Designwork 03: The Supply Chain Curated by Guy Keulemans as part of the NGV's Melbourne Design Week

5 – 23 March 2019

Tulla Carson Gathering, Walking Patterns, 2017
$780 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Tulla Carson Gathering, Walking Patterns, 2017, native Lomandra longfilia fibre, linen thread, Australian Mount Gambier limestone , 26 x 6.5 x 6 cm, $780 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

1 /
Tulla Carson Gathering, Combined Identities, 2017
$780 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Tulla Carson Gathering, Combined Identities, 2017, alpaca fibre, linen thread, Australian Mount Gambier limestone, 15 x 17 x 9 cm, $780 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

2 /
Tulla Carson Gathering, Rhythms of the Land, 2017
$820 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Tulla Carson Gathering, Rhythms of the Land, 2017, Tasar silk fibre, linen thread, Australian Mount Gambier limestone, 22 x 24 x 14 cm, $820 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

3 /
Tulla Carson The Land and I, I, 2019
$840 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Tulla Carson The Land and I, I, 2019, Buff Raku Trachyte, natural beeswax, linen thread, suri alpaca fibre, 20 x 19.5 x 12 cm, $840 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

4 /
Tulla Carson The Land and I, II, 2019
$860 incl. GST

Tulla Carson The Land and I, II, 2019, Buff Raku Trachyte, natural beeswax, linen thread, suri alpaca fibre, 16 x 16 x 20 cm, $860 incl. GST

5 /
Sean O'Connell Kettle light globe and leads, 2019, edition of 5
$1,400 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Sean O'Connell Kettle light globe and leads, 2019, 20kV AC 150Hz spark discharge, digital print on Canson Rag Photographique, 84.1 x 59.4 cm, edition of 5, $1,400 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

1 /
Sean O'Connell Kettle heating element, 2019, edition of 5
$1,400 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Sean O'Connell Kettle heating element, 2019, 35kV DC negative spark discharge, digital print on Canson Rag Photographique, 84.1 x 59.4 cm, edition of 5, $1,400 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

2 /
Sean O'Connell Kettle thermostat housing, 2019, edition of 5
$1,400 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Sean O'Connell Kettle thermostat housing, 2019, 30kV AC 120Hz spark discharge, digital print on Canson Rag Photographique, 84.1 x 59.4 cm, edition of 5, $1,400 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

3 /
Nicolette Johnson Plated Vessel I, 2019
$2,550 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Nicolette Johnson Plated Vessel I, 2019, iron-rich stoneware, 400 hand-sculpted protrusions, black glaze, manganese dioxide wash, 28 x 20 x 20 cm, $2,550 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

1 /
Nicolette Johnson Plated Vessel II, 2019
$1,350 incl. GST
SOLD

Nicolette Johnson Plated Vessel II, 2019, iron-rich stoneware, 368 hand-sculpted protrusions, black glaze, manganese dioxide wash, 20.5 x 15 x 15 cm, $1,350 incl. GST
SOLD

2 /
Nicolette Johnson Plated Vessel III, 2019
$3,850 incl. GST
SOLD

Nicolette Johnson Plated Vessel III, 2019, iron-rich stoneware, 608 hand-sculpted protrusions, black glaze, manganese dioxide wash, 37 x 24.5 x 24.5 cm, $3,850 incl. GST
SOLD

3 /
Makiko Ryujin and Michael Gittings Impermanence, 2019
$3,200 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Makiko Ryujin and Michael Gittings Impermanence, 2019, eucalyptus, steel, nickel plating, glass, lighting components, 110 x 100 x 12 cm, $3,200 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

1 /
Luca Lettieri Self-Portrait, 2019
$24,000 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Luca Lettieri Self-Portrait, 2019, silky oak (Grevillea robusta), celery top pine (Phyllocladus aspleniifolius), porcelain, paper pulp, polyvinyl acetate, pubic hair, finger nails, blood, urine, faeces, saliva, semen, gold, aluminium, brass, canvas, medium-density fibreboard, oil, pigment, shellac, 56 x 26 x 21 cm, $24,000 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

1 /
Luca Lettieri Self-Portrait, 2019
$24,000 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Luca Lettieri Self-Portrait, 2019, silky oak (Grevillea robusta), celery top pine (Phyllocladus aspleniifolius), porcelain, paper pulp, polyvinyl acetate, pubic hair, finger nails, blood, urine, faeces, saliva, semen, gold, aluminium, brass, canvas, medium-density fibreboard, oil, pigment, shellac, 56 x 26 x 21 cm, $24,000 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

