Review: Women and Modern Australian printmaking

Guest contributor Belinda Hungerford visits the Art Gallery of NSW exhibition Modern Impressions: Australian Prints from the Collection.

Modernism arrived in Australia at about the same time as other parts of the world and reached all aspects of Australian culture, with its crowning glory arguably the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Modernism was especially embraced by women with its designs quickly adopted in the domestic sphere through soft furnishings, glassware, crockery, furniture, lighting and women’s clothing. Publications such as the Home magazine were also instrumental in promoting the modernist aesthetic. Modern art began to appear on the walls with women not just admirers but practitioners too.

Ethel L Spowers Special edition 1936 colour linocut on thin ivory laid tissue 28.2 x 22.4 cm image; 35.4 x 25.7 cm sheet (irreg.) Art Gallery of New South Wales Purchased 1977

During the 1920s and 1930s women dominated the modern art movement with various speculations relating to social change as to why. In conjunction with the loss of many men during WWI, the profitability of art-making had declined between the wars resulting in a lessening number of male artists. This, in tandem with the growth of social freedom, a development particularly beneficial for women, meant that more and more women were able to pursue careers with many choosing an artistic life. Those with independent means also took the opportunity to travel and study abroad. Read more

Review: Connect(us) light installation by Warren Langley

By Penny Craswell

A ribbon of light twists and turns above a pedestrian street in Perth’s latest urban renewal project, Kings Square, this is Connect(us), the latest light installation by Sydney-based artist Warren Langley.

Connect(us) by Warren Langley, Perth, by night. Photo: Trent Baker
Connect(us) by Warren Langley, Perth, by night. Photo: Trent Baker


Warren has been working with the medium of light and glass for over 30 years, creating individual light installations for the Shanghai World Expo in 2011, as well as more permanent lighting displays and public artworks such as a tower made of glass and light at the Canberra Glassworks and Aspire, a forest of sculptural trees in light under the underpass in Sydney’s Pyrmont, as well as major project for Parliament House Canberra, the Maison de la Opera, Amiens, France and the Centre for Contemporary Art, Tacoma, USA.  Read more

Gelato design at Christmas

The culinary geniuses at Sydney’s Gelato Messina have released an amazing new gelato design in time for Christmas – a giant Christmas bauble which they are calling “Michael Baulblé”.

Michael Baulblé by Gelato Messina is a giant chocolate and ice cream Christmas bauble. Photo: supplied
Michael Baulblé by Gelato Messina is a giant chocolate and ice cream Christmas bauble. Photo: supplied
Michael Baulblé by Gelato Messina served up. Photo: supplied
Michael Baulblé by Gelato Messina served up. Photo: supplied

A gold-dusted chocolate shell hides a spherical ice cream cake flavoured with burnt butter and gingerbread, with pear mousse and fruit mince florentine, and is served with vanilla brandy custard.

“Designing gelato cakes is our version of art,” says the Gelato Messina team. “Each elements comes together to (hopefully) make something look, and taste beautiful. At Messina we love experimenting with new shapes, colours and textures to create something special.”

Just take a look at what happens when you cut into this gelato design delicacy in the video below.

Available via special order from Gelato Messina’s website and can be picked up from select stores in NSW (Rosebery, Miranda and Parramatta), Victoria (Fitzroy) and Queensland (Coolangatta).

More at Gelato Messina

Five of the best design installations at London Design Festival

By Penny Craswell

As a fan of multi-disciplinary design as well as experimental projects, I was pleased to see so many design installations at this year’s London Design Festival. I have already covered three of the best installations in this blog: Heartbeat, an installation of 100,000 white balloons by French photographer Charles Pétillon, and two Faye Toogood installations (The Cloakroom and The Drawing Room) incorporating fashion, curatorship, making and sculpture. Here are five more and why they are interesting.

1) Curiosity Cloud by Viennese studio Mischer’Traxler at the V&A Museum

Curiosity Cloud by Mischler Traxler. Photo: Penny Craswell
Curiosity Cloud by Mischler Traxler. Photo: Penny Craswell
Curiosity Cloud by Mischler Traxler. Photo: PC
Curiosity Cloud by Mischler Traxler. Photo: PC

You enter an ornate room of the V&A filled with 264 suspended blown-glass bulbs hanging from the ceiling. In each bulb, a small insect hand-made out of transparent foil flutters against the side of the glass when it senses your movement. Katharina Mischer (1982) and Thomas Traxler (1981) met while studying at the Design Academy Eindhoven and started their practice in Vienna in 2009. Curiosity Cloud is part of their ongoing collaboration with champagne brand Perrier-Jouët exploring “small discoveries.” Read more

Review: Archeological iPhone at New York art installation

By Penny Craswell

US artist Evan Yee has created an exhibition and installation at the offices of the Fueled Collective in New York that explores technology, future and past, and humanity’s relationship to it through a series of humorous objects, including an iPhossil, which posits a distant future where an iPhone is an archeological find.

