Thursday, 27 October 2016 @ 1.00 pm | ACTEW AGL | 40 Bunda St, Civic

Grace Cochrane is one of Australia’s leading craft and design curators and historians. A long time colleague and expert in Robert Foster’s work, she has curated this exhibition in tribute to Robert’s contributions to Canberra’s art, craft and design community.

Grace will deliver an open floor talk on Thursday, 27 October at 1.00 pm and will give additional insight into Robert’s philosophy and practice, and the bringing together of this exhibition.

Exhibition details: Friends and colleagues from the ACT, across Australia and around the world, join Robert Foster’s family in remembering the extraordinary contribution this wonderful man made to our lives. Following the tragic accident that took his life on 13 July this year, Craft ACT offers a celebration of his continuing influence as a luminary example, in every way.

Luminary: Remembering Robert Foster is significant in that, apart from the now iconic F!NK Water Jugs, every work has been hand-made by Robert himself, as a one-off item or prototype for production.

The exhibition includes about 50 unique hand-made works, including teapots, coffeepots, jugs, vessels, containers and trays, as well as some archival documents, from the family collection.

An imaginative and resourceful designer and maker working with metals and related materials, ‘Robbie’ (1962 – 2016) became well-known from the mid-1980s for his expressive and yet functional and exceptionally crafted hand-made forms, as well as for the innovative designs he developed for production through his company F!NK + Co, founded in 1994 and now operating in Queanbeyan. His many commissions include The Journey, the spectacular group of ‘ossolites’ installed in the foyer of  ActewAGL headquarters, Canberra city, in 2010.

Supported since 1997 by his enterprising partner Gretel Harrison, and enthused by his daughters Ineska and Mischa, Robert constantly experimented with ideas for new forms and processes. He believed strongly in the value of working between art and manufacture, fun and function, materials and processes, expression and sustainability.

Robert also encouraged many emerging makers to work with him and some evolved designs which were produced through the F!NK brand and identified with their names. They, and many others, acknowledge the importance of his generous mentorship in the development of their careers.

FREE exhibition

Opening hours: Mon – Fri, 8.30am – 5pm. Window viewing available all hours, daily.

By special arrangement with ActewAGL, the exhibition will also be open on Saturday 29 October 2016, 9.00am-3pm, with a guided tour commencing at 9.00am.

Luminary: Remembering Robert Foster is a DESIGN Canberra signature exhibition presented by Craft ACT: Craft + Design Centre, and curated by Grace Cochrane. The opening event was made possible with the generous support of ActewAGL. The exhibition has been sponsored by Frost Collective, with assistance from Gretel Harrison, Designcraft, the National Portrait Gallery and the National Museum of Australia.


About this venue:

ActewAGL Headquarters is home to the spectacular sculptural installation by Robert Foster, ‘The Journey’. The work consists of 37 major sculptural forms, emerging from the polished concrete floor to become sinuous light-filled shapes named ‘Ossolites’ —named because of their relationship with the concept of ‘oscillating’, or swinging between points with rhythmic movement. The name also references the Latin word for bone (“osso”) and the word light. The Ossolites are programmed to create dramatic sequences of light, colour and movement throughout the installation and contain thousands of environmentally sustainable LED lights supported by specially designed power sources. Movement sensors allow the work to interact with people passing through the space.