2 /
Liz Williamson Alanakar: earth lines 2, 2015
$1,600 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Liz Williamson Alanakar: earth lines 2, 2015, silk fabric (white) with cotton embroidery threads dyed or overdyed in Eucalyptus pilularis (Blackbutt) with an iron mordant, French knots embroidered on an aari frame, 42 x 31 cm, $1,600 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

1 /
Liz Williamson Alanakar: earth lines 3, 2015
$1,600 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Liz Williamson Alanakar: earth lines 3, 2015, silk fabric (white) with cotton embroidery threads dyed in Eucalyptus cinerea (silver dollar) with an iron mordant, French knots embroidered on an aari frame 42 x 31 cm, 42 x 31 cm, $1,600 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

2 /
Liz Williamson Alanakar: kalam, 2019
$580 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Liz Williamson Alanakar: kalam, 2019, silk hand-dyed (variegated) embroidery threads on silk fabric dyed with Haematoxylum campechianum (logwood) with an iron mordant, embroidered on an aari frame, 24 x 21 cm, $580 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

3 /
Liz Williamson Alanakar: circles, 2014
$580 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Liz Williamson Alanakar: circles, 2014, embroidery threads on silk fabric dyed with Haematoxylum campechianum (logwood) with an iron mordant, embroidered on an aari frame , 20.5 x 16 cm, $580 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

4 /
Liz Williamson Alanakar: seeds, 2014
$580 incl. GST

Liz Williamson Alanakar: seeds, 2014, embroidery threads on silk fabric overdyed with Haematoxylum campechianum (logwood) with an iron mordant, embroidered on an aari frame, 24 x 18 cm, $580 incl. GST

5 /
Kyoko Hashimoto Sandstone Neckpiece, 2019
$1,750 incl. GST

Kyoko Hashimoto Sandstone Neckpiece, 2019, sandstone, black wattle–tanned kangaroo skin, eucalyptus, waxed linen, 22 x 22 x 3.5 cm, $1,750 incl. GST

1 /
Kyoko Hashimoto Sandstone Neckpiece, 2019
$1,750 incl. GST

Kyoko Hashimoto Sandstone Neckpiece, 2019, sandstone, black wattle–tanned kangaroo skin, eucalyptus, waxed linen, 22 x 22 x 3.5 cm, $1,750 incl. GST

2 /
Kyoko Hashimoto Coal Neckpiece, 2019
$1,750 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Kyoko Hashimoto Coal Neckpiece, 2019, coal, vegetable-tanned kangaroo skin, eucalyptus, waxed linen, 25 x 25 x 4 cm, $1,750 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

3 /
Jonathan Ben-Tovims An Ode to the Airbag, 2019
$3,900 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Jonathan Ben-Tovims An Ode to the Airbag, 2019, steering wheel car airbags, steel, hose, rubber dinghy air inflator, LEDs, 180 x 60 x 60 cm (inflated), $3,900 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

1 /
Jonathan Ben-Tovims An Ode to the Airbag, 2019
$3,900 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Jonathan Ben-Tovims An Ode to the Airbag, 2019, steering wheel car airbags, steel, hose, rubber dinghy air inflator, LEDs, 180 x 60 x 60 cm (inflated), $3,900 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

2 /
Jonathan Ben-Tovims An Ode to the Airbag, 2019
$3,900 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Jonathan Ben-Tovims An Ode to the Airbag, 2019, steering wheel car airbags, steel, hose, rubber dinghy air inflator, LEDs, 180 x 60 x 60 cm (inflated), $3,900 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

3 /
Henry Wilson Surface Sconce (retail version), 2019
$1,670 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Henry Wilson Surface Sconce (retail version), 2019, bronze, 35 x 30 x 10 cm, $1,670 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

1 /
Henry Wilson Surface Sconce (Failed Sandcast Prototype), 2017
$15,000 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Henry Wilson Surface Sconce (Failed Sandcast Prototype), 2017, bronze, 35 x 30 x 10 cm, $15,000 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

2 /
Henry Wilson Brass Oil Burner (retail version), 2018
$200 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Henry Wilson Brass Oil Burner (retail version), 2018, bronze, 5.5 x 10.5 x 12.5 cm, $200 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

3 /
Elliat Rich and James B. Young Strata Stratum Stratus, 2019
$9,800 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Elliat Rich and James B. Young Strata Stratum Stratus, 2019, Central Australian sandstone, photograph, a device, sculpture: 98.5 x 83 x 74.5 cm, photograph: TBA, $9,800 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

