Installation view of Danielle Brustman and Jonathan Ellery’s work <em>Ten Combs</em> 2022 on display as part of the <em>Melbourne Now</em> exhibition at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Melbourne from 24 March – 20 August 2023.  Image: Tom Ross

Danielle Brustman and Jonathan Ellery

Danielle Brustman
(b. 1975, Melbourne Victoria. Lives and works in Melbourne)
Jonathan Ellery
(b. 1964, Hertfordshire, England. Lives and works in London)

Ten Combs, 2022, is a collaboration between designer Danielle Brustman and Jonathan Ellery, the artist, publisher and founder of London-based design studio Browns.

The project is a collaborative self-portrait between Brustman, Ellery and ten of Brustman’s closest friends around the world. The designer asked these friends to share words describing her personality traits – positive or negative – and they came back with the words we see: obsessive, sensitive, romantic, ardent, optimist, storyteller, chaotic, loud, bright star and mercurial. The words appear on ten 3D-printed hair combs, like cartoon thought bubbles.

Brustman works with rich colours to create interiors and furniture that challenge our perceptions of public and private space. She established her own interior design studio in 2012, and her installations and design work have been presented at Melbourne International Arts Festival (2012); Dark Mofo, Hobart (2015); National Gallery of Victoria (2018, 2021); Milan Furniture Fair (2019); and Melbourne Design Week (2020, 2021, 2022). Her installation Coloured, along with her Chromatic Fantastic cabinets and wall light were featured in the 2020 NGV Triennial, and her installation Inner – Terior was a finalist in the 2018 Rigg Design Prize at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia. Brustman was also a recent finalist at the Australian Furniture Design Awards 2022.

English artist Jonathan Ellery is the founder of London design studio Browns as well as its publishing arm, Browns Editions. He has held solo exhibitions at galleries across London and internationally and has produced a series of collectable art books. His recent collaboration with conceptual artist Lawrence Weiner culminated in a silk-screened, clothbound book and full-colour billboard.