opening the secret door.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

I have a lingering childhood fantasy of finding a secret door in a place I know well and discovering a cavernous wonderland beyond. This weekend, a handful of buildings that I pass day to day, opened up to the public as part of Melbourne Open House. It was such a joy to fulfil my fantasy and discover some truly amazing hidden spaces. My two top picks were the Mission to Seafarers and the Myer Mural Hall.

The grand Art Deco interior of the Myer Mural Hall located on the 6th floor of the department store I've been going to almost all my life. Murals by Napier Waller, 1934.  I personally loved the exquisitely detailed chandeliers pictured bottom right. Photographs by me.

Mission to Seafarers. I suspect most Melbournians are unaware that this powerful, domed interior exists. Photos by me.

Whilst I reveled in the discovery of these spaces, I also longed to see two more spaces that were not open; the crumbling Flinders Street Ballroom (which I must walk under several times a week) and the alleged Flinders Street Bowling Alley.

The Flinders Street Ballroom, which has been in disrepair and vacant for years. Image via. Fingers crossed it will one day be restored.
Legend has it that there is an old Bowling Alley in the underpass between Degraves Street and Flinders Street station. The entry has since been boarded up but apparently it's still there. I haven't found any photographs of it so my inquisitive and imaginative mind is going to pretend it's like one of these spaces:

Bowling Saloon in Ballarat. Photograph by Vladamir Minakov via Panoramio
Bowling alley in the basement of the Frick Collection Museum in NYC. Image via Kottke

The Spare Room in Hollywood designed by the Studio Collective. Image via The Cool Hunter.

suspended objects.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Anyone in the mood for a bit of escapism today? I'd love to step into an immersive world of tiny suspended objects for a while. Here are three great installation artists who create such worlds: Jacob Hashimoto, Nike Savvas and duo Gerda Steiner and Jorg Lenzlinger.

Jacob Hashimoto's "Silence Still Governs our Conciousness"
discovered via of paper and things. Images from Jacob Hashiomoto's website.
Nike Savvas "Adventures through time and Space." Photo by Ian Waldie.
Image via Life.
Nike Savvas "Atomic: full of love, full of wonder."
Image via Rosslyn Oxley 9 Gallery.

Gerda Steiner & Jorg Lenzlinger's "Falling Garden."
Image via artists' website.

100 x 3 = genius concept.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Yesterday I went to the "You're Welcome" artshow which raised money for the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre. There were 100 artworks on display with 100 tickets up for grabs at $100 each. Each ticket holder took home a piece of artwork which was selected at random. Genius concept if you ask me. Venue, artists and organisers contributed pro bono.

I was lucky enough to win a painting by Rachael Freeman. Unfortunately, I didn't get any good photos of it before I sent it to the framers, but here are some examples of Freeman's work. She is best known for her mixed media, abstract landscape paintings often involving pools of intense colour.

All images from Rachael Freeman's website.

gertrude st projection festival.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

I headed to the Gertrude St Projection Festival on Friday night. The festival showcased the works of 24 artists, each exploring the medium of light. The scales ranged from can-you-spot-it, miniature projections to entire facades washed with light. Some were narrative pieces and others more esoteric. The relationship between light and the projected surface was also approached from varying angles. It's always interesting to see the breadth of different ways artists and designers respond to the same brief.

Apart from seeing the light installations, the festive vibe of the street was also worth the trip. If you're local, the festival is on every night until July 31st.

All photos in today's post by me.

my cameo at lark + linen.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Today, Canadian Interior Designer, Jacquelyn, has interviewed me on her lovely blog lark + linen. If you haven't been to lark + linen before, it's jam packed with design tid bits, delicious recipes and scenes from her own life. Her photographs (like those pictured below) are so gorgeous and are what keep me coming back for more. It's such an honour to be featured by this talented blogger. So please, come by and visit and check out my interview here.

Happy Friday, readers!

