Lee Broom – Park Life

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British designer Lee Broom reveals ‘Park Life’, a dazzling pop-up exhibition in a car park in Sydney

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

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UK design talent Lee Broom is known for glamorous lighting, furniture and accessories. His shows are just as cutting-edge, with the rising star previously exhibiting his work in a mock department store, a mobile van (albeit one tricked out with an elegant room interior) and on a fairground carousel. Now Broom is taking over an underground car park below Space’s Sydney furniture showroom for ambitious pop-up ‘Park Life’, sharing his new lights with the public in a modernist maze. The Alexandria installation will be his largest to date, covering 4,000 square feet, with the free exhibition running from 14 to 20 March.

‘I am delighted to return to Australia to present this exciting exhibition with Space Furniture,’ says Broom. ‘Australia has been a big supporter of my work for many years and it is an honour to create such a significant installation to showcase my collection in Sydney.’

TOP: The entrance to Sydney’s subterranean ‘Park Life’ maze pavilion, with Lee Broom flanked by his ‘Orion Globe’ and ‘Orion Tube’ lights. ABOVE RIGHT: Fix up, look sharp… London lighting designer Lee Broom before he turned blonde for his Australian tour

A former actor and fashion designer, Broom is known for his trademark sharp look, teaming simple classic and street-savvy details. His designs also reinterpret classical styles in contemporary ways, giving them an unexpected edge. Expect more striking fusions at immersive experience ‘Park Life’, where he’ll be transforming the raw, concrete, industrial car park into his take on a trad English garden.

ABOVE: Lee Broom’s surreal modernist garden maze ‘Park Life’ in Sydney, a beautifully resolved installation featuring his lighting, accessories and furniture in a series of 16 illuminated room sets. Enchanting vignettes play with ideas from chess boards and Newton’s Cradles to cascading waterfalls and trompe l’oeil reflections

Channelling a meandering maze, the pop-up will take guests on ‘a poetic journey of discovery through hidden passageways, with tableaus and vignettes,’ says Broom, showcasing his lighting, furniture and accessories. Inspiration hails from 18th-century pleasure gardens, with their mazes and miniature waterways, amusing visitors with the latest art, architecture, music and illuminations. However, Broom gives the concept a modernist spin, aiming to create a sense of escapism, entertainment and drama.

ABOVE: More mesmerising moments from the ‘Park Life’ pavilion. A white polycarbonate box within the concrete car park, its interconnecting spaces are lined with pale gravel, with designs displayed beside classical statues on boxy, layered plinths. Black acrylic, cut-outs and mirror add surprise to surfaces

If Broom’s mind-bending 2017 trompe l’oeil installation ‘On Reflection’ at his London showroom is anything to go by, design hunters should be in for a treat. Broom chose to show in Sydney, not Milan this year, reaching out to his Australian and Asia-Pacific fanbase, and has put all his creative energy into crafting a surreally beautiful space, guaranteed to whisk visitors into wonderland.

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ABOVE: Lee Broom’s new ‘Eclipse’ pendant lights, updated in polished gold, will be showcased at the pop-up

Debuting at the ‘Park Life’ installation is a new version of Broom’s award-winning ‘Eclipse’ light in a polished gold finish, a warmer, softer interpretation of the original chrome. Like an elegant mobile, these sculptural pendants look different from every angle, with mirror-polished gold and acrylic discs interacting, simultaneously eclipsing and revealing their charms.

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ABOVE FROM LEFT: ‘Eclipse’ chandelier three piece in sheeny gold. The design also comes as a table lamp, with all three variations available to order from April. Broom’s ‘Orion Tube’ and ‘Orion Globe’ pendant lights in polished gold

‘Park Life’ is part of Broom’s wider #LBTour of Asia and Australia, which has seen him give design talks at Space’s showrooms in Singapore for Singapore Design Week (4-17 March), and Brisbane, with another to come at Space Melbourne on 14 March (6pm-9pm) for Melbourne Design Week (14-24 March). Design fans can buy tickets to the Melbourne event, in which Broom will chat about his career, global brand and the experimental nature of design. Plans are also afoot for him to talk at ECC’s Auckland showroom in New Zealand. Don’t miss this illuminating talent…
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ABOVE: Broom’s circular ‘Carousel XL’ pendant light in matte black at the installation, inspired by British fairground merry-go-rounds

Free exhibition ‘Park Life’ is at Space, 84 O’Riordan Street, Alexandria, Sydney, from 14 to 20 March 2019 (open daily 10am to 5pm); a launch evening on 13 March is by invite only. Lee Broom’s products are available exclusively in Australia, Singapore and Malaysia from Space Furniture. His ticketed Melbourne talk is at Space, 629 Church Street, Richmond, on 14 March (6pm-9pm)

Pictures: Craig Wall (Sydney installation)

Design-Made 2017

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Indie festival Design-Made celebrates Australian design talent in Sydney

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

Sydney's debut independent contemporary design festival, Design-Made, kicks off in Alexandria this week, showcasing a veritable Who's Who of more than 50 Australian talents. Expect a three-day programme packed with product launches, thought-provoking exhibitions and curated installations from Friday 27 to Sunday 29 October, including cutting-edge furniture, lighting and accessories. The atmospheric main venue is former woodshed Sunstudios, normally used for photo shoots, with a few offshoot talks at the nearby Fischer & Paykel Experience Centre.

