Rigg Design Prize 2018

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2018’s inspiring Rigg Design Prize celebrates 10 of the best Australian interior design practices

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

Interiors gets their hour in the sun at the 2018 Rigg Design Prize exhibition at Melbourne’s NGV Australia, which runs until 24 February 2019. Celebrating different contemporary design disciplines, the triennial prize focused on interior design and decoration for the first time in 2018, shortlisting 10 leading Australian practices. Each was tasked with creating a bespoke, purpose-built room in the gallery, responding to the theme of ‘Domestic Living’. The results are inspiring, suggesting fresh ways of inhabiting our homes, new trends and creative solutions to modern pressures. Even if you can’t get to Melbourne, check out our round up the 10 designs below…

HECKER GUTHRIE
Melbourne design practice Hecker Guthrie (aka Paul Hecker and Hamish Guthrie) bagged the AU$30,000 triennial prize for their graphic yet tactile installation ‘The table is the base’ (above). Riffing on the idea of the humble table, and its charismatic central role in domestic living spaces, the custom-made room plays with clean lines, form and scale. It explores the table as surface, support and enclosure. Judge Shashi Caan said, ‘Using only two elements – the simple form of the ‘Parsons’ table and terracotta as material – the project demonstrates the power of design restraint and curiosity at play.’


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MARTYN THOMPSON STUDIO
New York-based Australian photographer and designer Martyn Thompson’s space celebrates the ‘Atelier’, channelling the modern blurring of work and home life as an opportunity for creative expression. Bathed in light and shadow, his moody space features many of his own designs – including upholstery textiles, rugs, ottomans, wall treatments, ceramics, art and photos shown alongside collaborative, vintage, found and hand-crafted pieces. Even Thompson’s records, shoes and fleamarket finds make the cut. Clothes are hung like artworks and ambient music generates emotion. Flexible and ever-evolving, this is the home as heartland, layered, textural and deeply personal.


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DANIELLE BRUSTMAN
Like a chic spaceship or cool club, Danielle Brustman’s installation ‘Inner-Terior’ is somewhere we’d like to hang out. It helps that it stars a contemporary update of a cocooning, conversation pit and a futuristic record player (shown above right). A set designer before founding her Melbourne studio, Brustman drew on theatrical aesthetics for this curvy white space, edged with vibrant colour, glossy metallics and eye-catching illuminations. A lounge room that borrows from stage and spectacle, it takes its cues from Art Deco bandshells, European retro-futurist designs from the 60s, 80s movie Xanadu, rollerskating rinks and amusement rides. We reckon it’s 2001: A Space Odyssey gone domestic.


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THE SOCIETY INC BY SIBELLA COURT
Stylist and author Sibella Court, of Sydney interiors store The Society Inc, has always had a love affair with global curios, vintage finds, old tools, pirates and gypsies. For her Rigg Prize entry, dubbed the ‘Imaginarium’, she envisaged a space to ‘wonder, imagine, interact, research and create’. An entire home distilled into a single room, it feels darkly magical, with a rich mix of materials from pressed metal to wood and fabric. Layers of textures and colours, old and new, and real and imagined offer a modern take on a 16th-century ‘cabinet of curiosities’. The space celebrates craft, with displayed objects, including a striking feature wall, acting as a catalyst for memory and imagination. From an alchemy workshop to a ship’s crow’s nest, a bar, dress-up cupboard and pot-belly stove, it’s a mini world of wonders.


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RICHARDS STANISICH
Texture rules in the mesmerising tone-on-tone sculptural installation crafted by Richards Stanisich, titled ‘Our natural needs in a digital world’. The Sydney practice, established in 2018 by former SJB talents Jonathan Richards and Kirsten Stanisich, addresses our fundamental need for shelter, sanctuary, hygiene and intimacy and how it has been transformed by integrated technology and the Internet of Things. A central ochre living, sleeping and kitchen space champions the handmade, simple and earthy, with natural fabrics, ceramics and tiles. By contrast, it’s surrounded by black gloss tiles edged with blue light, representing the digital realm.