The artist Evan Yee poses with Fuelled Collective founders Ryan Matzner and Rameet Chawla. Image: Fuelled Collective
The artist Evan Yee (left) poses with Fueled Collective Director Ryan Matzner (centre) and Fueled Collective Founder and CEO Rameet Chawla (right). Image: Fueled Collective/Evan Yee

The Fueled Collective is a co-working space for start-ups that opened in New York’s trendy So-Ho in 2013, started by Rameet Chawla and Ryan Matzner of mobile development company Fueled.

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Invitation: Shelter Hacks art and architecture discussion

By Penny Craswell

I’m pleased to announce that, as part of The Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation’s Fugitive Structures series, I am curating a series of art and architecture forums, exploring some of the ideas relating to the Fugitive Structures pavilions and installations. The first is on Wednesday 16 September at SCAF in Sydney and is called Shelter Hacks. This discussion is based on Owner Occupy by Hugo Moline and Heidi Axelsen currently showing at SCAF.

Hugo Moline and Heidi Axelsen: Owner Occupy, 2015, Timber dowel, Downee pipe fixings, copper saddles, cotton duck fabric. Prototype installation view, commissioned by Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation.
Hugo Moline and Heidi Axelsen: Owner Occupy, 2015, Timber dowel, Downee pipe fixings, copper saddles, cotton duck fabric. Prototype installation view, commissioned by Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation.

This “conversation curated by Penny Craswell” is moderated by TV and radio presenter Fenella Kernebone and includes four speakers: Tarsha Finney, Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture, UTS; Timothy Horton, Registrar, NSW Architects Registration Board; and Hugo Moline & Heidi Axelsen of MAPAA, architecture-artist duo, creators of Owner Occupy. Read more

Video: ‘Dwelling Installation’ by Dutch artist  Krijn de Koning

Video: ‘Dwelling Installation’ by Dutch artist Krijn de Koning

Too much dreary black and white in your life? This lovely short video features ‘Dwelling Installation’ by Krijn de Koning, a Dutch artist invited by Turner Contemporary to create two works in different locations in Folkestone as part of the Summer of Colour Festival. Thanks to Phaidon for the tip-off on this one (I’m doing some copy-editing on a new architecture book for them).

 

 

Diary: A creative May in Sydney

By Penny Craswell

May is becoming the most inspiring month of the year in Sydney. In addition to the light show at Vivid, which I attended over a number of chilly nights and have reviewed on another post, I have also attended a number of panels and talks this month (in fact within the space of one week) on topics from architecture and design through to writing, gender, television, photography, publishing and business.

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View of Darling Harbour, Sydney from Good Design Forum. Photo: Penny Craswell

Using my tweets as a prompt I thought I would share some of the most inspirational moments in a kind of mini diary of creative inspiration.

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Review: Sydney Festival’s Inside There Falls

By Penny Craswell

Inside There Falls, on at Carriageworks as part of Sydney Festival this month, is the most inter-disciplinary art piece I have ever experienced, combining paper art, installation, sculpture, writing, spoken word, costume design, music and dance. The piece is an installation by UK-based artist Mira Calix, with dancers from the Sydney Dance Company and choreography by Rafaela Bonachela.

Dancers and installation as part of Inside There Falls. Photo: Penny Craswell
Dancers and installation as part of Inside There Falls. Photo: Penny Craswell

As an audience member, the experience begins by being led into a dark room and asked to wear white overalls or coat, and being given a scrunched up paper object to hold. The sound of a woman’s voice  starts to emanate from the object, reading poetry on the body and identity, written by Sydney-based writer Brett Clegg and read by actress Hayley Atwell. Already the mood is set. 

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Bruno Munari’s children’s book Circus in the Mist

A couple of years ago, I contributed a number of texts to the Phaidon Archive of Graphic Design which was my first book contribution and an amazing experience. The Phaidon editors selected every example they commissioned from me – from infographics, to fonts, to magazine covers – and as a result, I learnt so much about graphic design. Even though 26 of my entries were published, for some reason, a few stories I wrote on children’s books and toys were not published – they must have decided to leave these out. So, since it is just sitting there, here is one of the stories I wrote, on a beautiful book by Italian designer and artist Bruno Munari.

Circus in the Mist by Bruno Munari. Image via LOG
Circus in the Mist by Bruno Munari. Image via LOG.

 

Circus in the Mist – or Nella Nebbia di Milano – was created by Italian designer and artist Bruno Munari in 1968. With black illustrations printed on transparent paper, this is not just a children’s book, but an object of play. Read more