Founded by Kobe Johns of Factory Design District and Authentic Design Alliance director Anne-Maree Sergeant, Design-Made celebrates Australia-wide design, with an emphasis on original, local design and quality craftsmanship, engaging visitors in the creative process. You can watch Melbourne potter Colin Hopkins of Porcelume shaping porcelain lighting shades on a wheel, while listening to his own musical score (the results are represented by Spence & Lyda). Leather-cutting and print-making are also on display.

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Homegrown and international brands will share their collections – from Mud Australia to Cult and Singaporean furniture firm Castlery (collaborating on a new range with Australian designer Charles Wilson) – alongside an impressive roll call of independent designers and studios. It's a rare opportunity for Australian talents to show their work across diverse brands on their own stands, including Adam Cornish, Ross Gardam, Jonathan West, and the three Toms – Tom Fereday, Tom Skeehan and Tomek Archer. Free and ticketed talks and workshops allow you to get hands-on, plus there are parties to pep you up. Here are 10 FizzPicks to whet your appetite...

TOP AND BELOW: Ross Gardam's new 'Noon' collection at Alexandria's Design-Made show, including coffee table and mirrors
ABOVE: Furniture-maker Jonathan West's gleaming cabinet

'Noon' collection by Ross Gardam
Australian furniture and lighting designer Ross Gardam will be unveiling his graphic new 'Noon' collection of wall mirrors and coffee tables, made in Melbourne. Subtly exploring the passage of time,  the tables come in two sizes with surfaces including timber veneer, laminate, marble, and mirror, or a striking 'Tri-Cut' combination of walnut, marble and black glass (available from Stylecraft). The mirrors, set back from timber frames, feature clear, bronze and black finishes, or opt for wow factor with the 'Tri-Cut' configuration incorporating all three.


'Paperclip' collection by Seaton Mckeon
Sydney-trained industrial designer Seaton Mckeon's new outdoor furniture range 'Paperclip' for Stylecraft will be exhibited for the first time, styled by Jason Grant. Formed from powered-coated steel, the clean-lined, modernist-influenced collection consists of a stackable lounge chair (with Merbau timber armrests), chair, bar stool and low stool, bound to add graphic attitude to gardens. Finishes include wire and laser-cut perforated sheet metal, with a seductive choice of Dulux colours, from rusty reds to deep blues and eucalypt greens, as well as black, white and grey.

ABOVE: Seaton Mckeon's 'Paperclip' outdoor furniture collection for Stylecraft, including lounge chairs with wooden armrests, stackable chairs in green; and low stools in green and white


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'Igneous' wall light by Ash Allen and James Walsh
Crafted from upcycled bluestone waste, sourced locally, the new 'Igneous' light is by Melbourne designers Ash Allen and James Walsh, presented by Australian brand Catapult. Victorian bluestone is synonymous with Melbourne's architecture, but quarrying generates waste. The pair melted bluestone powder in a kiln to create this striking textured, patterned version of the stone, with a goldy-blue surface set off perfectly by the light's shadowplay. The gorgeous modern wall sconces are made to order, in two sizes, and feature a central gold-dipped bulb.

ABOVE: Meaning 'from fire', the 'Igneous' wall light by Ash Allen and James Walsh is crafted from waste bluestone powder using extreme heat


Good Design Australia showcase
Good Design Australia, a veteran prize dating back to 1958, will showcase recent Good Design Awards winners in furniture and lighting. Highlights include Canberra-based Tom Skeehan's minimal, Japanese-inspired 'Hoshi' collection of armchairs, benches and ottomans for Stylecraft, Adam Goodrum's ergonomic 'Bower' work-pod/seating screens and sculptural 'Malloy' chair for Cult design store's new Australian collection 'NAU', and Charles Wilson's 'Carafe' table for Herman Miller.

ABOVE: Recent Good Design Awards winners including Tom Skeehan's 'Hoshi' lounge collection of seating, benches, side tables and ottomans for Stylecraft, Adam Goodrum's 'Bower' screened desks and seats for Cult, and Charles Wilson's 'Carafe' table for Herman Miller


'LD' wallpapers by Local Design
Collaborative Sydney-based label Local Design is launching an eight-strong range of graphic, contemporary printed wallpapers, with Australian contributors including the label's creative director Emma Elizabeth, Kate BanaziDaniel Emma, Shilo EngelbrechtTom Fereday, Dowel Jones, Fiona Lynch and Tom Skeehan. Durable enough for use in schools, hospitals and public spaces, the large-scale papers are eco-friendly, due to their low chemical emissions. Banazi will be screen-printing 100 limited-edition prints at the installation, available for sale.

