Bethan Laura WOOD (designer)<br />
 BETHAN LAURA WOOD STUDIO, London (studio)<br/>
<em>Kaleidoscope-o-rama, bookcase</em> (2023) <!-- (installation) --><br />

poplar veneer, composition board, stainless steel, metal, books<br />
214.8 x 129.9 x 150.0 cm (variable)<br />
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne<br />
Commissioned by the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Purchased with funds donated by Jo Horgan and MECCA Brands, 2024<br />
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© Bethan Laura Wood

Bethan Laura Wood

Photo: courtesy of the artist

Bethan Laura Wood
United Kingdom born 1983

Level 2
NGV International
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Knowledge can be shared by many means, including through design. This premise informs Kaleidoscope-o-rama, the MECCA x NGV Women in Design Commission by Bethan Laura Wood. Comprising two new works – Kaleidoscope-o-rama, carpet and Kaleidoscope-o-rama, bookcase – the project continues Wood’s approach to design, which sees her create original furniture, objects, lighting and textiles in response to visual and material cultures.

Taking inspiration from works in the NGV Collection, Kaleidoscope- o-rama is informed by Wood’s research into the interiors, furniture and objects that were the backdrop for conversation and knowledge exchange among women of the aristocracy in England during the Regency period of the late eighteenth to early nineteenth century.

Through Kaleidoscope-o-rama Wood reinterprets the colours, patterns, materials and forms found in Regency salons, to foreground the social phenomena of the period and draw out the continuing social values of equality and open access to education that were spearheaded by women at the time. By focusing on books, a fundamental medium for knowledge sharing, Wood invites audiences to think more deeply about how ideas are captured and shared, and to consider whose voices are being broadcast and what ideas and mediums hold intellectual authority.

The MECCA x NGV Women in Design Commission is a major series that invites internationally renowned female designers and architects to create significant new work for the NGV Collection. The five-year series is supported by MECCA through their philanthropic program, M-Power, which champions and elevates women in art and design.

Bethan Laura Wood’s radical approach to materiality, colour and pattern has garnered a cult following. Fascinated with the cultural and historical significance of surface design and colour in domestic space and the interior, she explores unlikely combinations of colour and shape, developing unique timber veneers, material composites and textiles for furniture, lighting, objects, installations and accessories. Wood has presented work at Design Miami; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; and Sketch, London; and has works held in permanent collections including the Art Institute of Chicago, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

The commission of this work is made possible through the MECCA x NGV Women in Design Commission. The NGV warmly thanks MECCA for supporting the acquisition of these works.