A bit of space, a slower pace.

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A rare family portrait, expertly wrangled by the wonderful photographer Nic Duncan at the inlet that we live on, between the river mouth and the beach in Denmark, WA

A rare family portrait, expertly wrangled by the wonderful photographer Nic Duncan at the inlet that we live on, between the river mouth and the beach in Denmark, WA

That’s why I made the decision to leave the city and, as my daughter says, get the country air in us. Design Satellite’s original mission statement of a weekly story from regional and remote Australia may have been *slightly overzealous. A weekly deadline to write, travel, work, renovate, parent – all whilst trying to remember to do an Instagram post and occasionally brush my hair (I thought my days of dreadlocks were over!) could not include my important weekly dose of mind wandering and navel gazing. So Design Satellite continues in a sporadic and random, albeit joyful, way. In between all of this recent pondering and wandering, some interesting things have been happening.


BOWONG.COM.AU I’ve been busily beavering away with the good folks at A Door Ajar on my brand spankin’ new website – featuring art and design projects I have known and loved (and photographed). It looks like this:

The new bowong.com.au website, featuring projects that I am proud as punch of, like this portrait series of artist Rebecca Baumann for Fremantle Arts Centre. Website design and build by A Door Ajar.

The new bowong.com.au website, featuring projects that I am proud as punch of, like this portrait series of artist Rebecca Baumann for Fremantle Arts Centre. Website design and build by A Door Ajar.

The new bowong.com.au website, featuring projects that I am proud as punch of, like this publication for National Gallery of Victoria's Gallery Magazine, featuring Coco Flip. Website design and build by A Door Ajar.

The new bowong.com.au website, featuring projects that I am proud as punch of, like this publication for National Gallery of Victoria’s Gallery Magazine, featuring Coco Flip. Website design and build by A Door Ajar.


STACKWOOD  One of my dearest friends, Sarah Bell, has opened a new concept store in Fremantle. There’s maker studios, an events space, workshops and a green planterley friend to be made for everyone who enters.  I expect to be living in a self made jungle in a matter of weeks. Check out their Instagram feed and get your plant on.

Stackwood owner Sarah Bell (right) with Amy Snoekstra behind the counter. Photo Bo Wong

Stackwood owner Sarah Bell (right) with Amy Snoekstra behind the counter. Photo Bo Wong

Stackwood store products clockwise from left: Burgon and Ball watering can, hand painted pots by Pop and Scott, Ivy Muse plant stands, Muffin Top concrete pot by Balcony Garden on entrance mat by Milk and Sugar Melbourne. All available from Stackwood. Photo Bo Wong

Stackwood store products clockwise from left: Burgon and Ball watering can, hand painted pots by Pop and Scott, Ivy Muse plant stands, Muffin Top concrete pot by Balcony Garden on entrance mat by Milk and Sugar Melbourne. All available from Stackwood. Photo Bo Wong

The shop counter at Stackwood in Fremantle. Olli Ella pom pom belly basket, ceramic pots by Milk and Sugar Melbourne. Photo Bo Wong

The shop counter at Stackwood in Fremantle. Olli Ella pom pom belly basket, ceramic pots by Milk and Sugar Melbourne. Photo Bo Wong


OVER HERE  I’ve been shooting for a wonderful crew of Albany(ish) artists, whose work in textiles is both beautiful and thoughtful, for the Over Here exhibition, curated by Anna Sabadini and hopefully touring soon to a gallery near you.

Anne Walmsley, Bales, 2016, knitted woollen yarn. From the exhibition 2016 Over Here, curated by Anna Sabadini. Photo Bo Wong

Anne Walmsley, Bales, 2016, knitted woollen yarn. From the exhibition 2016 Over Here, curated by Anna Sabadini.
Photo Bo Wong

Anna Sabadini, The Sea 2016 (detail), embroidery thread, canvas and Granite 2016 (on floor), upholstery thread, dressmaking pins, calico. From the exhibition 2016 Over Here at Ron Nyisztor Studio. Photo Bo Wong

Anna Sabadini, The Sea 2016 (detail), embroidery thread, canvas and Granite 2016 (on floor), upholstery thread, dressmaking pins, calico. From the exhibition 2016 Over Here at Ron Nyisztor Studio. Photo Bo Wong


REVEALED One of my favourite events of the year, showcasing emerging Aboriginal artists from all over Western Australia, this exhibition is on at the Fremantle Arts Centre until the 29th May. Everything is for sale at very reasonable prices.

