NGV Magazine

Issue 21
Mar – Apr 2020

‘How can design shape life?’ This provocation frames Melbourne Design Week 2020 and this issue of NGV Magazine. We share highlights from the Melbourne Design Week 2020 program and meet some of the designers and artists using design to transform the world around us, including Dr Pirjo Haikola, Yhonnie Scarce and Edition Office. This issue also examines religion in design in the NGV Collection with American works by the Shaker and Amish sects. We introduce the largest ever retrospective of contemporary artist Destiny Deacon, DESTINY. In a special edition of Life & Times, we take a closer look at the experience of women artists in the NGV Collection for International Women’s Day and examine a personal and historical album assembled by British suffragette Isabel Seymour in the early 1990s.

Features in this issue

COVER STORY Melbourne Design Week

Melbourne Design Week returns in 2020 with its most extensive program to date. In our cover story for this issue, we share our highlights of the program and feature some of the leading minds who will consider how design can shape our lives.

Exhibition DESTINY

‘There is humour in everything Deacon does. Her work makes sense of everything that is wrong with the world, by turning it back on itself, reclaiming it and turning it into a joke.’

by Myles Russell-Cook

LIFE & TIMES Her Story: A Closer Look at Women in the NGV Collection

‘When I first encountered the artist Lucy Kemp-Welch, I knew I had found a kindred spirit.’

By Dr Maria Quirk


‘When you spend a lot of time underwater, you start to see problems … you start to understand the ecosystems, you get to know the species living there and you develop a very different type of empathy towards that environment.’

Interview with Pirjo Haikola

MAKING WITH Yhonnie Scarce and Edition Office

‘We believed this dark and enigmatic body within the NGV’s Grollo Equiset Garden would provide an encounter with culture and Country.’

by Yhonnie Scarce and Edition Office

MAJOR STORY Unworldy Goods

‘Everywhere you look in design history, you will find the influence of religion. It is impossible to understand the objects the Shakers made without recognising their radical ideas about the very nature of reality and their own place in the divine order.’

by Glenn Adamson