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Biennale of Sydney Cockatoo Island Snapshot

Last week with much fanfare I headed off to the Biennale of Sydney media preview on Cockatoo Island. This is the 19th incarnation of the Biennale in Sydney and it still remains one of the biggest and most talked about art events in Australia. As you would know (unless you have been living under a rock for the past 3 months) this Biennale has been foreshadowed by controversy over its sponsorship by Transfield and artists withdrawing.

This iteration of the Biennale, titled You Imagine What You Desire is under the artistic guidance of Juliana Engberg and it benefits from it greatly. Cockatoo Island is Engberg’s Fantasy space. The 44 works housed there are often grand in scale, rich in metaphor and wildly presented to be discovered and consumed by the audience.

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Planning A Design Brunch

Planning for our Resolved Design Brunch on Saturday April 5th at 10.30am at Lumierè Cafe & Patisserie (St Margaret’s, Surry Hills) is well under way. Sophie (Object’s Development & Communications Coordinator) and I recently had a planning lunch with independent Creative Producer Kathryn Hunyor, who will be hosting the event. We are very excited about having Resolved designers Matt Conway and Marc Harrison joining us to chat about their uniquely Australian inspired designs. The Brunch will carry on from our opening night, which pays tribute to Matt and Marc’s design inspiration by being wool, macadamia and beard themed. I am looking forward to hearing about Matt’s Bale Chair, which uses wool bale material, and Marc’s well- known Husque bowls made from milled macadamia shells.


Annette Mauer is Object’s Head of Learning and the Creative Producer of Resolved: Journeys In Australian Design.

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Big Crowds in Japan for Australian Exhibition

Almost 37,500 people flocked to see the Australian Exhibition at the 2nd International Triennale of Kogei (Craft) at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, Japan. Curated by Steven Pozel and Lisa Cahill, this exhibition included 36 works by 20 Indigenous artists. The collection represents many of the artists and communities who have taken part in Object’s exhibitions over the past decade.

Artists included: Danie Mellor; Lorraine Connelly-Northey; Lola Greeno; Regina Wilson; Megan Yunipingu; Sharon Djalambarr; Judy Manany; Mavis Warrngilna Ganambarr; Anne Dixon; Eunice Yunurupa Porter Warakurna; Ruby Gubiyarrawuy Guyula; Penny Milingu Wanapuyngu; Lucy Malirrimurruwuy Wanapuyngu; Nellie Nambayana; Florence Minyjway Ashley; Linda Minawala Bidingal; Roseanne Maywada Malibirr; Mary Jinguwaraba; Susan Balbunga and Noreen Maday Ashley.

Sydneysiders can see the work of Lorraine Connelly-Northey in New Weave at Object Gallery until 29 March 2014.

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Weaving Stories

More New Weave artist Lorraine Connelly-Northey stories from when we visited WeAve Parramatta last week. Sitting around a table with women from so many different cultural backgrounds, together we listened to Lorraine share her stories so openly and encourage the weavers’ creativity.

Lorraine spoke about her mixed heritage and how she is keen to embrace both her Scottish and Aboriginal blood in her artwork. She spoke about how unusual it was for an Aboriginal woman of her generation to finish year 12 and how this gave her a start in life and a wonderful appreciation for life long learning. 

 

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The Lorraine and Jonathan show…

Last Thursday night a big crowd gathered in amongst the beautiful works in New Weave to listen to a conversation between artist Lorraine Connelly-Northey and curator Jonathan Jones.  We were so privileged to be ‘flies on the wall’ in an intimate conversation that revealed much about Lorraine’s life story and the inspirations for her art practice. 

Returning home to Swan Hill, from a decade in Adelaide working in the public sector, as a new mother, Lorraine spent some time working out what the next phase of her life would be. Her father, a farmer of Scottish heritage, was an inspiration taking his children out bush to learn about their mother’s land. They spent time foraging in country tips for materials for spare parts for farm equipment. Lorraine’s father reminded her of this early experience and, when she expressed an interest in following a creative path, he suggested she use a discarded piece of tin from a scrap yard – this was to be the beginnings of the career of this most distinguished and collectible artist.

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Listen: Jonathon Jones & Lorraine Connelly-Northey In Conversation

On Thursday 6 March, 2014, Object Gallery played host to a conversation between independent curator Jonathon Jones and New Weave: Contemporary Approaches to the Traditions of Weaving artist Lorraine Connelly-Northey. Speaking in front of a full and engaged audience, squeezed in amongst the stunning works on show, the two chatted for well over an hour, talking about Connelly-Northey’s background, how she likes to works, and what her process is.

