Indigenous Design - Nicole Monks and Lucy Simpson
Thurs, 29 Sept, 6 - 8pm
- When 29 Sep - 23 Nov 2016
101-115 William Street, Darlinghurst, NSW
The histories of Indigenous craft and design are integral to understanding our world with the design of many Indigenous objects having been sustained for tens of thousands of years. For example the Aboriginal dilly bag can be traced back some 50,000 years.
Recognising these histories, the Australian Design Centre has hosted seminal exhibitions devoted to exhibiting the works of Indigenous artists and designers including, Maningrida: The language of weaving, one of the largest surveys of Indigenous craft undertaken in Australia, and the ambitious and ground-breaking show, Art on a String, featuring 98 works by 60 Indigenous artists, acknowledging both the individual practitioners and their continuing cultural traditions.
The latest exhibition, Indigenous Design, features the creative output of the 2016 recipients of the $20,000 Arts New South Wales Indigenous Design Mentorship: Nicole Monks and Lucy Simpson. The two designers have been working with Australian Design Centre and selected community and industry mentors throughout the year to develop work for this exhibition.
The result of Nicole Monks’ creative endeavour is a furniture collection inspired by the strength and symbolism of the kangaroo. Monks is an inter-disciplinary practitioner working across furniture design, photography, and sculpture. In describing her work in the exhibition, Marlu (Kangaroo), Monks says “… these objects are designed to enable people to physically evoke the body’s memories of our past and create stories for the future. Using the campfire as a meeting place, and a place where women would weave, cook, and pass down story, I have re-created this with a contemporary edge… The furniture lends itself to starting a conversation about [the cross-cultural backgrounds of many aboriginal people living today] and creating a community not just an aesthetic object.”
Lucy Simpson, a Sydney-based artist and designer and graduate from UNSW Art & Design, has created a mixed-media installation exploring notions of spirit, soul, and life essence, which translates as Dhuwi in Yuwaalaraay, and is also the title of her work. The overall sensory affect of the installation enables, in the words of Simpson, viewers to gage “the inner energies embedded within our cultural objects”. The works reflect, say Simpson, “an exploration of value, power, and meaning, developed as part of a process connecting to cultural materials, philosophies, and processes on and away from country.” Well-known for the story-telling and narrative strengths of her art and design works, Simpson hopes to translate the often unseen and unheard worlds of Aboriginal design and immerse audiences in an experience of deeper connectedness.
The exhibition will be opened by Tess Allas, Director of Indigenous Programs at UNSW Art & Design, and Uncle Allen Madden will perform the Welcome to Country.
In Conversation with Yuwaalaraay designer Lucy Simpson and guest
Lucy and special guests take a group through her exhibition explaining the deeper meaning and back stories to her pieces followed by a seated, informal talk with Q&A.
With a performance by Nardi Simpson (The Stiff Gins).
When: Tuesday 11 October, 6pm to 8pm
Nicole Monks Public Program: Yarning & Yarning Workshop
A cosy workshop hosted around Nicole’s table, Nyinajimanha (Sitting Together). Nyinajimanha is a place for passing on knowledge, creating objects and developing deeper connections. Join a small group lead by a storyteller, learn to knit and weave whilst sharing yarns.
When: Saturday 8 October, 11.30am - 3pm
4 x 45 minute workshops
Mentorship Panel Discussion
A panel discussion hosted by Australian Design Centre in collaboration with Women in the Arts exploring the value of mentoring and the mentor/mentee relationship. Facilitated by WIA's Isabelle Hore-Thorburn and Katie Winten, speakers include Lucy Simpson, Nicole Monks and Terri Winter from Top3 by Design. Ticket price includes a drink on arrival.
When: Thursday 10 November, 6 - 8pm