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FLACK STUDIO
Melbourne interior architecture firm Flack Studio has a way with vibrant colour, bold pattern and unexpected details, as seen in their striking portfolio of residential spaces, cafes, restaurants and boutiques. For the Rigg Prize, David Flack and his team ‘Flackify’ their living/dining space with saturated gold hues, luxe textures and quirky art and ornaments. ‘We’ve boundless plains to share’ references diversity and inclusion, creating an emotionally charged room for a golden age in Australia, encouraging collaboration and community.


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ARENT&PYKE
Elegance and beauty are at the heart of ‘Home: feast, bathe, rest’ by Sydney interior design studio Arent&Pyke (Juliette Arent and Sarah-Jane Pyke). The smartly zoned space combines areas for dining, washing and retreating, offering ideas for respite and emotional and physical wellbeing in a stressful world. Each area includes a contemporary Australian artwork and a bespoke piece of furniture, blending inspiring design-art with comforting, restorative simplicity.


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AMBER ROAD
Sydney interior design and landscape practice Amber Road’s seductive space ‘Take it outside’ is full of burnt colours, floaty textiles and dreamy desert and starlit views, centred around an inviting lounger. It celebrates the verandah or porch as a key transitional zone for relaxing and chatting together, especially in Australian homes. Principal designers and sisters Yasmine Ghoniem and Katy Svalbe spent time in the Middle East, as well as on their family farms in Australia, capturing this heritage in a beautifully crafted indoor-outdoor room.


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DAVID HICKS
Have homes become inner sanctums, fortresses or vessels for consumerist ideals? Melbourne- and LA-based David Hicks studio presents ‘Panic room’, combining Hicks’ trademark eye for luxe detail with lighting strung on chunky chains and threatening screens. It’s a slick satire on our panicked, media-saturated times, suggesting a life on stage, voyeuristic and yet paranoid about threats from outside. Has the aspirational ideal of a perfect life morphed into homes as psychological retreats and cocoons for self-protection?


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SCOTT WESTON ARCHITECTURE DESIGN
A sequence of six rooms forms ‘Wunderkammer’, an installation by Sydney-based Scott Weston Architecture Design which takes its cue from the renovation of Weston’s own Victorian Italianate terrace house, Villa Carmelina. Each contains a cabinet, or wunderkammer, featuring prized ‘jewels’, miniature artworks by favourite makers. An abstract representation of the house, it makes use of monochrome dioramas with coloured highlights and wallpaper vignettes or ornaments and collectibles.

Catch the Rigg Design Prize 2018 at Level 3, NGV Australia, Federation Square, Melbourne until Sunday 24 February 2019 (10am-5pm) or see the gallery’s website for a virtual tour and online interviews with the designers

Northern Design Festival 2017

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This year's Northern Design Festival in the North of England champions good design, from furniture to graphics and material innovation

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

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Forget Geordie Shore! For exciting action up north, head to the UK's Northern Design Festival, celebrating inspiring design at six venues across Newcastle and Gateshead. Running from 3 to 8 November, the annual showcase includes 50-plus designers, nine exhibitions, installations, talks and tours, taking in products, furniture, lighting, textiles, ceramics, fashion, graphic design, illustration and architecture. 2017's theme is 'Material Matters', explored by a host of northern, national and international talents, with special commissions from designers and artists.

Major one-day symposium Design NOW kicks things off on Friday 3 November, attracting big-name speakers including Lancashire-born, Leeds-trained graphic artist, printmaker and designer Anthony Burrill, whose clients include Google, Apple, Hermès and London's Design Museum. Alongside established talent, you'll find emerging names, with shows such as 'Chairs and Lamps' presenting prototypes by five second-year students from Northumbria University's BA (Hons) 3D Design programme. 