ABOVE: The brand-new 'LD' wallpapers by Local Design


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'Boulder' side tables by Dinosaur Designs
Best known for resin tableware and jewellery, Sydney's Dinosaur Designs unveils a box-fresh new collection of 'Boulder' side tables at Design-Made. Inspired by rock formations, as well as the serene palette of Stonehenge and Giorgio Morandi's still-life paintings, the hand-crafted pieces come in swirly whites, creams, blacks and greys.

ABOVE: Dinosaur Designs' new 'Boulder' collection of resin side tables


'Interpretations V' exhibition
A biannual group show exploring materials, 'Interpretations V' tasked eight Australian designers to explore paper (cellulose), in an exhibition curated by Vert Design's Andrew Simpson. Innovative prototypes include Tom Skeehan's 'SO' tactile paper light fixtures, formed from traditionally dyed pulped paper; Tom Fereday's timber-framed 'Pieman' chairs with woven paper cord seats and backs; Elliat Rich (of Elbowrkshp)'s pebble-like textured paper sculptures '7 Rounds', including photographic hints of hands; and Charles Wilson's delicate oval 'Lirio' picnic plates, intended to be held with a wine glass in one hand.

ABOVE: Paper prototypes for materials showcase 'Interpretations V', including Tom Skeehan's 'SO' paper lights in soft pastels, Tom Fereday's cord-strung 'Pieman' chairs; Elliat Rich's '7 Rounds' pebble sculptures, and Charles Wilson's 'Lirio' picnic plates


'Stitchfield' 2017 installation
Interactive installation 'Stitchfield', commissioned by Design Tasmania, is a modern update of a weaving or knitting circle. Suspended above Sunstudios' entry lounge, the gleaming metallic 'wave' is formed from interconnecting brass components, devised by Melbourne architect Claire Scorpo and Alice Springs-based designer Elliat Rich. It will be lowered twice a day during the festival, encouraging visitors to join the gathering of makers crafting this communal work-in-progress.

ABOVE: Interactive brass hanging 'Stitchfield', formed from circular components, will be expanded by visitors during the show


'26 Original Fakes' exhibition
Curated by Dale Hardiman and Tom Skeehan, 26 Original Fakes is a group show in the atrium highlighting Australia's unfortunate status as the 'Wild West' of fake designer furniture. With insufficient copyright laws protecting both established and emerging product designers, this show, backed by the Authentic Design Alliance, invited 26 Australian designers to riff on British talent Jasper Morrision's much-copied 'Hal' chair for Vitra, distributed here by Living Edge. Look out for Tom Fereday's 'Shadow Chair', a cast concrete form representing the negative space under a replica 'Hal' chair, suggesting that by buying rip-offs you are left with nothing but a shadow of the original.

ABOVE: Exhibition '26 Original Fakes' includes designs hacking replicas of Jasper Morrison's 2010 'Hal' chair for Vitra, including Tom Fereday's cast concrete 'Shadow Chair', Daast studio's 'Royalties Paid' chair engraved with a satirical letter from the Australian government, and Jon Goulder's Sydney Opera House-inspired chair, itself a rip-off of fellow exhibitor Andrew Simpson's earlier replica of a replica!


ABOVE: 'Light Hut' tiny house by duo Fresh Prince, outside the Sunstudios entrance, illuminated at night

'Light Hut' by Fresh Prince
Finally, just outside Sunstudios, 'Light Hut' champions the tiny house movement. Designed by Sydney studio Fresh Prince, this outdoor sanctuary is a small moveable structure that 'sheds the weight of a modern dwelling to return to bare, essential shelter.' Here's to treading the Earth more lightly...
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Design-Made runs from 27 to 29 October over two locations in Alexandria – Sunstudios (42 Maddox Street) and Fischer & Paykel Experience Centre (96 Bourke Road). Opening hours are Friday 27 (10am-6pm), Saturday 28 (10am-5pm) and Sunday 29 (10am-4pm); $10 on the door.

6 FizzPicks for Sydney Contemporary 2017

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Sydney Contemporary brings the best local and international art galleries to town. See our guide to six must-sees...

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

Get your art on at the third edition of Sydney Contemporary, an exciting showcase of 90 galleries representing more than 500 modern artists at Redfern's warehouse-chic Carriageworks. The four-day fair runs until this Sunday 10 September, including a mix of established and emerging talent (check out the Future section, for galleries going five years or less). Also up for grabs are installations, video, paper works, performance, a playfully interactive red room for children, and a programme of talks, tours and fringe events. There's tempting drinking and dining for refuelling, with tasty bites from Billy Kwong and Kitchen by Mike and pop-up bars by Glenfiddich and Petaluma.

