softly creased through the crown and pinched at the front, the fedora comes in many flavours. Adjust to suit your face. Round face? Go for height and a wider brim. Long face? Shorter crown, wider brim. Keep the brim down at the front and flip it up at the back, trilby style, to balance a square face. For winter, look for felted wool, like the Akubra Hampton, pinstriped like Coal Considered’s Harwood (above), or be bold with an oversized houndstooth like Goorin Brothers’ Nico.

military cap

Read the rest of this entry »

Prick up your ears for Liquid Architecture

In festival, sound on 18 June 2009 at 1:59 am

Sydney’s cavalcade of festivals just keeps on coming. Hot on the heels of the Sydney Writers’ Festival, the Sydney Film Festival, the inaugural Creative Sydney and Brian Eno’s Luminous festival comes Liquid Architecture, a four-day event devoted to sound.

liquid architecture

Now in its 10th year, Liquid Architecture brings together music, sound art, noise and other listening pleasures as performances, installations and broadcasts.

It opens on Wednesday 24 June with an exhibition of sound-based installations at The Performance Space that will run through the festival. The opening night also includes live performances by Ruark Lewis, who uses language as sound, and Rik Rue, who works with the recording medium itself as an instrument.

German media artist Thomas Köner headlines the Concert One program on Friday 26 June. Here’s a video of Köner’s work Terrain Vague, recorded at the Dis-patch Festival in Belgrade, Serbia, last year.

Read the rest of this entry »

Answered prayers

In exhibition, painting on 16 June 2009 at 9:37 am

Metro - Jackson SlatteryJackson Slattery, Our Plastic Everything is Broken

Congratulations to Jackson Slattery, who picked up $40,000 today in this year’s Metro Art Award, Australia’s richest art prize for emerging young artists.

He won with a small watercolour of Hajj pilgrims praying called Our Plastic Everything is Broken. Slattery, who is 25, is currently a studio artist at the Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, and you can see more of his work here.

Another prize of $10,000 for the public’s choice was won by Victoria Reichelt for her self-portrait, presented as shelves stacked with books.

Metro - Victoria ReicheltVictoria Reichelt Self Portrait

Also catching Kollektor’s eye were a photo-realist painting of recyclables by Peter Tankey, and Dane Lovett’s introspective self-portrait, below. Read the rest of this entry »