Keen to join industry insiders on the design trail? The festival's exhibition hub is at historic venue The Assembly House on Newcastle's Watergate Road, alongside nearby Cooper's Studios. Here are six FizzPicks to get you started... 

ABOVE: Graphic design exhibition 'Unforsaken (Part 1)' was conceived by Jimmy Turrell, who worked on Beck's video (still, shown)
ABOVE RIGHT: 'Wireless' lamp by Georgina Heighton for student exhibition 'Chairs and Lamps' at The Assembly House


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UNFORSAKEN (PART 1)
The Assembly House, 55 Westgate Road, Newcastle

Graphic artist and director Jimmy Turrell, who has worked with Adidas, Beck and The Guardian, will present exhibition 'Unforsaken (Part 1)', which explores beauty found in unexpected places. In 2016, Turrell rescued a job lot of 1,000 vintage books and objects from eBay, before using them as a base for screenprinting, drawing and painting. Discarded and forgotten materials, from ski manuals to scrapbooks of the Norwegian royals, are salvaged with style.

ABOVE: UK graphic designer Jimmy Turrell's vinyl record and cover design for Beck's new album 'Colors'


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DANIEL SCHOFIELD
The Assembly House, 55 Westgate Road, Newcastle

Up-and-coming UK design talent Daniel Schofield – who has bagged an award from Elle Decoration magazine – gets a solo show and a chance to share new work, from furniture to lighting and accessories. Warwickshire-born, Sheffield-trained Schofield has previously collaborated with top British brands Benchmark, Conran and Skandium, and his simple, contemporary pieces draw on materials from brass and oak to enamelled volcanic stone, paring forms back to chic essentials. He has a background in both graphic design and carpentry, and it shows.

ABOVE: Young British design talent Daniel Schofield will present new work at The Assembly House


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AURORA
The Assembly House, 55 Westgate Road, Newcastle

Known for innovative surface materials, sculptures and architectural works, Giles Miller has crafted a new installation – 'Aurora' – for the festival. Past clients of the London studio include Stella McCartney and the V&A, with creations involving a mix of high-tech and the handmade. A 'composer of materials', Miller took inspiration from the Northern Lights for his latest piece, which incorporates around 2,000 mirror-finish, stainless steel 'pennies', suspended within a structural lattice, designed to harness diverse reflections while still being visually permeable.

ABOVE: Giles Miller's dramatic new 'Aurora' installation, a sculptural lattice of mirror-finish, stainless steel discs throwing out reflections


ART ON PAPER SINCE 1885
The Assembly House, 55 Westgate Road, Newcastle

Discover iconic printed designs from the G . F Smith archives at 'Art on Paper since 1885', including work by influential contributors Saul Bass, Milton Glaser and Paul Rand. Founded in 1885 as a paper merchants, the Hull- and London-based British firm has a legacy of creative collaborations with graphic designers, artists and photographers, with promotional and marketing materials under the spotlight here. Names in the frame include Made ThoughtStudio Makgill and SEA.

ABOVE: Printed works, spanning promotional and marketing materials, from 'Art on Paper since 1885' showcasing the G . F Smith back catalogue


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NEW BOOSBECK
Part of a growing movement committed to social design and enterprise, New Boosbeck helps the unemployed, community groups and public to build furniture, with more than 130 people gaining valuable work experience and skills to date. Led by artist Adam Clarke, and inspired by Boosbeck Industries, a 1930s initiative to tackle unemployment with creativity, it produce bespoke pieces for sale. Check out the results here.

ABOVE: A wooden chair created by members of social enterprise group New Boosbeck, celebrated at Northern Design Festival


DESIGN SOURCE
Selling show Design Source is your go-to for a spot of design shopping, with furniture, lighting, products, ceramics, wallpaper, textiles, and jewellery from across the North of England. Selected by industry experts, designers involved include Deadgood, Nick James, North Sea Collaborations and Susi Bellamy. There's also a Pop-Up Shop. 