Showcasing local galleries from Australia and New Zealand as well as global offerings spanning Singapore, Hong Kong, Berlin, Chile, Argentina, the USA and even Iran – look out for Tehran's Dastan's Basement (booth A03) with its hyper-detailed paintings – it's a huge gathering. So here our six of our favourites to get you inspired...

ABOVE: Robyn Stacey's mirrored camera obscura 'Double Take' installation, outside Sydney Contemporary art fair at Redfern's former railway yard Carriageworks

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May Space: Catherine O'Donnell
Combining incredibly detailed drawings of windows and doors with a graphic mural of a house, Catherine O'Donnell's 'Urban Perspective' installation at Sydney gallery May Space (booth A14) is startling. O'Donnell grew up in an estate building in Sydney's western suburbs, which informs her work. "My drawings are an exploration of the architecture , culture, and history of the urban environment with a current focus on 1960/70 housing estates," she says, homes she feels are overlooked, both aesthetically and in human terms. "I employ realism as a catalyst to ignite the imagination of the viewer and invite them to look beyond the mundane and banal."

ABOVE: Catherine O'Donnell's charcoal on paper 'Urban Perspective' (2017) at the May Space booth, inset in a charcoal wall drawing


Sabbia Gallery: Honor Freeman and Pippin Drysdale
Sydney's Sabbia Gallery (booth G08) specialises in Australian contemporary studio ceramics and glass, bringing high-end craft to the fair's art and design table. We loved Adelaide talent Honor Freeman's dazzling ceramic work 'Soap Score' (2016), containing a circle of 656 slip-cast porcelain pieces resembling shards of soap, reflecting the amount of soap an average human supposedly uses in their lifetime. The textures, shapes and faded pastel colours are beautiful, reflecting Freeman's long preoccupation with being an 'alchemist of domestic clutter'. Established Freemantle artist Pippin Drysdale's boulder-like series of porcelain works are also striking, incised with gorgeous coloured glazes, so fine they almost resemble glass.

ABOVE FROM LEFT: Honor Freeman's slip-cast porcelain 'Soap Score'; detail of its 656 components; Pippin Drysdale's seven-component porcelain 'Geikie Gorge I – Devil's Marbles III' (2017) in foreground, both Sabbia Gallery


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Martin Browne Contemporary: teamLab
Digital art gets the nod at Sydney gallery Martin Browne Contemporary (booth E10), which stars a large-scale, nine-channel digital work by Japan's teamLab. Entitled 'Continuous Life and Death at the Now of Eternity' (2017), it's a mesmerising nature-meets-tech spectacular of shifting colours, light and moods, with an algorithm creating an endless moving image of flowers being born, budding and blooming, then withering and dying. Rendered in real-time, not a pre-recorded loop, it takes its cue from the local sunrise and sunset, changing throughout the year, so it's never the same twice. "The picture at this moment can never be seen again," say its makers. Sneaky art hounds who charm their way into the fair's VIP lounge can see another stunning, six-channel teamLab digital creation – 'Four Seasons, a 1000 Years, Terraced Rice Fields – Tashibunosho' – in which computer-generated workers in rice fields respond to real-time weather, daylight and seasons in the Japanese region, ploughing in sunshine, sheltering from rain or dancing at night. While the original landscape has been largely unchanged for a century, the art work will be ever-changing, a new frontier for modern art. Look out for the collective's eight interactive Future Park installations at Sydney's Powerhouse Museum this summer.

ABOVE: Japanese collective teamLab's endless digital work 'Continuous Life and Death at the Now of Eternity' (2017) at Martin Browne Contemporary's stand


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Yavuz Gallery Projects: Lucas Grogan
You'll find colour inspiration aplenty at the fair, but Melbourne-based muralist Lucas Grogan's installation for Singapore's Yavuz Gallery Projects (booth A07) has the blue mother lode. Taking up major wall space, his trio of graphic ink works 'The Library' and single piece 'The Collection' all depict shelves of fictitious blue books with cheeky titles on the spines, mingled with the odd horse-head ornament, urn or bowl. As Grogan quipped on his Instagram, "If you spot a typo, keep it to your f••king self." Known for detailed, witty street art in trademark indigo blue, teamed with turquoise, navy and white, he's a colourist to watch.

ABOVE: Detail from multi-panel 'The Library' (2017) by Lucas Grogan, ink, acrylic and enamel on marine ply at Yavuz Gallery


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Arterial Gallery: Hayden Fowler
It's not often you see a performance art work involving a guy trapped in a cage with a dingo, but Hayden Fowler offers just that in 'Together again' for Arterial Gallery (booth G03), donning virtual reality goggles which trigger Australian landscape images, while a motion sensor worn by his companion Juno places the wild dog in the frame too. It's shades of Joseph Beuys' 1974 action with the coyote, but given a 21st-century new-tech spin, exploring the growing gap in our relationship with the natural world. Don't miss Fowler's second installation 'Australia' near the VIP Room, a colonial-style table loaded with white bones, linked to a tannoy, a challenging comment on Australia's painful treatment of its first people.

