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Melbourne Design Fair 2022

Six designers to look out for at Melbourne Design Week's first collectible design fair.

Warehouse 16, 28 Duke Street, Abbotsford, Melbourne
16-20th
March 2022

By Charlotte Abrahams / 15th March 2022
Adam Goodrum, 'Big Talk', 2020 COURTESY: Adam Goodrum & Luke Evens

Adam Goodrum, ‘Big Talk’, 2020 ($11,000)
COURTESY: Adam Goodrum & Luke Evens

THE DESIGN EDIT champions collectible contemporary design around the world, so we were thrilled to learn that the 2022 edition of Melbourne Design Week is featuring its first ever selling fair dedicated to collectible works by some of Australia’s most established and emerging designers.

Melbourne Design Fair is an initiative of the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), in collaboration with the Melbourne Art Foundation. Running from 16th-20th March, it will showcase works across two platforms: ‘Present’, featuring displays by 13 of the country’s foremost galleries, design organisations, agencies and studios, and ‘Select’, an exhibition of significant works by more than 35 individual Australian design creatives.

Michael Gittings, 'Small Cabinet', 2021 COURTESY: Michael Gittings & Gallery Sally Dan-Cuthbert / PHOTOGRAPHY:Tan Yoowang

Michael Gittings, ‘Small Cabinet’, 2021 (POA)
COURTESY: Michael Gittings & Gallery Sally Dan-Cuthbert / PHOTOGRAPHY:Tan Yoowang

Select’s curator, Simone LeAmon, The Hugh Williamson Curator of Contemporary Design and Architecture at NGV, describes collectible design as “cultural production reflecting our time, offering points of view, commentary or insights into the design and making of objects anchored to function and the rituals of everyday life.”

Lisa Waup, 'Blue Bird', 2021 COURTESY: Lisa Waup & Craft Victoria / PHOTOGRAPH: Henry Trumble

Lisa Waup, ‘Blue Bird’, 2021 (POA)
COURTESY: Lisa Waup & Craft Victoria / PHOTOGRAPH: Henry Trumble

As the country finally re-opens its borders, this fair is a timely chance to explore that production through an antipodean lens. We have had a preview of some of the work on show – here are our highlights:

Takeshi Iue, ‘Madonna and Child Side Table’, 2018  
Drawing on his Japanese heritage, the Adelaide-based furniture designer Takeshi Iue takes a material-based approach inspired by tactile crafts such as origami. His is an exacting, rigorous process involving numerous iterations, but the results are timeless works characterised by their balance, simplicity and beauty.
Showing as part of ‘Select’

Takeshi Iue, 'Madonna and Child', 2018 COURTESY: Takeshi Iue

Takeshi Iue, ‘Madonna and Child’, 2018 ($7,200)
COURTESY: Takeshi Iue

Michael Gittings, ‘Small Cabinet’, 2021
Named as one of the 100 worldwide game-changers in design by Architectural Digest, Italy, in 2021, Michael Gittings makes sculptural furniture that pairs the wild with the industrial. Made from hand-worked steel, his appealing, vegetal ‘Small Cabinet’ is a reflection of our treatment of the planet.
Showing with Gallery Sally Dan-Cuthbert as part of ‘Present’

Ebony Russell, ‘Terra Cotta: Frilly Vase with Gold Decorations’, 2021 
Ceramic artist Ebony Russell is interested in the notions of nostalgia and desire held in the objects we collect. She uses cake-piping techniques to create decadent, material-defying porcelain forms, such as ‘Terra Cotta: Frilly Vase’, which was inspired by the loutrophoros jars used in ancient Greek wedding and funeral rites.
Showing with Modern Times Gallery as part of ‘Present’

Ebony Russell, 'Frilly Vase with Gold Decorations', 2021 COURTESY: Ebony Russell & Modern Times Gallery

Ebony Russell, ‘Frilly Vase with Gold Decorations’, 2021 ($1,900)
COURTESY: Ebony Russell & Modern Times Gallery

Adam Goodrum, ‘Big Talk armchair’, 2020
Adam Goodrum is one of Australia’s best-known designers. His modular, moulded foam lounge chair ‘Big Talk’, with its distinctive ombre striped upholstery, is a colourful, contemporary take on the Victorian love seat. As Goodrum explains, “two or more seats can be joined together in an undulating arrangement so people can have a quiet conversation, side-by-side while viewing the back of the other person’s seat and the spectrum of graduated coloured bands.”
Showing as part of Select

Olive Gill-Hille, ‘Stance’, 2021 
Olive Gill-Hille is a multi-disciplinary artist and designer concerned with applying abstract concepts to practical objects. Referencing the human body, as well as shapes and forms from the natural environment, her experimental wood structures transform static pieces of furniture into dynamic functional sculptures.
Showing with Gallery Sally Dan-Cuthbert as part of ‘Present’

Olive Gill, 'Hille Stance', 2021 COURTESY: Olive Gill & Gallery Sally Dan-Cuthbert / PHOTOGRAPH: Lajos Varga

Olive Gill-Hille, ‘Stance’, 2021 (POA)
COURTESY: Olive Gill & Gallery Sally Dan-Cuthbert / PHOTOGRAPH: Lajos Varga

Lisa Waup, ‘Cradled’, 2021 
A mixed-cultural First Peoples multidisciplinary artist and curator, Lisa Waup uses found materials ranging from feathers and shells to bottle tops and wire to create intriguing, intricately layered, woven sculptures, body adornments and vessels that tell stories about her own life, and provide connections back to country, family and history.
Showing with Craft Victoria as part of ‘Present’

Lisa Waup, 'Cradled', 2021 COURTESY: Lisa Waup & Craft Victoria / PHOTOGRAPH: Henry Trumble

Lisa Waup, ‘Cradled’, 2021 ($4,900)
COURTESY: Lisa Waup & Craft Victoria / PHOTOGRAPH: Henry Trumble

Melbourne Design Fair

All prices on application.

Article by Charlotte Abrahams
Article by Charlotte Abrahams
Charlotte Abrahams is a writer and curator specialising in design and the applied arts. She trained at Central St Martin’s and since then has written regularly for the national and international press. Her latest book, Love Pattern & Colour (Frances Lincoln) is out now. View all articles by Charlotte Abrahams