Greg Barr, Untitled, 2015, acrylic and posca on canvas, 91 x 60cm, Installation view. Art Centre: As We Are. On display at Fremantle Arts Centre as part of Revealed, until the 29th May. Photo Bo Wong

Greg Barr, Untitled, 2015, acrylic and posca on canvas, 91 x 60cm, Installation view.
Art Centre: As We Are. On display at Fremantle Arts Centre as part of Revealed, until the 29th May. Photo Bo Wong

Robert Woods, Miru – Spear Thrower 1-17, 2016, mulga wood, spinifex resin, quartzite, sinew, dimensions variable. Narelle Holland, Kanilpa – Winnowing Bowl 1-7, 2016, itara (river red gum), dimensions variable. Narelle Holland, Kanilpa – Winnowing Bowl, 2016, muur-muurpa (desert bloodwood), 64 x 15cm. Narelle Holland, Piti – Collecting Bowl 1-2, 2016, itara (river red gum), dimensions variable. Art Centre: Maruku Arts and Crafts. On display at Fremantle Arts Centre as part of Revealed, until the 29th May. Photo Bo Wong

Robert Woods, Miru – Spear Thrower 1-17, 2016, mulga wood, spinifex resin, quartzite, sinew, dimensions variable. Narelle Holland, Kanilpa – Winnowing Bowl 1-7, 2016, itara (river red gum), dimensions variable. Narelle Holland, Kanilpa – Winnowing Bowl, 2016, muur-muurpa (desert bloodwood), 64 x 15cm. Narelle Holland, Piti – Collecting Bowl 1-2, 2016, itara (river red gum), dimensions variable. Art Centre: Maruku Arts and Crafts.
On display at Fremantle Arts Centre as part of Revealed, until the 29th May. Photo Bo Wong


TR+ AS+ JW On now at the Art Gallery of WA, this WA Focus show of the work of Trevor Richards, Alex Spremberg + Jurek Wybrianiec is an absolute ripper. It’s got it all! Intrigue! Idiosyncrasies! Initials! There’s less than a fortnight left before it closes on the 18th May, otherwise you can check out the online catalogue.

Installation view:  WA Focus : TR +AS +JW : Trevor Richards, Alex Spremberg and Jurek Wybraniec, Art Gallery of Western Australia, 12 March – 18 May 2016. Image Courtesy of Art Gallery of Western Australia.  Photo Bo Wong

Installation view: WA Focus : TR +AS +JW : Trevor Richards, Alex Spremberg and Jurek Wybraniec, Art Gallery of Western Australia, 12 March – 18 May 2016. Image Courtesy of Art Gallery of Western Australia. Photo Bo Wong

Trevor Richards Small works (an index of Possibilities) 2015 (detail) WA Focus : TR +AS +JW: Trevor Richards, Alex Spremberg and Jurek Wybraniec, Art Gallery of Western Australia, 12 March – 18 May 2016. Image Courtesy of Art Gallery of Western Australia. Photo Bo Wong

Trevor Richards‘ Small works (an index of Possibilities) 2015 (detail) WA Focus : TR +AS +JW: Trevor Richards, Alex Spremberg and Jurek Wybraniec, Art Gallery of Western Australia, 12 March – 18 May 2016. Image Courtesy of Art Gallery of Western Australia. Photo Bo Wong

Alex Spremberg in front of his work Recover 2013-2016 WA Focus : TR +AS +JW: Trevor Richards, Alex Spremberg and Jurek Wybraniec, Art Gallery of Western Australia, 12 March – 18 May 2016. Image Courtesy of Art Gallery of Western Australia. Photo Bo Wong

Alex Spremberg in front of his work Recover 2013-2016
WA Focus : TR +AS +JW: Trevor Richards, Alex Spremberg and Jurek Wybraniec, Art Gallery of Western Australia, 12 March – 18 May 2016. Image Courtesy of Art Gallery of Western Australia. Photo Bo Wong


PETER ADAMS // WINDGROVE My Design Satellite article about the Tasmanian artist, Peter Adams who lives on an incredible property called Windgrove on the Tasman Peninsula, has been published in full by Earthlines Magazine in the UK, a magazine about the culture of nature. Read from the archives here.