ABOVE: Hayden Fowler's plaster, polymer and sound 'Australia' (2017) installation for Arterial Gallery comments on the violence of colonialism


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107, Blak Mirror
Small but packing a mixed-media punch, local Redfern gallery 107 (booth C06) shares bold contemporary work by Aboriginal artists in its group show 'The Gilded Age', presented with Blak Mirror. Riffing on the glossy veneer covering today's pressing political and indigenous issues, it includes work by Jason Wing, Amala Groom, and Adam Hill (aka Blak Douglas) – who created the suspended gilded bat above – with traditional wooden shields by Chico Monks, inscribed with cartoonish phrases ('Oops', 'Bang', 'Sorry!'), sitting alongside Nicole Monks' 'Wabarn-Wabarn' chair, made from kangaroo leather draped in plush kangaroo pelts.

Finally, look out for 'Edition', a curated selection of design-art furniture near the entrance area, showcasing pieces by top brands Gufram, Established & Sons, BD Barcelona Design, and the limited-edition 'QTZ' chair by local talent Alexander Lotersztain for Derlot, curated by Sydney furniture label Living Edge. Who said art and design can't mix?

ABOVE: 107 gallery's group stand, including an amazing golden bat by Blak Douglas, bones and other mixed materials, foregrounding Aboriginal  perspectives

Sydney Contemporary is at Carriageworks, 245 Wilson Street, Redfern, Sydney until Sunday 10 September 2017; opening hours 10am-6pm Saturday, until 5pm Sunday. For ticket and visitor information click here.

Melbourne Indesign 2016

Two-day festival Melbourne Indesign is bringing new exhibitors, product launches and parties to town...

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

Melbourne Indesign kicks off today, enticing the design community out to play with sociable events from Friday 12 to Saturday 13 August. Based mainly in Melbourne's design showrooms, it focuses on the CBD and hot design districts Collingwood and Richmond, with product launches, talks, tours and parties that will be catnip to design hunters. Here are the Fizz highlights…

ABOVE: Interiors store Zenith's pretty 'All Sorts' lounger and ottoman range
BELOW: Design hunters will be out in force for Melbourne Indesign

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FRIDAY 12 AUGUST
Timed events (10am-6pm)

MID16 kicks off on Friday with a day of industry talks, design workshops, ticketed events,  architecture tours, and invitation-only launches from 10am to 6pm. Venues range from the city centre to Richmond and Collingwood, with showrooms hosting much of the action.

Up Late (5pm-10pm)
Why drag yourself around a trade fair when you can sashay around Melbourne's vibrant city centre instead? On Friday evening, from 5pm to 10pm, join the inaugural Up Late in the CBD session, a trail linking five top style and cultural spaces offering intriguing design experiences after dark. Business hours will be extended and corks popped...

Start your night at Swedish fashion label COS (The Strand, 240 Elizabeth St) where Fizz fave Adelaide design duo Daniel Emma will create three installations inspired by the classic white shirt across the brand’s Melbourne and Sydney stores.

High-end furniture showroom Hub (63 Exhibition St) launches new designs by Italian brand Moroso, plus an exhibition by Spanish glass artist Luis Parades. Hub will also be drumming up applicants for their amazing Design Speed Date later in October, a rare chance for Melbourne and Sydney talents to pitch their design ideas to Moroso's influential art director Patrizia Moroso.

Swing by District (20 Russell St) to check out their smartly curated products, including furniture by Simon James Design, David Moreland Design and Mattiazzi, plus lighting by Resident and Hem, then kick back at Zenith (179 Flinders Lane) for Winter Drinks while lounging on The SD Element's appealing 'All Sorts' chaise longue and ottomans.

Finally, head to major gallery NGV Australia (Ground Level, NGV Design Studio, corner of Flinders St and Russell St) at 6pm for an exclusive ticketed curators' preview of exhibition 'Glenn Murcutt – Architecture of Faith', focussed on the seminal Australian architect's new Australian Islamic Centre at Hobsons Bay, on the fringes of Melbourne. Just launched on 9 August, the exhibition is open to the public until 19 February 2017.

ABOVE: Detail of a roof lantern at Glenn Murcutt's Australian Islamic Centre; and elevated roof showing lantern lay-out, designed in collaboration with Elevli Plus


SATURDAY 13 AUGUST
Design Districts (
10am-6pm)
Established design district Richmond and edgy up-and-comer Collingwood are the hot spots for design stores in Melbourne, with more than 40 exhibitors coming out to play on Saturday from 10am to 6pm. Permanent showrooms and pop-up spaces will showcase furniture, lighting, accessories, flooring, fixtures and fittings. Expect intimate events, installations with tempting catering, and sensory delights. A Saturday-only shuttle bus service will ferry visitors around both districts, stopping off at key sites.