ABOVE: Selling show Design Source includes work by northern talents Deadgood ('Bute' armchair), Susi Bellamy (cushions, lampshade, ottoman and wallpaper), Godfrey Syrett ('Low Ken' stools and circular 'Harry' table), Nick James (lamp base) and Dove Street Pottery (bowls and jug); European oak 'Fluted' cabinet by Nick James, with fluted doors and drawer fronts; Handmade 'Oak' bench with subtle curves and rounded corners by Nick James; 'Working' table, 'Setter' chairs and 'Pop' rug by Deadgood

ndesignfest.co.uk
Northern Design Festival 2017 runs from 3 to 8 November 2017. All the events listed here are on show at The Assembly House, 55 Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, (entry £2.50; see website for opening hours, and other events at alternative festival venues).

Pictures: Sasa Savic, Guy Archard

Fenton & Fenton Sydney Pop-up

Melbourne interiors store Fenton & Fenton is popping up in Sydney with a colourful 10-day showcase of furniture and art

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

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Melbourne interiors store Fenton & Fenton has garnered a loyal following for its bold, vibrant mix of contemporary furniture, accessories and art, curated with flair. Now the much-loved Prahran trendsetter is coming to Sydney, with 10-day pop-up 'A Home Away From Home' bringing directional design to The Studio in Rosebery from 20 to 29 October. Championing the brand's love of colour, style and travel, the free showroom/gallery event will help you kit out your home, with cutting-edge ideas and inspiration up for grabs.

Eye-catching art will be a major focus, with more than 70 works by 23 established Australian artists on display in a group show, which you can also shop online. Covetable names in the frame include paintings by Michael Bond, Carly WilliamsEmma Gale and Diana Miller, photography by Kara Rosenlund, ceramics by Louise Kyriakou and Jai Vasicek, handblown glass by Amanda Dziedzic, woven wall hangings by Maryanne Moodie, and metal sculptures by Dion Horstmans

Seeking fresh furniture and accessories for summer? The store's new arrivals will be unveiled too, including 'The Riad Collection' of fabulous Moroccan-influenced outdoor chairs, tables, swings and plant pots, which sports graphic patterns in pretty hues. Six room sets, surrounding a pink Moroccan-inspired courtyard, will showcase Fenton & Fenton's chic edit of designs, from living and dining zones to bedrooms, bathrooms and garden spaces. Cushion, throws, rugs, vintage finds and one-off pieces add more pizzazz.

Although the action kicks off on Friday 20 October, the brand is hosting an afternoon House Warming Party on Saturday 21 October (2pm-5.30pm), where you can meet the artists while enjoying aperitivos by Picco and DJ sets by Alice Q. Everyone's welcome, with free entry to both the 10-day event and party – just RSVP first online. Fenton & Fenton's consultants will be on hand to share advice on the collection, colour, styling and trends.

You can also discover Insider Secrets at three ticketed panel talks with creative talents, with themes ranging from sensual homes (6.30pm-8pm, Thursday 26) to entertaining (11am-12.30pm, Friday 27) and displaying art, collections and curios (10am-11.30am, Saturday 28 October). Brand founder Lucy Fenton will take part, alongside stylists, artists, florists, mixologists and chefs, including experts from home sound system Sonos and Australian modern lime paint company Bauwerk, which will launch a bespoke range of six new natural, eco-friendly paint colours at the show. Home sweet home...
www.fentonandfenton.com.au

Fenton & Fenton 'A Home Away From Home – Sydney' is at The Studio, 2/85 Dunning Avenue, Rosebery, Sydney from 20 to 29 October 2017, 10am to 5pm daily. RSVP for the free pop-up event or party, or buy limited tickets in advance for the three talks ($35.57 each)

Folkestone Triennial 2017

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The fourth Folkestone Triennial is in full swing with international artists making their mark by the sea. Come on down, the water's lovely...

