Review: Life Force installation by Lie Fhung

By Penny Craswell

Indonesian-born, Hong Kong-based artist Lie Fhung has created an installation work called Life Force II that was recently shown as part of her solo exhibition “Life Force” at the dia.lo.gue artspace in Jakarta.

Lie Fhung, Life Force II 2017, Photo: Sefval Mogalana

The installation features Fhung’s signature materials – clay and metal – consisting of a series of hanging elements in porcelain, glass and copper wire, dramatically lit against the matte black and dark timber-floored exhibition space. Each of the porcelain pieces is fragile, made with super thin clay. Lit as they are, some encased within glass bell jars, these objects acquire a certain precious quality, like little birds with broken wings.  Read more

Review: Under the Sea by Tracey Deep

By Penny Craswell

The gently swaying forms of undersea plant life can contain fascinating folds, crinkles and patterns. Tracey Deep is an artist who sees the beauty in ocean plants, even after they have been washed up on a deserted beach. By making sculptures from these forgotten remnants, she introduces us to a world where even the most stinky seaweed can become a thing of beauty.

Sea Urchin, Tracey Deep, burnt willow. Photo: Nicholas Watts

Sydney artist Tracey Deep’s work was recently shown at Saint Cloche gallery in Sydney. In the exhibition text, Dr Prue Gibson draws parallels with the Cabinets of Curiosity or Wunderkammers of the 17th and 18th Century, calling Deep’s work: “her own cabinet of curious natural specimens”. Read more

Review: Crochet, performance and silly hats with Chili Philly

By Penny Craswell


The first solo exhibition of Phil Ferguson AKA Chili Philly at the Australian Design Centre crosses traditional boundaries of art, design, craft and performance.

Pizza by Chili Philly. Read more on The Design Writer blog
Pizza by Chili Philly. Image: courtesy the artist

A series of crochet hats made in bright colours (often in the shape of food or other recognisable fun shapes), the work is simple in some respects, but understanding it as just that would be to sell it short. Ferguson does not make crochet hats as artworks, or even to sell. Instead, he makes the hat, wears the hat and posts an image of himself wearing the hat onto social media. Read more

Design for good: Wildlife conservation with Egg Picnic

By Penny Craswell

Egg Picnic is a Sydney-based design duo devoted to wildlife conservation. A mutual love of both design and the natural world was the starting point of the partnership which began when Chilean graphic designer and illustrator Camila De Gregorio met Australian industrial designer Christopher Macaluso in Milan in 2009. They found inspiration in each other’s work, collaborating across 2D and 3D to create illustrations, characters, prints, objects and art toys – at first in Milan, then in Santiago.

Galah by Egg Picnic. Image: supplied

Now based in Sydney, the pair sell illustrations, art toys and objects depicting birds and wild animals, using simple lines and shapes to create characters that tread a fine line between art, design and cartoon, but also exude a serene stateliness that is utterly contemporary. Prints of individual species include the Hooded Plover, Australian Magpie, Galah and Spotted Eagle Ray (to name just a few), while larger prints such as Marsupials of Australia or Birds of Australia feature a line up of creatures. All prints are signed and include information about the species with the purchase. 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

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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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).



Performative urban intervention at Art and About Sydney

Art and About finished in Sydney on the weekend for another year. Performative works were big this year, including a wonderful work called “Bodies in Urban Spaces”. The concept is by Viennese artist Willi Dorner who enlists the help of acrobats, climbers and dancers to use their bodies in unconventional ways to fill and layer cityscapes.

Bodies in Urban Spaces as part of Art and About Sydney. Concept: Willi Dorner. Images: courtesy of City of Sydney
Bodies in Urban Spaces as part of Art and About Sydney. Concept: Willi Dorner. Images: courtesy of City of Sydney

Dressed in colourful street clothes and hoodies, the performers find ways to insert themselves into the landscape, wrapping, layering, balancing, planking in and on  the city, often choosing unremarkable structures or corners, in the process transforming the way we see them. Read more