Richmond
Just east of the CBD, Richmond is home to many of Melbourne's major furniture and interiors showrooms, based on and around Church and Swan streets, and adjacent quarter Cremorne. Fizz tips include respected store Cult (44 Cremorne St, 9am-5.30pm), teaming up with exciting Danish design label Hay to present the Australian launch of the striking new ‘Palissade’ outdoor furniture range by French duo the Bouroullec brothers (see our post on the UK launch here). The leafy installation will be shown at nursery Glasshaus's Inside events space. Also drop by the Dutch Design Collective (33 Cremorne St, 10am-5pm) celebrating 12 of the best Dutch design brands at the House of Orange warehouse, including powerhouse Moooi, stylish HK Living Australia and iconic Artifort.

Shared space Gentfactory (141 Dover St, Cremorne) features flooring, surface materials and commercial design, plus the Corian Recharge Bar for refreshments. Also on the Richmond circuit are Artedomus, Arthur G, Atlas Concorde Ceramiche, CDK Stone, Cerdomus Tile Studio, PAD Furniture, Products for People, Shaw Contract, Sketch Tile Concepts, Tongue n Groove, and Urban Edge Ceramics. Luckily, there are plenty of cafes, restaurants and bars for refuelling en route.

ABOVE: Ross Didier unveils his new 'Gelava' chairs and 'Brulaire' tables, inspired by sweet treats, sorbet colours and desserts, as part of the 'First Bite' collection on show at Pioneer in Collingwood

Collingwood
Industrial-chic, inner-north Collingwood is fast becoming the go-to spot for design, galleries, cafes, bars and restaurants, almost stealing the limelight from more gentrified neighbour Fitzroy. It's a smaller trail, with top Fizz tip Cafe Culture + Insitu (77 Cromwell St), where you'll catch six hot local names. Talents on display include Anaesthetic, Anchor Ceramics, ChristelHDidier, LifeSpaceJourney, and Savage Design. The six will also create an installation for Indesign's conceptual series The Project, under the theme Evolution. Don't miss the gourmet hot dog cart from noon to 3pm! Hub at James Makin Gallery (67 Cambridge St) will present a landscape of pendant lights using Paris Au Mois d'Août's delicate hand-made fabrics, alongside curated art and objects.

Shared spaces are another tip here, with Pioneer (5 Easey St) supporting new and local independent design, including Didier (Ross Didier's label debuting gelato-hued furniture, lighting and rugs with the First Bite Collection), Franco Crea, ThinkLab by Luxxbox, Arko Furniture, Apparentt, indigenous upholstery fabrics at Winya, and lighting by Oxley/Butterworth.

You'll find 13 brands under one roof at Rokeby Studios (1/90-94 Rokeby St), including furniture, flooring, finishes and fixtures, with Scandinavian Business Seating and smart Japanese toilet brand TOTO in the mix. Melbourne roaster Padre Coffee will keep you buzzing. Collingwood's design trail also features pit stops at AJAR furniture and design, Darkon Lighting, Interface and Winspear.
 

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ABOVE: Cerdomus Tile Studio's elemental space is part of the Richmond design precinct, showcasing porcelain slabs and pavers

Timed Events and After Party
Saturday also sees a series of timed events take place across both precincts, including talk '(The Internet Stole) My Design' at 11am (5 Easey St; free but rsvp), with Australian designers Kate StokesRoss Gardam, Nick Rennie, Tomek Archer and Tom Skeehan discussing the country's copyright rip-offs with moderator Anne-Maree Sargeant of The Snap Assembly, hosted by the Authentic Design Alliance. Coffee, canapés, croissants, chocolate and cocktails add to the day's fun, culminating in the ticketed Wrap Party, from 7pm, at Harry the Hirer's recently unveiled showroom (81-95 Burnley St, Richmond).

ABOVE: One of 2015's collaborations for The Project at Sydney Indesign; expect more installations across town in Melbourne

The Project
Finally, look out for The Project, Indesign's regular series of collaborations between design brands, material suppliers and architects, including Cafe Culture + Insitu x Local Designers, and Karndean Designflooring x Daniel Dalla Riva.

Registration
Online registration for Indesign is now closed, but you can register for free at participating showrooms on the day. You'll then receive a registration pass, a lanyard and a MID tote bag to stash details of brands you love. View the handbook online, including district maps, or download the interactive app. Then hashtag away, using #MID16, #melbourneindesign and #indesigntheevent. You can also win design goodies along the way.

