11 February to 17 December 2011
Marco Chan, Hannah Dalrymple, George Thompson, Kimberley Dixon, Deirdre Pearce, Annabelle Davidson and Edward Collett
Dierdre Pearce, collection, 2011, shell-cast plaster and mixed media, dimensions variable. Photography: Art Atelier Photography
Harvest by Diana Hare, Guest Curator
In a city that explodes with creative talent, Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre has selected a new crop of talented graduates for the Harvest series of emerging artist award exhibitions. The award highlights the talents of local emerging artists Marco Chan, Hannah Dalrymple, George Thompson, Kimberley Dixon, Dierdre Pearce, Annabelle Davidson, Elaine Bradley, and Edward Collett.
In celebration of the organisations forty year milestone, the Centre offered a record number of award exhibitions to emerging artists in 2011. The series of exhibitions acknowledged the high level of skill achieved by these eight graduating artists from the Australian National University, University of Canberra and the Canberra Institute of Technology.
These emerging artists are representative of the professional artists of our region, and the Centre is committed to supporting professional development through the exhibition award program. This provides assistance for emerging artists and designers at the beginning of their independent studio practice. This opportunity also encourages practitioners to remain in the region and to stay connected with local art, craft and design organisations who are able to promote, support and assist practitioners throughout their careers.
Marco Chan is a graduate of Industrial Design from the University of Canberra. Design is at the core of Chan's professional practice and he believes is the key to improving the existing world, "It changes peoples behavior, beliefs and their future". Applying lateral thinking, as suggested by Dr. Edward De Bonoi to his work, aiming to observe, think, do and make to create original ideas, combined with critical thinking and market research, Chan has established a core design principle of creativity, quality, form and function.
Chan's graduate design, Origin, was exhibited in the Centre's curated exhibition Embracing Innovation alongside ten established craft artists and designer makers who are exploring new areas in trans-disciplinary research, technology and design. Origin is a solar powered, single-seat concept vehicle, designed to change how people think, drive and live. Chan wanted to emphasise the original meaning of transportation, of moving people from one place to another, instead of social status. Powered by the sun, the origin of energy and the feet, the origin of transportation, Origin may be the future of safe green transportation.
Hannah Dalrymple is a graduate of the Australian National University School of Art Gold and Silversmithing Workshop. Inspired by the mechanics of clocks, Dalrymple created the Animotive series of rings, brooches and pendants. Using the familiar clock parts and casting components in aluminium and stainless steel, Dalrymple created small kinetic sculptures.
There is an eloquent synergy between the mechanics of a clock which transforms stored energy into movement when wound or tightened. Dalrymple has retained this sense of movement in the work, as the components can be set into motion by winding and turning the cogs. Created as one-off pieces through an intensive process of mold making and casting, small batch anodizing and machine lathing, these constructed works are bold geometric statements.
Another up and coming inventor with a passion for improving our lives is George Thompson, a graduate of Industrial Design from the University of Canberra. In response to a Productivity Commission2 report identifying that by the year 2050 Australia's aging population will have out grown the capacity of the aged care workforce, Thompson found a niche in the market and set about filling it.
Through market research and conversations with caring bodies in the Canberra region, Thompson identified the need to provide a new form of assistive technology for the kitchen, developing the Accessible Kitchen. The concept kitchen breaks up the cooking process into stations of activity, by sorting, integrating and prioritising the individual tasks. The principles of the design allow the user to continue to cook and remain in their home well into retirement, alleviating the pressure on aged care services. Thompson presented his concept as part of the 2011 Designing a Capital: Crafting a City program.
Kimberley Dixon is a gold and silversmith who confides "I work with metal because I get too frustrated with fabric". Working in this medium Dixon has developed patience in her creative practice, a stillness that has led her to discover her distinct minimal aesthetic, which focus on repetition, pattern and segmentation. Employing her new found skill to harness processes such as anodizing she has developed a precision finish in her work.
Dixon's graduating body of work Con Brio, was an exercise in creating visual music, converting musical scores into a visual form. Con Brio is a visual interpretation of piano compositions, an abstract version of what is usually an acoustic experience. Dixon has transferred the marks of sheet music onto discs of aluminium through etching, resist dying and hand marking, and into a collection of wearable objects. The acoustics return when the work is worn and the discs collide with one another. Dixon is a graduate of the Australian National University School of Art Gold and Silversmithing Workshop.
Dierdre Pearce is a graduate of the Advanced Diploma of Visual Arts and Design Practice at the Canberra Institute of Technology. Pearce responded to the physical interior space of the Crucible Showcases, creating site specific work. Exhibiting a small scale installation titled collection, Pearce explored the casting process as a metaphor for preserving the ephemeral. Fascinated with books, old journals and paper ephemera, she created a series of paper forms cast in plaster, capturing a moment in time with the text and wrinkles still tangible.
Pearce has drawn on a desire we all have in some form, to collect. Many people collect physical objects; however Pearce suggests an alternative form of collecting is to collect experiences. But how to represent this form of collecting is a question Pearce has delved into. Using family letters and paper ephemera Pearce's cast forms have fossilised sensations of intimacy, melancholy, fragility and tenderness, associated with the nostalgia of these personal documents.
Trained as a graphic designer, glass artist Annabelle Davidson has a firm grasp on the significant role colour can play. Colour features strongly in global marketing communication, used as symbols and signs, as representations of physical items or experiences and serving as an emotion elicitor.
Davidson's graduating body of work, the Mast series, utilises her knowledge of colour combined with the sculptural properties of glass of light, form and rhythm to portray emotion. Davidson drew from personal recollections and memories of her father, assembling colours she associated with his daily life to create abstract portraits of his moods. She continues to expand this concept, broadening her research to create portraits of generalised emotions. Annabelle Davidson is a graduate of the Australian National University School of Art Glass Workshop.
The influence behind Elaine Bradley's work is revealed in her personal anecdote: "When we were starting a family, a willy-wagtail made its nest in the awning outside our bedroom window. Together we made our homes, nested, became families and guided our offspring into the worlds. Observing similarities of our experiences felt like a secret collusion and blessing."
Bradley's series of nest forms are a personal response to the concept of home and are evocative of notions of family, familiarity, safety, containment, frailty and vulnerability. The layering of printed imagery on the surfaces, adds a depth and rich narrative to the forms, again referencing nesting through the use of branches and twig imagery. Elaine Bradley is a graduate of the Australian National University School of Art Ceramics Workshop.
Edward Collett favors simple and effective design; designing for practicality and functionality, where a need is identified and the product designed to fulfill it. Collett embraces experimentation with new materials, processes and skills. He utilises materials associated with construction, such as marine ply, Oregon and stainless steel, to construct innovative pieces that have a flexible design allowing a level of customisation. Trio of Cabinets was designed as a solution for apartment living. The pieces are designed to hold an entire wardrobe, with a flexibility to allow for display together, separately or used as a room divider.
Edward Collett is a graduate of the Australian National University School of Art Wood Workshop. Collett was selected by the Centre to exhibit as part of Elements: wood alongside six established craft artists and designer makers.