Peter Adams' work inside his home in Tasmania, referencing the migration of refugees by boat to Australian shores. Photo Bo Wong // Design Satellite

Peter Adams’ work inside his home in Tasmania, referencing the migration of refugees by boat to Australian shores. Photo Bo Wong


YUN NIE CHONG + PATRICK KOSKY // FREMANTLE This wonderful project I photographed for the architects and homeowners, Yun Nie Chong and Patrick Kosky, has recently been featured in Green Magazine. Read from the archive here.

The western external wall of architects Yun Nie Chong and Patrick Kosky's Fremantle home, WA is made of recycled brick referencing nearby industrial architecture. Photo Bo Wong

The western external wall of architects Yun Nie Chong and Patrick Kosky’s Fremantle home, WA is made of recycled brick referencing nearby industrial architecture. Photo Bo Wong

 

Barry Gardner // Barossa Valley, SA

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Barry Gardner holding the first knife he ever made along with his most recent, showing the refinement of his craft over many years at his knife making studio at the JamFactory, Seppeltsfield in the Barossa Valley, South Australia.Photo Bo Wong // Design Satellite

Barry Gardner holding the first knife he ever made along with his most recent, showing the refinement of his craft over many years at his knife making studio at the JamFactory, Seppeltsfield in the Barossa Valley, South Australia. Photo Bo Wong // Design Satellite


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Beth Kirkland // Albany, WA

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Talk to Me, 2012, acrylic on canvas with a range of works from the 1.61 series, all by Beth Kirkland in the artist's lounge room in Albany, Western Australia. Photo Bo Wong // Design Satellite

Talk to Me, 2012, acrylic on canvas with a range of works from the 1.61 series, all by Beth Kirkland in the artist’s lounge room in Albany, Western Australia. Photo Bo Wong // Design Satellite

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Boom Gallery // Geelong, Vic

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Bird painting by Amanda Carson, abstract paintings by Emily Besser, wax bowls by Dale Hardiman, ceramics by Lee Goller,  timber vases by Stampel, ceramics by Ana Maria Hernandez Jensen, painting by Chelsea Gustafsson, Ichimu porcelain, Tara Shackell ceramics on the shelf at the design gallery at Boom Gallery, Geelong, Victoria. Photo Bo Wong // Design Satellite

Bird painting by Amanda Carson, abstract paintings by Emily Besser, wax bowls by Dale Hardiman, ceramics by Lee Goller, timber vases by Stampel, ceramics by Ana Maria Hernandez Jensen, painting by Chelsea Gustafsson, Ichimu porcelain, Tara Shackell ceramics on the shelf at the design gallery at Boom Gallery, Geelong, Victoria. Photo Bo Wong // Design Satellite

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Vic + Velour // Albany, WA

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The front counter at Vic + Velour, Albany who are stockists for chemical free, Australian made and owned natural products from Bondi Wash (left). The striped rug quickly disappeared into my bag after the shoot but there are other similar, beautiful textiles. Photo Bo Wong // Design Satellite

The front counter at Vic + Velour, Albany who are stockists for chemical free, Australian made and owned natural products from Bondi Wash (left). The striped rug quickly disappeared into my bag after the shoot but there are other similar, beautiful textiles. Photo Bo Wong // Design Satellite

[Read more…]

Robyn Gibson // Sandon, Vic

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Studio Paradiso in Sandon, 15 minutes from Castlemaine where Robyn Gibson of LiFEHOUSE Design works with her weekly printmaking group, under the guidance of Diana Orinda Burns. Photo Bo Wong

Studio Paradiso in Sandon, 15 minutes from Castlemaine where Robyn Gibson of LiFEHOUSE Design works with her weekly printmaking group, under the guidance of Diana Orinda Burns. Photo Bo Wong

It’s been a very wet winter down here in Denmark. In an effort to be free of my gumboot/uggboot/workboot roundabout, I’m heading to Malaysia for a family holiday (cue Birkenstocks!). Before I go, I wanted to share a story that I think exemplifies regional Australian creativity and community. I had originally travelled to Casltemaine to shoot LiFEHOUSE Design, founded in 1997 by Paul Hassall and Robyn Gibson after a tip off from a friend in Melbourne. LiFEHOUSE has a localised business and design philosophy that really resonated with me – and others it seems, as I was inundated with emails afterwards and have finally found a fantastic example of a similar business in country WA, so stay tuned, Sandgropers.