Future fairs
Can't make Melbourne Indesign? Next up is Singapore Indesign on 8 October 2016 and Wine In Design in Perth also launching in October, with the fair returning to Sydney in 2017. Enjoy!
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Melbourne Indesign runs from Friday 12 to Saturday 13 August 2016

20th Biennale of Sydney

Ming Wong, 'Windows On The World (Part 1)', 2014, mixed media installation with video. Courtesy of Para Site and Spring Workshop, Hong Kong. Photograph_ Glenn Eugen Ellingsen.JPG

Packed with contemporary art and installations, the 20th Biennale of Sydney still has two more weekends to go. Navigate the maze with our fave FizzPicks…

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

Every two years the Harbour City gets its art on, with the free Biennale of Sydney taking over town. Running until 5 June 2016, the 20th edition unveils work by 83 artists from 35 countries across seven major venues, dubbed ‘Embassies of Thought’, as well as a string of in-between fringe spaces. Around 70 per cent of artists are showing new commissions, many of them site-specific.

Under the artistic direction of Dr Stephanie Rosenthal, Chief Curator of London's Hayward Gallery, the 2016 theme is based on a quote by US sci-fi author William Gibson: ‘The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed.’ Inspired by the idea that access to information technology is still uneven globally, leading to a new poverty gap, the Biennale aims to address the time we’re living in now, as well as imagining where we're going. 'I conceived the venues as Embassies of Thought,' said Rosenthal. 'Each entwined and connected.' So while the Embassy of the Real deals with ways we perceive reality in the digital age, the Embassy of Disappearance 'explores how languages and cultures are disappearing' and the Embassy of Transition engages with the cycles of life and death.

With a blizzard of art up for grabs, even culture-vultures may get overwhelmed. Luckily, our FizzPicks offer edited highlights…

ABOVE: Ming Wong, 'Windows On The World (Part 1)', 2014, mixed-media installation with video
BELOW: Charwei Tsai, 'Spiral Incense: Hundred Syllable Mantra', 2016, spiral incense made of herbal materials

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Mortuary Station: Embassy of Transition
Regent Street, Chippendale
Grab the chance to inspect the interior of Chippendale's Victorian Mortuary Station, an atmospheric heritage-listed former funeral station once used to transport coffins and mourners by rail to Rookwood Cemetery. Taiwanese artist Charwei Tsai’s ritualistic ‘Spiral Incense’ installation sees smoking incense coils suspended over the prettily tiled platform, hand-inscribed with Buddhist mantras. Video art projected onto the waiting room floors ruminates on the impermanence of life. Outside, aviaries by London artist Marco Chiandetti host live birds pecking at classical sculpture body parts in an unnerving investigation of spirituality. Gothic or what?

BELOW: Jamie North, 'Succession', 2016, mixed materials; Lee Mingwei, 'Guernica in Sand', 2006 and 2015, mixed-media interactive installation

Carriageworks: Embassy of Disappearance
245 Wilson Street, Eveleigh
It’s hard for any art to compete with jaw-dropping former rail yards Carriageworks, but Sydney-based Jamie North’s sculpture-meets-nature installation ‘Succession’ rises like a biological wonder in this cavernous warehouse. Combining industrial waste products (cement, steel, steel slag, coal ash) with native Australian plants, organic matter and oyster shells, his karst-like cast-concrete forms incorporate miniature landscapes, riffing on distressed architecture. NY-based Taiwanese talent Lee Mingwei’s ‘Guernica in Sand’ – a transitory sand art piece taking its cue from Picasso’s iconic anti-war painting – may have been brushed away, but its blurry swirls of yellow, grey and white still hold a strange beauty.

BELOW: Lee Bul, 'Willing To Be Vulnerable', 2015-16, mixed materials; Korakrit Arunanondchai, 'Painting with history in a room filled with people with funny names 3', 2015-16, HD video, denim, foam, wood; William Forsythe, 'Nowhere and Everywhere at the Same Time, no.2', 2013, plumb bobs, string, compressed air cylinders, aluminium frames

Cockatoo Island: Embassy of the Real
Sydney Harbour
One of the strongest Biennale clusters, Cockatoo Island displays work surrounded by the eery ruins of Sydney’s convict, industrial and ship-building heritage. In the industrial sector, we liked Architecturally-influenced Korean artist Lee Bul’s huge, futuristic ‘Willing To Be Vulnerable’ installation, which mashed up metalised and transparent film, heavy-duty fabric, LED lighting, a fog machine, zeppelin-like inflatables and an ethereal air balloon in a bold red, white and black palette. Inspired by urban, eco and anti-authoritarian spiritual themes, Thai artist Korakrit Arunanondchai’s video of Bangkok life was powerfully immersive, but we couldn’t help appreciating the midnight blue-and-white dyed denim floor cushions for the lounging audience. Frankfurt-based American William Forsythe’s mesmerising kinetic work ‘Nowhere and Everywhere at the Same Time’ fills a distressed space with swinging strings, weighted down with plumb bobs, allowing viewers to interact with the movement. Shanghai's Xu Zhen deconstructs classical and Buddhist sculptures in a monumental work tackling the past, while Singapore's Ming Wong assembles a bank of video screens to show his own vibrant, kooky sci-fi films.