BY DEE IVA

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When the first Folkestone Triennial debuted in 2008 in the sleepy English seaside town of Folkestone in Kent, it seemed like a big ask. Twenty-nine internationally acclaimed artists including Tracey Emin, Mark Wallinger and Jeremy Deller were commissioned by White Cube curator Andrea Schlieker to contribute brand new artworks to be installed around town, some to remain on a permanent basis. It was a stroke of genius that immediately put Folkestone on the cultural landscape, blowing away all traces of candy floss and 'kiss me quick' hats in one fell swoop.

Nine years later and Folkestone is hosting the fourth Triennial under the guidance of Lewis Biggs, former director of Tate Liverpool. This is the second Triennial curated by Biggs who took over from Schlieker to host the 2014 Triennial (which became notorious for artist Michael Sailstorfer's Folkestone gold rush, when blocks of gold were rumoured to be buried on the beach, sparking a rush on sales of buckets and spades). This year's show has been titled 'Double Edge' by Biggs, who says, 'The exhibition theme refers to the two main axes around which Folkestone's development has taken place: the seashore and the Pent Stream (also the edge between East and West Folkestone). It's also an invitation to consider the ambiguity and complexity, the double entendre, that is intrinsic to art.'

ABOVE: One of Richard Woods' miniature 'Holiday Home' bungalows floats in Folkestone Harbour
ABOVE RIGHT: Detail from Sol Calero's 'Casa Anacaona'
BELOW: A cast-iron figure from Antony Gormley's 2013 series 'Another Time' stares at the sea

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ABOVE: The junction of the Old High Street and Tontine Street displays Michael Craig-Martin's 'Folkestone Lightbulb' and one of Bob and Roberta Smith's 'Folkestone Is An Art School' banners

Once again, for 2017, major artists are showing works in various locations around town, including David Shrigley's quirky 'Lamp Post' on The Leas. Perhaps the best known is sculptor Antony Gormley who has secreted two cast-iron figures from his 2013 ‘Another Time’ series around Folkestone Harbour. Michael Craig-Martin's ‘Folkestone Lightbulb’ adorns the exterior of a building at the junction of Tontine Street and the Old High Street in Folkestone’s Creative Quarter, and within the same building is a ‘come and play’ workshop set up by Bob and Roberta Smith who has declared that ‘Folkestone Is An Art School’. His signature typography can be seen on signs and banners everywhere and accompany 12 short videos and an inclusive teaching facility and programme. Also in the Creative Quarter is a fleet of gilded ships by Jonathan Wright, 3D-printed replicas of fishing vessels based in or operating out of Folkestone Harbour. These glittering boats are located above eye level atop lampposts in Tontine Street. Educational space The Cube, also in Tontine Street, has been in need of a repaint as its original red coat faded over the years. New York-born artist Sinta Tantra has wrapped it in an eye-catching abstract pattern inspired by the designs of French artist Sonia Delaunay.

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ABOVE FROM LEFT: Ship ahoy! Jonathan Wright's 'Fleet On Foot' vessels glide serenely above street level; Another of Richard Woods' 'Holiday Home' bungalows appears washed up on the beach

Six colourful mini bungalows by designer Richard Woods are dotted around Folkestone in unusual places. On the beach, floating in the harbour or secluded on a clifftop, Woods’ ‘Holiday Home’ is a poignant statement on second homes and the current housing crisis in the UK. His collaborations with Brit design brand Established & Sons and Danish studio Hay have made him a longtime Fizz fave.

A house of a different kind can also be found at sea level. Open sided, Sol Calero’s bright ‘Casa Anacaona’ sits on the shingle inviting you to sit and take in the sea air. With drawings and painting from local children and creatives, and vibrant furniture, it’s the most cheerful and humorous exhibit on display. In complete contrast, around the corner in Folkestone's small sandy bay, stark black angular graphics by Gary Woodley snake around under and over the concrete walkway at the rear of the beach.