1 /
Designwork 03 installation view

Designwork 03 installation view

1 /
Designwork 03 installation view

Designwork 03 installation view

2 /
Designwork 03 installation view

Designwork 03 installation view

3 /
Designwork 03 installation view

Designwork 03 installation view

4 /
Designwork 03 installation view

Designwork 03 installation view

5 /
Dale Hardiman 37 Butler Street Chair, 2019
$2,050 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Dale Hardiman 37 Butler Street Chair, 2019, European oak floor boards, chipboard, pine, nails, silicone, paint, 84 x 45 x 50 cm, $2,050 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

1 /
Dale Hardiman 37 Butler Street Light, 2019
$3,100 incl. GST

Dale Hardiman 37 Butler Street Light, 2019, pine, plasterboard, plaster trim, plaster, nails, paint, fluorescent light , 16.3 x 37.5 x 48 cm, $3,100 incl. GST

2 /
Blake Griffiths Prayer for Water Necklace, 2019
$1,650 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Blake Griffiths Prayer for Water Necklace, 2019, kangaroo, fur, felted emu feathers, twined quandong seeds, windfall waxed linen, eucalyptus wood, $1,650 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

1 /
Blake Griffiths Wreath of the Darling Martyrs; a crown of eternal life, 2019
$4,165 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Blake Griffiths Wreath of the Darling Martyrs; a crown of eternal life, 2019, tanned bony bream from the third Menindee fish kill (tanned naturally with egg yolk and olive oil, conditioned with essential oils), 15 x 20 x 20 cm, $4,165 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

2 /
Benja Harney Remnants, 2017
$1,500 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Benja Harney Remnants, 2017, paper and PVA , 45.5 x 43 x 44 cm, $1,500 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

1 /
Alana Wilson Perforated Barium Ritual Vessel, 2019
$800 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Alana Wilson Perforated Barium Ritual Vessel, 2019, terracotta paper clay with burnt umber stoneware glazes and barium wash, 27 x 10 x 10 cm, $800 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

1 /
Alana Wilson Layered Bell Amphora, 2019
$880 incl. GST
SOLD

Alana Wilson Layered Bell Amphora, 2019, terracotta paper clay with reactive stoneware glazes, 30 x 13.5 x 13.5 cm, $880 incl. GST
SOLD

2 /
Alana Wilson Beaten CuO Halo Vessel, 2019
$880 incl. GST
SOLD

Alana Wilson Beaten CuO Halo Vessel, 2019, terracotta paper clay with beaten copper oxide halo, cobalt stoneware glaze and shell impressions, 30 x 15 x 15 cm, $880 incl. GST
SOLD

3 /
Alana Wilson installation view

Alana Wilson installation view

4 /
Tulla Carson Gathering, Walking Patterns, 2017
$780 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Tulla Carson Gathering, Walking Patterns, 2017, native Lomandra longfilia fibre, linen thread, Australian Mount Gambier limestone , 26 x 6.5 x 6 cm, $780 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

1 /
Tulla Carson Gathering, Combined Identities, 2017
$780 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Tulla Carson Gathering, Combined Identities, 2017, alpaca fibre, linen thread, Australian Mount Gambier limestone, 15 x 17 x 9 cm, $780 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

2 /
Tulla Carson Gathering, Rhythms of the Land, 2017
$820 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Tulla Carson Gathering, Rhythms of the Land, 2017, Tasar silk fibre, linen thread, Australian Mount Gambier limestone, 22 x 24 x 14 cm, $820 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

3 /
Tulla Carson The Land and I, I, 2019
$840 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Tulla Carson The Land and I, I, 2019, Buff Raku Trachyte, natural beeswax, linen thread, suri alpaca fibre, 20 x 19.5 x 12 cm, $840 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

4 /
Sean O'Connell Kettle light globe and leads, 2019, edition of 5
$1,400 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Sean O'Connell Kettle light globe and leads, 2019, 20kV AC 150Hz spark discharge, digital print on Canson Rag Photographique, 84.1 x 59.4 cm, edition of 5, $1,400 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

1 /
Sean O'Connell Kettle heating element, 2019, edition of 5
$1,400 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Sean O'Connell Kettle heating element, 2019, 35kV DC negative spark discharge, digital print on Canson Rag Photographique, 84.1 x 59.4 cm, edition of 5, $1,400 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