BELOW: Chiharu Shiota, 'Conscious Sleep', 2009/2016, beds, thread; Bharti Kher, 'Six Women', 2013-15, plaster of paris, wood, metal; Cevdet Erek, 'Room of Rhythms – Long Distance Relationship', 2016, mixed media and architectural additions

Taking over a heritage convict barracks, Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota's spooky 'Conscious Sleep' installation is a wow, tangling old, upended dormitory beds in a spider's web of black threads. For subtle work 'Piedra en el Zapato', Colombia's Miguel Angel Rojas has crafted a fake, geometric-tiled floor from lime, charcoal powder and mixed materials in an old convict building. New Delhi-based Londoner Bharti Kher peoples an old room with touching nude plaster sculptures in 'Six Women'. By contrast, Turkish artist Cevdet Erek's 'Room of Rhythms – Long Distance Relationship' fills a ruined structure with sound art beats, emanating from black boxes.

BELOW: Sheila Hicks, 'The Embassy of Chromatic Delegates', 2015-16, sculptural elements, various fabrics, bamboo; Taro Shinoda, 'Abstraction of Confusion', 2016, clay, pigment, ochre, tatami mats; Nyapanyapa Yunupingu, 'Bathala', 2012, natural earth pigments on hollow log

Art Gallery of New South Wales: Embassy of Spirits
Art Gallery Road, Sydney
If colour and texture turn you on, then hit the Art Gallery of NSW for American artist Sheila Hicks’ sculptural ensemble ‘The Embassy of Chromatic Delegates’. Vibrant linen, cotton, nylon, polyester, bamboo and wood combine to form a dazzling acid-bright work (imagine this painterly palette used for high-impact rugs, wallpaper or cushions). Hicks’ acrylic-fibre ‘The Questioning Column’ hangs on the gallery’s facade, draped around a classical column like a rainbow waterfall. A world away, Tokyo’s Taro Shinoda channels minimal, neutral-hued interiors, with his ‘Abstraction of Confusion’, a simple tatami-mat platform that embraces simplicity and meditation. Shinoda’s hand-built installations and contemplative sculptural works are informed by karesansui, traditional Japanese garden design. Yirrkala-born indigenous artist Nyapanyapa Yunupingu’s forest of logs almost has an oriental quality; stripped-back nature meets graphic mark-making.

BELOW: Nine Beier, 'Allegory of Charity', 2015, ceramic cups, coffee beans, resin, wood, metal; Céline Condorelli, 'Structure for Communicating with Wind', from the series 'Additionals', 2012-13/2016, metallicised space blanket, curtain tape

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia: Embassy of Translation
140 George Street, The Rocks
Danish artist Nina Beier caught our eye at the MCA with her striking installation ‘Allegory of Charity’, a series of suspended ceramic cups pouring coffee beans onto ‘Tileables’, a patchwork floor of outsize ceramic tiles. Think T.S. Eliot’s poem ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’: 'I have measured out my life in coffee spoons'. French talent Céline Condorelli’s fluttering gold curtain, ‘Structure for Communicating with Wind’, draws on architecture and notions of support, with a metallicised space blanket wafting in space.

Artspace: Embassy of Non-Participation
43-51 Cowper Wharf Road, Woolloomooloo
A former artists’ squat turned experimental gallery, Artspace is showing London artist duo Karen Mirza and Brad Butler, including neon work ‘You are the Prime Minister’, backdropped by plush red curtains.

ABOVE: Karen Mirza/Brad Butler, 'You are the Prime Minister', 2014, neon
BELOW: Daniel Boyd, 'What Remains', 2016, site-specific installation, mirrored dots, synthetic polymer paint; Keg de Souza, 'We Built This City' installation, 2016, tents, tarps, hessian sacks, mixed media; Bo Christian Larsson, 'Fade Away, Fade Away, Fade Away,' 2016, mixed-media and performative installation

In-between Spaces
Scattered around town, fringe installations and acts also beckon, especially in the inner-west. One of our favourites is at Redfern Wall on the corner of Vine and Eveleigh streets near aboriginal heartland The Block. ‘What Remains’, by Sydney Kudjila/Gangalu artist Daniel Boyd, is a site-specific constellation of 12,000 mirrored dots covering a chunky corner of wall, backed by black paint. It shimmers and sparkles, reflecting passersby, and looks inky black or midnight blue depending on the light. For 'We Built This City', Perth-born Keg de Souza constructs a patchwork tent dwelling on Redfern's Vine Street. Wrapping up, literally, on a deathly note, Swede Bo Christian Larsson’s ‘Fade Away, Fade Away, Fade Away’ sees gravestones in Newtown’s Camperdown Cemetery covered in white fabric, creating ghostly sculptures from found-objects. Whipped up in his on-site workshop, they look not unlike pale Scandi chair covers. Who said art and decor can't be bedfellows?

The 20th Biennale of Sydney runs at citywide venues until Sunday 5 June 2016
biennaleofsydney.com.au