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Lucy McRae 
England born 1989 arrived Australia 1982
Media Release • 16 Aug 18

Design Storytellers: The Work of Broached Commissions

17 August 2018 – February 2019 | The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia | FREE

Stories of Australian identity and history will be narrated through a rich display of design objects as part of Design Storytellers: The Work of Broached Commissions. From Chen Lu’s lantern inspired by the life of female convict Mary Bryant to a free-standing whisky bar designed by Naihan Li in response to the influx of Chinese migrant workers to the goldfields, this exhibition reveals design’s ability to engage with Australia’s history, mythology and the human condition.

Showcasing the work of renowned designers including Charles Wilson, Trent Jansen, Adam Goodrum, Max Lamb, John Warwicker and Ma Yangsong, the exhibition draws from the collection of Broached Commissions, a design production house that commissions designers to produce ambitious and finely crafted design. Spanning ten years of design, in this first retrospective of Broached Commissions the designers have responded to a research based model in order to create limited-edition and one of a kind bespoke design objects.

Through a series of thematically rich collections Broached Commissions has cemented a position that is unique in the world of Australian design. Each collection is anchored within an overarching creative framework providing a sounding board against which designers can propose works that must respond to a central narrative, binding the work together.

Los Angeles-based Korean artist Mimi Jung’s never-seen-before set of glass objects encapsulate her experiences of migration. Using glass casts of her weaving work which have been laser cut and fused back together, she has created large-scale glass works with voids that are symbolic of the disconnection that can be experienced with migration and assimilation.

Other highlights include Paludarium Shigelu by Japanese flower artist Azuma Makoto, exploring the complex relationship between Australia and Asia in the mid-to-late 19th century and a highly technical take on the 19th century Wardian Case, used for transporting rare living plants; and covered in sixty thousand hand-dyed toothpicks, Lucy McRae’s Prickly Lamp reflects on the colonial period, acting as a metaphor for the depravities of convict culture and responding to the harsh living conditions faced by convict women during this time.

Tony Ellwood, Director, NGV said, ‘Design Storytellers offers audiences the opportunity to think about the power of objects; to delve into our social history and tell stories that resonate into the future. This exhibition presents work by some of the most interesting Australian and international designers today, positioning design as a powerful tool for shaping culture and enabling self-reflection, and the designer as thought-leader and change-maker.’

Founded in 2010 by Lou Weis, Broached Commissions collaborates with Australian and international designers, providing a unique insight into a coming of age for Australian design.

Design Storytellers: The Work of Broached Commissions is FREE and on display from 17 August 2018 – February 2019 at the Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia at Federation Square. Additional information is available from the NGV website: NGV.MELBOURNE

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