2 /
Sean O'Connell Kettle thermostat housing, 2019, edition of 5
$1,400 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Sean O'Connell Kettle thermostat housing, 2019, 30kV AC 120Hz spark discharge, digital print on Canson Rag Photographique, 84.1 x 59.4 cm, edition of 5, $1,400 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

3 /
Nicolette Johnson Plated Vessel I, 2019
$2,550 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Nicolette Johnson Plated Vessel I, 2019, iron-rich stoneware, 400 hand-sculpted protrusions, black glaze, manganese dioxide wash, 28 x 20 x 20 cm, $2,550 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

1 /
Makiko Ryujin and Michael Gittings Impermanence, 2019
$3,200 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Makiko Ryujin and Michael Gittings Impermanence, 2019, eucalyptus, steel, nickel plating, glass, lighting components, 110 x 100 x 12 cm, $3,200 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

1 /
Luca Lettieri Self-Portrait, 2019
$24,000 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Luca Lettieri Self-Portrait, 2019, silky oak (Grevillea robusta), celery top pine (Phyllocladus aspleniifolius), porcelain, paper pulp, polyvinyl acetate, pubic hair, finger nails, blood, urine, faeces, saliva, semen, gold, aluminium, brass, canvas, medium-density fibreboard, oil, pigment, shellac, 56 x 26 x 21 cm, $24,000 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

1 /
Luca Lettieri Self-Portrait, 2019
$24,000 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Luca Lettieri Self-Portrait, 2019, silky oak (Grevillea robusta), celery top pine (Phyllocladus aspleniifolius), porcelain, paper pulp, polyvinyl acetate, pubic hair, finger nails, blood, urine, faeces, saliva, semen, gold, aluminium, brass, canvas, medium-density fibreboard, oil, pigment, shellac, 56 x 26 x 21 cm, $24,000 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

2 /
Liz Williamson Alanakar: earth lines 2, 2015
$1,600 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Liz Williamson Alanakar: earth lines 2, 2015, silk fabric (white) with cotton embroidery threads dyed or overdyed in Eucalyptus pilularis (Blackbutt) with an iron mordant, French knots embroidered on an aari frame, 42 x 31 cm, $1,600 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

1 /
Liz Williamson Alanakar: earth lines 3, 2015
$1,600 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Liz Williamson Alanakar: earth lines 3, 2015, silk fabric (white) with cotton embroidery threads dyed in Eucalyptus cinerea (silver dollar) with an iron mordant, French knots embroidered on an aari frame 42 x 31 cm, 42 x 31 cm, $1,600 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

2 /
Liz Williamson Alanakar: kalam, 2019
$580 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Liz Williamson Alanakar: kalam, 2019, silk hand-dyed (variegated) embroidery threads on silk fabric dyed with Haematoxylum campechianum (logwood) with an iron mordant, embroidered on an aari frame, 24 x 21 cm, $580 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

3 /
Liz Williamson Alanakar: circles, 2014
$580 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Liz Williamson Alanakar: circles, 2014, embroidery threads on silk fabric dyed with Haematoxylum campechianum (logwood) with an iron mordant, embroidered on an aari frame , 20.5 x 16 cm, $580 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

4 /
Kyoko Hashimoto Coal Neckpiece, 2019
$1,750 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Kyoko Hashimoto Coal Neckpiece, 2019, coal, vegetable-tanned kangaroo skin, eucalyptus, waxed linen, 25 x 25 x 4 cm, $1,750 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

1 /
Jonathan Ben-Tovims An Ode to the Airbag, 2019
$3,900 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Jonathan Ben-Tovims An Ode to the Airbag, 2019, steering wheel car airbags, steel, hose, rubber dinghy air inflator, LEDs, 180 x 60 x 60 cm (inflated), $3,900 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

1 /
Jonathan Ben-Tovims An Ode to the Airbag, 2019
$3,900 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Jonathan Ben-Tovims An Ode to the Airbag, 2019, steering wheel car airbags, steel, hose, rubber dinghy air inflator, LEDs, 180 x 60 x 60 cm (inflated), $3,900 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

2 /
Jonathan Ben-Tovims An Ode to the Airbag, 2019
$3,900 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Jonathan Ben-Tovims An Ode to the Airbag, 2019, steering wheel car airbags, steel, hose, rubber dinghy air inflator, LEDs, 180 x 60 x 60 cm (inflated), $3,900 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

