The incredible work pictured above is The Decay of Life - glass castings of fruit in various stages of the decaying process. Designer Amanda McKenzie describes her inspiration as "traditional Baroque still life oil paintings (especially Caravaggio) and the different interpretations of its symbology. Symbology and meaning in the still life has changed over the centuries and have been phased out in contemporary art. The introduction of a new model of the still life in a modern and relevant style which can be interpreted in a society of materialistic values."
The work is currently on show at Object as part of Design Now! 2009, Australia's only touring exhibition of student design. Now in its ninth year, Design Now! is a launching pad for young designers, and the exhibition showcases innovative work from 18 graduates of 2008. These finalists were chosen from over 200 nominations by Heads of Departments and lecturers from university art & design schools across Australia.
This year, Design Now! was divided into 6 categories: Design for the Built Environment; Design for the Body; Design for Communication; Design for Studio Production; Design for the Home; and Design for Industry.
We've chosen some of our favourite pieces to share with you, such as Lucy Simpson's Gaawaa Miyay, pictured above. The work is a collection of textiles featuring four prints: Gaawaa, Dhinawan, Walgett and Barigan. Each pattern holds a memory and tells the stories of family and country on cloth. The stories are told in a contemporary context, through the use of Yuwaalaraay language (an Aboriginal nation in Northwest NSW - her country) The incorporation of Indigenous language into the project is a reflection of the language revival currently happening across the country. The designer aims to contribute to this revival, bringing Yuwaalaraay and the stories of her family and country to new lips and ears.
The Object Award for Creative Innovation was jointly awarded to RMIT graduate Anthony Hamilton Smith and UTS graduate Michael Anderson whose winning works are pictured below.
Anthony Hamilton Smith has used locally & sustainably produced ply wood, traditional wood crafting methods, and the principles of Slow design to create his Slow Kitchen, a vehicle (in both a metaphorical and physical sense) to advocate the ideas and philosophy of the Slow Movement. This modular, bicycle-led trailer "transforms into a working kitchen interior, within or adjacent to the primary production site of a chosen slow food ingredient(s)". (Anthony Hamilton Smith)
The Arborist's Blocking Crane by Michael Anderson is a fantastic example of design being a mechanism to create clever, pragmatic solutions to specific problems - in this case, the precarious and dangerous process of lowering sections of tree trunks being removed by an arborist.
I adore these hand-cut metal tree sculptures by Kali Norman. Each of the four pieces have been blackened with patina, so that the viewer's focus is on the shapes & shadows rather than the metal surface. The branches and leaves are bent and curved to reflect the organic nature of the subject and retain a sense of movement.
"My body of work is a study of shadow play and light through the seasons. The idea of light and shadow appeals to me, as it so influential on our mood and state of mind, in particular the effects of dappled light." (Kali Norman)
Isn't Three Greedy Pigs cute?! The ring is from the Bedtime Stories collection comprising of jewellery made from semi-precious stone and "something fun" - plastic animals from a toy store of course!
The two designs above each take a very different approach to sustainable design. On the left is Breeze Way by Krista Lindegger - a revolutionary way of drying clothes naturally. On the right is Scenarios of a Sustainable Future - a series of 7 booklets that communicate everyday scenarios in a fictional but feasible near future. The project illustrates the potential well-being and unconsidered benefits of a future which is disassociated with materialism.
By the way, the new "Wood" issue of Object magazine came out last week!
Indie art & design is the digital baby of graphic design duo Carolyn & Martin (who are now also mum & dad to adorable Liam and Camille). Since 2006, we have showcased the work of Australian independent artists & designers on our blog, and we stock a large variety of beautiful and unique products in our online store.
We take a great deal of care with your orders, and have many return customers who love our range and service. We specialise in art and illustration (now including the work of the talented Amy Borrell and Dan Adams), and unique handmade pieces such as porcelain jewellery and objects by Irene Grishin Selzer of Iggy and Lou Lou... We have aso recently expanded our range of clever and thoughtful kids' products - from the ever-popular B&W Baby Mobile to exquisite clothing by Knuffle Kid, and delightful soft books and toys from Growing World.