When I arrived at LiFEHOUSE Design headquarters, one half of the team, Robyn Gibson, wasn’t in the office. It turned out she was in an old church with her printmaking group, which is run by the respected printmaker Diana Orinda Burns. This, of course, piqued my interest! A quick phone call and directions, “Not sure of the address but the church has a blue door -you’ll see it” and I was off. As I’d already been photographing (not snooping, it’s work!) at Robyn’s house while she wasn’t there and had seen her awesome boot collection, I just knew we would get along. Gibson’s prints, unsurprisingly given her design background, have a strongly refined and distilled sensibility. A format so very different from the work of designing homes, her prints are still a deeply thoughtful practice, despite the obvious difference in scale and medium. It feels like a wonderfully balancing activity and made me think about the many people I know who find balance from their design or art practice in something that feels complimentary, but doesn’t have the pressure of turning that creativity into a business or an income base. It’s all very liberating really – however seeing more of Robyn’s work, I wonder whether this might just tip over into a bigger part of her life as time goes on. I’m interested to know what my readers do to balance their practice?

Groups of like minded people, getting together in country areas to create and make, sharing resources and skills. It’s happening all over Australia, in old butter factories, churches, backyard studios and farm sheds. Here’s a peek inside just one with the lovely Robyn Gibson.

 

Detail of one of Robyn Gibson's monoprint coming off the press at Studio Paradiso in Sandon, Victoria. Photo Bo Wong

Detail of one of Robyn Gibson’s monoprint coming off the press at Studio Paradiso in Sandon, Victoria. Photo Bo Wong

Robyn Gibson and Diana Orinda Burns reviewing a print as it comes off the press (in the background are works by Diana Orinda Burns and Neil Counihan) at Studio Paradiso in Sandon, Victoria. Photo Bo Wong

Robyn Gibson and Diana Orinda Burns reviewing a print as it comes off the press (in the background are works by Diana Orinda Burns and Neil Counihan) at Studio Paradiso in Sandon, Victoria. Photo Bo Wong

Robyn Gibson preparing an intaglio plate using tarlatan scrim at Studio Paradiso in Sandon, Victoria. Photo Bo Wong

Robyn Gibson preparing an intaglio plate using tarlatan scrim at Studio Paradiso in Sandon, Victoria. Photo Bo Wong

Robyn Gibson's intaglio plates inked up and ready to be printed at Studio Paradiso in Sandon, Victoria. Photo Bo Wong

Robyn Gibson’s intaglio plates inked up and ready to be printed at Studio Paradiso in Sandon, Victoria. Photo Bo Wong

Ink on an intaglio plate by Robyn Gibson at Studio Paradiso in Sandon, Victoria. Photo Bo Wong

Ink on an intaglio plate by Robyn Gibson at Studio Paradiso in Sandon, Victoria. Photo Bo Wong

Robyn Gibson (top left) at work with her printmaking group at Studio Paradiso in Sandon, Victoria. Photo Bo Wong

Robyn Gibson (top left) at work with her printmaking group at Studio Paradiso in Sandon, Victoria. Photo Bo Wong

Robyn Gibson's prints laid out to dry, ready for review at Studio Paradiso in Sandon, Victoria. Photo Bo Wong

Robyn Gibson’s prints laid out to dry, ready for review at Studio Paradiso in Sandon, Victoria. Photo Bo Wong

Robyn Gibson cleaning plates after printing at Studio Paradiso in Sandon, Victoria. Photo Bo Wong

Robyn Gibson cleaning plates after printing at Studio Paradiso in Sandon, Victoria. Photo Bo Wong

Detail of an intaglio plate by Robyn Gibson at Studio Paradiso in Sandon, Victoria. Photo Bo Wong

Detail of an intaglio plate by Robyn Gibson at Studio Paradiso in Sandon, Victoria. Photo Bo Wong

Robyn Gibson outside Studio Paradiso in Sandon, Victoria. Photo Bo Wong

Robyn Gibson outside Studio Paradiso in Sandon, Victoria. Photo Bo Wong

Studio Paradiso in Sandon, Victoria. Photo Bo Wong

Studio Paradiso in Sandon, Victoria. Photo Bo Wong