3 /
Henry Wilson Surface Sconce (retail version), 2019
$1,670 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Henry Wilson Surface Sconce (retail version), 2019, bronze, 35 x 30 x 10 cm, $1,670 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

1 /
Henry Wilson Surface Sconce (Failed Sandcast Prototype), 2017
$15,000 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Henry Wilson Surface Sconce (Failed Sandcast Prototype), 2017, bronze, 35 x 30 x 10 cm, $15,000 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

2 /
Henry Wilson Brass Oil Burner (retail version), 2018
$200 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Henry Wilson Brass Oil Burner (retail version), 2018, bronze, 5.5 x 10.5 x 12.5 cm, $200 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

3 /
Elliat Rich and James B. Young Strata Stratum Stratus, 2019
$9,800 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Elliat Rich and James B. Young Strata Stratum Stratus, 2019, Central Australian sandstone, photograph, a device, sculpture: 98.5 x 83 x 74.5 cm, photograph: TBA, $9,800 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

1 /
Dale Hardiman 37 Butler Street Chair, 2019
$2,050 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Dale Hardiman 37 Butler Street Chair, 2019, European oak floor boards, chipboard, pine, nails, silicone, paint, 84 x 45 x 50 cm, $2,050 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

1 /
Blake Griffiths Prayer for Water Necklace, 2019
$1,650 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Blake Griffiths Prayer for Water Necklace, 2019, kangaroo, fur, felted emu feathers, twined quandong seeds, windfall waxed linen, eucalyptus wood, $1,650 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

1 /
Blake Griffiths Wreath of the Darling Martyrs; a crown of eternal life, 2019
$4,165 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Blake Griffiths Wreath of the Darling Martyrs; a crown of eternal life, 2019, tanned bony bream from the third Menindee fish kill (tanned naturally with egg yolk and olive oil, conditioned with essential oils), 15 x 20 x 20 cm, $4,165 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

2 /
Benja Harney Remnants, 2017
$1,500 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Benja Harney Remnants, 2017, paper and PVA , 45.5 x 43 x 44 cm, $1,500 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

1 /
Alana Wilson Perforated Barium Ritual Vessel, 2019
$800 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

Alana Wilson Perforated Barium Ritual Vessel, 2019, terracotta paper clay with burnt umber stoneware glazes and barium wash, 27 x 10 x 10 cm, $800 incl. GST
AVAILABLE

1 /

First coined in 1982, the term ‘supply chain’ is well recognised, but not very accurate. The word ‘chain’ suggests a linear direction, a link from one location to the next, or a link from one material state to another. In truth, supply chains are not chains, but networks. Their links bifurcate and branch into many directions as their products are made and transported. The linear supply chain of any particular material is internetworked with the supply chains of the tools that shape it, the things that package it, and the vehicles or buildings that transport or house it.

This network model of the supply chain presents some challenges for satisfying contemporary consumer demand. Just for example, there is a clear emerging interest in vegan furniture and homeware products, but how can we be sure that not just the product itself, but every branch of a product’s supply chain network is free from animal products?

The contributors to Designwork #3 have enthusiastically engaged with research, mapping and evaluating supply chains both local and global. Their critical contributions illustrate how contemporary supply chains are complex, and how they are susceptible to breaking, or even causing catastrophe. And yet, they show how there are also strategies and alternatives that ameliorate such catastrophes, or otherwise exert a degree of control with the power to avert their contingency.

Perhaps the first thing to acknowledge when evaluating a supply chain is that supply chains generate waste. As a paper artist, Benja Harney’s studio material is almost exclusively paper. Coupled with a concern, and perhaps a doubt, that his building’s recycling services are fit and proper, he turns his paper offcuts into furniture. Dale Hardiman takes the concept of reuse and applies it to home-building. Construction waste is the single largest source of waste in Australia, so Hardiman asks, can builders make furniture themselves from the refuse of their labour? Such uses of waste illustrate that supply chains don’t end in the making of a single product, and perhaps don’t ever end at all, but continue forward to include future transformations of material, both wanted and unwanted.

Sean O’Connell, motivated by the inherent obsolescence and waste potential of inexpensive home appliances, takes apart a humble electric kettle. Subjecting its many components to high voltage electrical imaging captures the idea that we should asses our materials and products with rigorous and shocking scrutiny, even as the resulting images create something entirely different; an insight into the paradimensional world of electrical life.