A selection of Jacquelyn's photos. Images on the left are from her trip to India and images on the right are from her day to day life. That's her in the top right! I must mention that I did crop some of these to make them fit.

body architect, lucy mcrae.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Australian artist, Lucy McRae, presented a free talk last night at RMIT as part of the State of Design Festival. McRae has trained as both a dancer and architect so it's no surprise that I'd be interested in her work. Unfortunately for me, I found out a little too late. All I can say is thank god for the internet and Mr.Google images. Yes, I may have missed the talk but the bitter taste of regret is dulled by the fact that these images pretty much speak for themselves.

Image via The Design Files.
Lucy McRae in collaboration with Bart Hess. Image from Lucy McRae's website.
Lucy McRae in collaboration with Bart Hess. Image from Lucy McRae's website.
Image via weheart.

Image via State of Design website (ie. The website I should have looked at about an hour earlier than I did)

welcome, neighbours.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Last week, we moved into our new studio and our new neighbours, KPDO (Kerry Phelan Design Office) moved in a couple of days later. Our office has been working with Kerry and her team for years now (including the days she was a director of Hecker Phelan & Guthrie). Sharing a studio makes this partnership a little more official. Here are a selection of projects that we've completed together over the years. I worked on a few of these in my student and early graduate days and the knowledge I gained from these projects has really influenced the way I work now.

I'm looking forward to exchanging design secrets with this talented group of Interior Designers.

St Kilda house. Photograph by Earl Carter.

Toorak house. Photograph by Tessa Ross-Phelan.

South Yarra house. Photographs by Earl Carter.

Kew House. Photographs by Shannon McGrath.

ball-nogues studio.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

The partners of Ball-Nogues Studio trained as architects and now work in a realm that lies somewhere between architecture and installation. As architects, they have an awareness of how structures come together and how spaces relate to the human body. However, the temporary nature of their work and the focus on the experiential rather than functional, steers their work toward the realm of installation. Amazing, visually stunning work. It makes me jealous.

See more of their work on their website.

Built to Wear, Hong Kong 2009. Photographs by Benjamin Ball.
Spock's Blocks, 2009, Bordeaux. Photograph by arc en reve.
Gravity's Loom, 2010. Image courtesy of Indianapolis Museum.

Elastic Plastic Sponge, Coachella, 2005. This structure was built by the students of Southern California Institute of Architects in a studio led by Ball Nogues. How cool. Photographs by Chris Ball.
Maximilian's Schell, 2005. Photograph by Oliver Hess.

Images courtesy of Ball-Nogues Studio.

hello winter.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Okay, so it’s really Winter now. Truth is, I’m not so in love with this season. In an effort to convince myself otherwise, here are a collection of images that celebrate the dark mood of a Winter’s day. So although I can’t feel my toes, I can do my best to find inspiration in the creeping darkness of this intense, Winter sky.

Photograph of varnish in water by Alberto Seveso. Image via Un/stage.
Melting glaciers. Image via i like this blog.

"Bird cloud" by Anastasia Ugorskaya. Pencil on paper. Image from artist's website.

Image via Pinterest.
Installation by Matej Andraž Vogrinčič 2005. Photograph by Peter Benetts. Image via yellowtrace.
The Midsummer Marriage by Stephan Balleux . Pastel on paper. Image via Field.

can i stay there?

Monday, 11 July 2011

I've been dying to travel to Japan for years now. When I eventually do, I'd love to stay at Hotel Anteroom in Kyoto. Hotel Anteroom is a mix of holiday accommodation and rental apartments with a gallery space and restaurant.

Funnily enough, the pared back, industrial aesthetic with dashes of playful detailing are reminiscent of many Melbourne hospitality interiors. I guess you can't blame a girl for wanting to stay at a place that reminds her of home!

These photos were taken by graphic designer/paper artist, Justine of Upon a Fold. Pretty impressive travel photos, hey? Please visit her blog for her personal account of her stay here (and you might as well have a sticky beak some of her other goodies while you're there).

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