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ABOVE FROM LEFT: Gary Woodley's 'Impingement No. 66'; The Cube in Tontine Street is given a makeover by Sinta Tantra

Animating Folkestone, the Triennial encourages visitors and residents alike to explore areas beyond the central shopping streets. Equipped with a comprehensive map you can follow a treasure trail from warren to beach, clifftop to harbour, in search of artworks old and new. This can be thirsty work but luckily there are plenty of tempting spots to refuel. The harbour arm itself now has a number of bars and eateries including a champagne bar in the old lighthouse right at the far end. Mark Sargeant’s Rocksalt, the first notable restaurant to open in town, serves up freshly caught seafood and brasserie-style cuisine and has a first-floor terrace where you can perch for cocktails or tasty bar snacks. Sargeant also owns The Smokehouse, just behind Rocksalt, Folkestone’s finest chippy.

Hang out with the hipsters in the Lime Bar Cafe on Tontine Street or head to Steep Street cafe on the Old High Street for coffee and small bites. The Old High Street is also where you’ll find a clutch of stylish independent shops, such as Kitty McCall, Atelier Feralchild and Maison Marine, as well as stalwart vintage accessories store Rennies.

So if you’re looking for an art fix while soaking up some seaside sun, double-edged Folkestone's the place to tick both boxes in style...
folkestonetriennial.org.uk

The Folkestone Triennial is on now until 5 November 2017. Visit the website for the full roster of artists and programme of events
Pictures by Thierry Bal/Dee Iva

Midnight Modern

Tom Blachford shoots iconic mid-century architecture by moonlight. We're smitten by 'Midnight Modern'...

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

Caught between dream and waking, Tom Blachford's magical-realist photos of classic Modernist architecture are on show at Sydney's Black Eye Gallery in Darlinghurst until Sunday 12 June. What makes the images in 'Midnight Modern' so alluring – apart from the Mad Men-esque residences, cool vintage cars, turquoise pools and towering palms – is that all were photographed during a full moon, bringing a unique light (or should we say darkness?) into the frame.

ABOVE: 'Abrigo Corner I'
BELOW: '888 Regal'

A chance discovery one night led to Melbourne photographer Blachford's love affair with the interplay between architecture, mountains and moonlight. Seeking to avoid the cliché of snapping California's Palm Springs in sunlight, he tried a nocturnal shoot and was blown away by the moonlit glow. Focussing on the desert resort city's iconic mid-century homes, he spent several years revisiting the area, capturing the evocative landscape under five full moons, including a supermoon. The ongoing series is cinematic, tinged with an air of unreality, as if the buildings were model kits or advertising fantasies – sometimes hyper-real and glossy, other times darker, shadowed and more unnerving.

BELOW: 'Frey II'

Shot close to midnight, front on, using long exposures that stretch out passing stars, Blachford's eerily otherworldly yet glamorous images have a dash of a David Lynch movie about them, stripped of people yet high on colour-rich style. Despite their artificial look, the lighting is wholly natural, with no post-production meddling. What man-made illumination there is comes from domestic house, garden and car lights, backdropped by looming desert rocks, cacti and trees.

BELOW: 'Los Robles Affair I'

Working covertly originally, but then in cahoots with the community, Blachford has gained access to inspiring properties including Richard Neutra's 1946 Kaufmann House, Frank Sinatra's legendary 1947 estate Twin Palms by E. Stewart Williams, and the Frey House II by Albert Frey, as well as restored Alexander tract pads. Beautiful, surreal and haunting, his pictures beg the question: "Is anybody home?" and, more mysteriously, "Is anybody out there?"
blackeyegallery.com.au

'Midnight Modern' is at Black Eye Gallery, 3/138 Darlinghurst Road, Darlinghurst, Sydney, until this Sunday 12 June 2016 (open Tue-Sun 10am-6pm)
All photos by Tom Blachford, available in three sizes from Black Eye Gallery. Prices vary for different editions; framed or unframed.