The inter-networking of supply chains that cross our globe is aptly demonstrated in the research of ceramicists Alana Wilson and Nicolette Johnson, who discover that in many glazes there are likely to be materials from every continent on earth. Metals and minerals, both rare and common, are sourced from the most desirable locations. For ceramics, such supply chains are well established, even ancient, but they are no less global for other disciplines. Makiko Ryujin and Michael Gittings trace the journey of the iron and nickel they use in their work from Australia to China and Canada, and back. The recalled Takata airbags investigated by Jonathan Ben-Tovims were assembled in Mexico, where the factory mishandled propellants. They failed to keep proper manufacturing records, and this error complicated and delayed the global product recall when the airbags were discovered to be injuring motorists in collisions. Problems of distance in supply chains, in this case lack of oversight, but in other cases labour offences or environmental crimes, are a key reason for emerging localist agendas both in politics and in design. Nonetheless, catastrophes lead to opportunities: Takata, facing bankruptcy, was taken over by a Chinese competitor. And in this exhibition, Blake Griffiths  sourced leather from the million or more fish killed in the Menindee Lakes and Darling River earlier this year – a consequence of excessive use of water for farming. This timely work is a dark and critical reflection of capitalist capacitiesto exploit disaster.

Such disasters are strongly motivating for experimental designers. Tulla Carson takes issue with the unrelenting pace of industrial development and proposes slow designing instead. Her choice to forgo power tools in the creation of her work is neither commercially practical nor easy, but for a girl raised on the northern New South Wales coast it offers a personal respite from the intensity of Sydney city living. Slowness is reflected in her use of limestone, a material formed from the bodies of sea animals over millions of years. Kyoko Hashimoto chooses to work with local sandstone and coal for similar reasons; as geologically ancient materials she feels they command deep respect, a consequence of her Shinto influences. Hashimoto’s place-based making strategy attempts to address her personal concern for distance in supply chains, but is faced with challenges. In the process of sourcing her materials from within the Sydney bio-region she discovered her kangaroo leather was tanned using tree products grown in South Africa. Ironically, the tree is an Australian wattle.

Lack of transparency in supply chains is known technically as ‘mystification’. Many products by virtue of surface detailing or hidden methods of production are likewise mystified. Henry Wilson’s contribution unmasks production processes in failed casting prototypes. Such failures are valuable to industry because they indicate how to fix manufacturing problems. The risk when presenting such objects – the same risk taken by this entire exhibition perhaps – is that such presentations don’t show the customer or consumer what they may really want: a world free of worries. On the other hand, there is the chance to illustrate material richness. This is seen in the colours and surface effects of Wilson’s lamp, which has come straight out of the sand mould without further finishing.

Material richness and richness of tradition are the themes of Liz Williamson’s  response to problems of textile supply chains. West Bengalese embroiderers are economically marginalised by demanddriven design in the fast fashion and textiles industries, and can be financially compelled to work on low-paid, low-skilled piecework. In order to help them preserve their traditional techniques, Williamson fosters their creative engagement with new international markets. Designers like Williamson work according to principles of ethical crosscultural supply chain engagement, as set out by initiatives such as Sangam’s Code of Practice for Partnerships in Craft and Design.

Lastly, this exhibition includes works that demand control. These designers set themselves limitations that instrumentalise their works as critical responses to burgeoning supply chain problems. Elliat Rich and James B. Young  argue all claims for the rights to extract, process and ship mineral resources are suspect at the intersection of sovereignty and sustainability. The chair they carved from sandstone in Alice Springs – sandstone formed under Australia’s prehistoric inland sea – is transported only virtually, reconstructed via augmented reality technology in the gallery. Clearly the environmental aspects of transporting such a heavy work are significant, but the work also raises transcultural issues. Should we only be concerned with the energy and material costs of supply chains, or are there cultural costs? This question is in the context of a chair made from a rock on a mining leasehold, with uncertain legal arrangements for future access, within the unceded territory of the Arrernte nations.

Luca Letteri  then takes the position that if all supply chains beyond the designer are suspect, then a designer must use the resources of his own body to ensure propriety. His use of nails, blood, hair and urine as materials of design may be, on the face of it, somewhat disquieting, but is a righteous attempt to avert the suffering, catastrophe and contingency within contemporary supply chains.

 

Guy Keulemans is a researcher and experimental designer at the University of New South Wales Faculty of Art and Design.

Designwork is a series of annual exhibitions dedicated to showing the best Australian design in a commercial gallery context. The series is presented as part of the NGV's Melbourne Design Week, a partnership with Creative Victoria.

TOP