Design Canberra Festival 2020 logo

Photo: Lean Timms
Photo: Lean Timms

Support local, handmade, Australian design

For the first time, the popular DESIGN Canberra auction will feature some of the most exciting designers and acclaimed artists from across the nation. No matter where design lovers are located, they can bid online auction to buy experimental, small scale or one-off pieces from Australian designers.

The 2020 auction line-up has been expanded from a dedicated Canberra focus to feature work by emerging and established designers from almost every state and territory. The auction is an important strategy to build support for local independent studio practice and small-scale Australian manufacturing. It promotes Australian contemporary design and supports designers to earn a living from their practice.

“When you consider that Australian artists have lost many opportunities in 2020, and our Victorian colleagues in particular have been working hard to contain the virus more recently, it’s heartening to offer this opportunity to designers across Australia. It’s an accessible and creative way to share this opportunity and promote beautiful work to an enthusiastic audience,” said Rachael Coghlan, CEO and Artistic Director of Craft ACT: Craft + Design Centre, who presents the annual festival.

The auction is presented by Craft ACT and has been supported by the Australian Craft and Design Centre network which includes JamFactory, Design Tasmania, Central Craft, Artisan, Sturt School for Wood, Canberra Glassworks and Craft Victoria, among others. These acclaimed organisations advocate for craft practitioners and designers.

Some of the most exciting and awarded emerging designers have been selected for the 2020 DESIGN Canberra auction. Madisyn Zabel, who recently received the 2020 David Henshall Emerging Artist Prize as part of the acclaimed FUSE glass prize at JamFactory, created new work for her Illuminate series for the auction. Jordan Leeflang was one of the three winners of the 2020 Denfair Front Centre program. Krystal Hurst was a finalist in the prestigious Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (NATSIAA) in 2019 and 2020. René Linssen took out first prize in Belle’s Alessi Design Awards in 2017.

Indigenous women designers feature strongly in the curated line-up. Jeweller Krystal Hurst (Worimi), has created an Echidna quills necklace. Eunice Napanangka Jack (Ngaanyatjarra), Mavis Nampitjinpa Marks (Luritja and Pintupi) and Keturah Zimran (Luritja and Pintupi) have designed textiles with paintings of their Country and stories in collaboration with Ikuntji Artists. Jenna Lee (Larrakia, Wardaman and Karajarri) has created paper string from the pages of ‘Aboriginal Words and Place Names’ which is woven back together with book binding thread to make her beautiful story carrier vessels.

Canberra’s thriving contemporary craft and design scene is represented by beautiful textiles inspired by mid-century architecture by Sarah Annand of Oat Studio, a colourful contemporary parquetry tray by Chelsea Lemon (2018 DESIGN Canberra designer-in-residence), a minimalist outdoor coffee table to connect with friends by René Linssen, iconic folded glass blankets by DESIGN Canberra 2020 designer-in-residence Kirstie Rea, Pete Bollington’s elegant floor mirror and feminist ceramics by Annie Parnell.

Other interstate designs include contemporary furniture from Chi Yusuf (NSW), playful pendants by Minqi Gu (QLD), porcelain assemblages by Kristin Burgham (VIC) and Samantha Dennis’ insect brooches (TAS).

South Australia’s vibrant contemporary craft and design community is supported by JamFactory and Guildhouse and enjoys close ties to the Canberra community. There are many South Australian representatives in the auction line up: Calum Hurley (furniture), Sam Gold (ceramics), Harriet McKay (mixed media), and jewellery by Danielle Barrie.

The auction is a signature event in the 2020 DESIGN Canberra program which forges new opportunities to support artists at exhibitions, open studios, artist commissions and pop-ups.

DESIGN Canberra Auction

René Linssen / Minqu Gu / Samantha Dennis / Krystal Hurst / Chi Yusuf / Sam Gold / Harriet McKay / Sarah Annand (Oat Studio) + Nick Harper Design / Chelsea Lemon / Jenna Lee / Pete Bollington / Kristin Burgham / Calum Hurley / Jordan Leeflang / Annie Parnell / Danielle Barrie / Kirstie Rea / Eunice Napanangka Jack / Mavis Nampitjinpa Marks / Madisyn Zabel / Keturah Zimran

The online auction is at https://www.32auctions.com/designcanberra2020 Details of auction artists and works are below. Bidding will open on Friday 20 November and closes Saturday 28 November at around 7.30pm. Works are on show in exhibitions throughout the DESIGN Canberra festival.

Third Place: DESIGN Canberra closing party

For design lovers who are able make it to Canberra in November, DESIGN Canberra will celebrate the auction at the Third Place closing party. After a tough 2020, it feels right to do something which celebrates and supports wellbeing and creativity, local and community. It’s time to care.

DESIGN Canberra will transform the CCAS gallery into their own Third Place. A place between home and work, Third Places are where we exchange ideas, have a good time, and build relationships, based on sociologist Ray Oldenburg’s work.

“After spending much of the year trying to stay apart from other people and smoke, hail and fires, it feels wonderful that we can now be together again (in line with social distancing). I hope people can join us: come together, reflect on the ideas and inspiration of the 2020 festival and have a well deserved good time,” said Rachael Coghlan.

The closing party will feature a lighting installation, live music, wholefood, custom tonics and star gazing, set among the signature festival exhibitions on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin. There will be lucky door prizes of an iconic F!NK jug and local wines and brews.

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