In an often-hilarious conversation, Connelly-Northey took us into many different corners of her life, her past, and her inspiration. Crackly though the audio may be in part, rarely has an artist talk met with such hilarity.

Stream the audio live below, or download to take with you on your next walk or plane trip. And don’t forget to check out New Weave at Object Gallery before it closes on 29 March, 2014.

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Visiting Flinders Island With Lola

This is my last day at Flinders Island working towards the Lola Greeno: Cultural Jewels exhibition and monograph.  , the videographer and I, have been busily capturing Lola on her home country; taking us to those special places from her early life and showing us the back breaking work entailed in collecting the specific shells for her necklaces.

Yesterday Lola showed us how she picked the She-oak apples (nuts) from the Casurina trees that grow everywhere on the island.

I just have time for a quick visit to the Furneaux Museum before heading to the airport for our trip back to mainland Tasmania. What an amazing week it has been.

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Collecting The Maireeners

Third day on Flinders Island and the weather is magnificent – sunny and warm. The water is surprising warm thank goodness as Lola is standing in knee high water for several hours while Julie and I record her harvesting maireener shells off the live kelp.
Today we are at a very rocky outcrop (one of those secret locations!). Very remote and difficult to reach we had to trek in with all the equipment down an extremely rocky track for 2k, then along the beach at sunrise until we reached our destination. Maireener and grey gull shells have been collected, both alive. Quite a back breaking task as the grey gull shells are found on the rocks and boulders and you have to get up close to pick the right ones. The maireeners at this beach are small and green. Depending on the location, water and kelp they can vary in colour from greens to blue, white and yellow.

 

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Waiting for Claire…..

Our new Head of Programs, Claire McCaughan will start at Object on 10 March. The team is eagerly awaiting her arrival. We have been experimenting and prototyping new forms of programming for some years now, keen to keep up with, and even stay ahead of a rapidly changing cultural offering. The new position is a significant appointment for Object, furthering our commitment to shake things up. 

Claire co-founded Archrival, where she also serves as Director and was an Associate at Sam Crawford Architects from 2006-2013. She has been involved in a number of successful audience engagement programs. She is interested in the strategic value in actively promoting a wider view of the design discipline and explores the re-convergence of art, architecture, design, craft and audience interaction.

With Claire leading the creative team, we hope to build on our strengths and bring you new and surprising exhibitions, experiences and events, be it in person or online.

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Touring Tasmania With Lola

Well here I am in Flinders Island standing atop Vinegar Hill looking out over Franklin Sound to Cape Barren Island, Big Dog Island and the Pot Boiler at the entrance of the sound – places that Lola Greeno, our 8th Living Treasure talks about in her monograph Lola Greeno: Cultural Jewels. Finders Island is a remarkable place situated in Bass Strait off the North Eastern tip of Tasmania. The weather is quite remarkable, not cold or wind blown this time of the year – more Mediterranean in climate.

What am I doing here? Well this is the traditional home of our Living Treasure Lola Greeno, and Julie Gough and I have accompanied Lola and her husband Rex back here to capture images - both on film and photographs - of Lola collecting shells from some of the beaches; but more importantly to record the harvesting of the rare and endangered maireener shells particular to the Furneaux Islands.

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What's on

TOURING EXHIBITION

Resolved: Journeys in Australian Design

Tamworth Regional Gallery, NSW 14 February - 11 April 2015

An exhibition of the most compelling works from 12 designers from the highly acclaimed “Workshopped” exhibitions held in Sydney. Workshopped has discovered, nurtured and launched the careers of...
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TOURING EXHIBITION

Lola Greeno: Cultural Jewels

Western Plains Cultural Centre NSW, 18 April – 28 June, 2015

Lola Greeno: Cultural Jewels is the eighth in our Living Treasures: Masters of Australian Craft series. Our first Indigenous Living Treasure, Greeno is a shellworker and artist from Tasmania, whose...
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TOURING EXHIBITION

CUSP: Designing into the Next Decade

State Library of Queensland 01 November 2014 - 14 February 2015

Over the last number of years Object: Australian Design Centre has explored many notions of design. From Freestyle: new Australian design for living in 2006 to HYPERCLAY: Contemporary Ceramics in...
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