Australian Design Centre plays a critical role in celebrating the work of Australian artists who embrace the highest degree of skill and who continually explore material, process and ideas to advance contemporary craft and design practice.

Object Space is our window gallery located at the Australian Design Centre HQ on William Street, Darlinghurst, on view 24 hours a day.

24 November 2022 - 28 January 2023

Alchemical Worlds: Reflections connects undeciphered ancient alchemical mirroring and symmetry compositions with climate science research on coral and trees. The repeat pattern on Ahimsa or peace silk features the Great Basin bristlecone pine (Pinus longaeva) and brain coral (Diploria labyrinthiformis) – the oldest known living species on earth, close to 5,000 years. These ‘bioarchivists’ are significant non-human living entities that hold long-term climate data beyond human records.

The printed textile length provides a backdrop for animated sculptural form made from found wood and intricate crochet that re-imagines an active community of ‘bioarchivists’. The artists explore a magical world of climate stories by combining these materials, images and objects.

Agnieszka Golda and Jo Law are collaborators based in Wollongong, on Dharawal Country. Agnieszka’s practice focuses on textiles, sculptural installations, and painting. Jo specialises in media arts, animation and film. They work with researchers in environmental sciences, materials science and engineering to combine traditional techniques and novel technologies in artworks that respond to socio-cultural issues of climate change and well-being. Their works have been exhibited at the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, Sydney and internationally in Hong Kong, and Japan. The Alchemical Worlds series is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

Alchemical Worlds: Reflections, 2021
Screen printed Ahimsa silk, $2,500

Alchemical Worlds: Reflections, 2022
bamboo, found wood, cotton and electronics
Animated Sculpture, $3,500

Q & A with Agnieszka Golda and Jo Law

How does your collaboration with each other influence your work?

Our collaborations have deepened our interest and investigations into the idea of ‘animation’. How can we animate the inanimate and reveal or evoke life in materials and objects to create familiar yet strange scenarios that reflect the world around us. In Alchemical Worlds: Reflections, we constructed an animated scene that references corals. These fascinating animals form some of the most diverse ecosystems in the world.

In your work you focus on issues such as climate change and well-being. Why is this a focus?

Climate change and well-being of humans and non-humans are interrelated. Current climate and environmental crises can, directly and indirectly, impact physical and mental health. Psychological challenges associated with climate change reveal a phenomenon called 'eco-anxiety' or 'ecological grief. In addition, the continuous spread of the COVID-19 virus has had an enormous and diverse impact on people globally. Through our collaborative projects, we employ 'eco mindful’ making and thinking. We consciously position our projects at the interaction of art, craft, science, and technology to offer creative, relational responses to dual global crises facing us today: climate change and well-being.

Tell us about your project ‘Materials science, slow textiles & ecological futures’. What was the outcome of this project?

This project builds on our 2017 Visiting Research Fellowship at the Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences (MAAS), which investigated using traditional slow textile techniques used in the Museum’s Asian collection to embed conductive materials into fabric. We invited materials scientist Dr Sepidar Sayyar and climate scientist Professor Helen McGregor to collaborate to incorporate innovative materials such as conductive graphene, and current climate data into large-scale e-textile artworks.

Spinning World (2018-19) exhibited at Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum was the creative outcome of the project and depicted stories of our changing climate to inspire meaningful action through multisensory and participatory installation. We continued our collaboration to produce Alchemical Worlds (2021) exhibited at Wollongong Art Gallery and a new adaptation of this exhibition will be presented at the Creative Media Centre, City University of Hong Kong in January 2023.

How do you incorporate ‘slow textiles’ processes into your work?

Our e-textile works use 'slow' - labour-intensive, repetitive, and hand-made processes. A slow approach to making focuses and, as a result, calms the mind. It encourages mindfulness and environmental sustainability and enables expressions of care and connectivity with our communities and the natural environment. The images are hand-stencilled and screen-printed by hand, threads are crocheted, fabrics are hand-stitched and sewn, and even the electronics components like speakers and electromagnets are hand-made using methods like embroidery.

Your printed textile work in Object Space, Alchemical Worlds: Reflections, connects ancient alchemical patterns and climate science. What was involved in making this work?

In this repeat-pattern textile artwork, the Great Basin bristlecone pine (Pinus longaeva) and brain coral (Diploria labyrinthiformis) are transformed through slow-making methods and sustainable approaches. Alchemists' attempts to transmute mundane substances into precious metals led to the discovery of many pigments, paints, dyes, and art materials. The work draws on compositions of mirroring and symmetry based on undeciphered images from ancient alchemical journals. The background is hand-painted with upcycled metallic inks in copper, gold and silver. The surface is then overprinted with marbled opaque inks depicting the recurring motifs. The Great Basin bristlecone pine and brain coral are brought together and transformed into a repeat pattern printed on Ahimsa (peace) silk. This artwork harnesses the interaction between the opaque and the shimmering qualities of metallic gold and glitter paint to hint at the communal structures of these bio-archivists who maintain ancient climate records that span thousands of years. Together these species provide essential data that helps us understand our changing climate.

Image top: Agnieszka Golda and Jo Law, Alchemical Worlds: Reflections (detail) , 2022 Photo: Courtesy of the artists

Video: Agnieszka Golda and Jo Law, Alchemical Worlds, Wollongong Art Gallery 2021. Video: Courtesy of of the artists

Alchemical Worlds: Reflections

24 November 2022 - 28 January 2023

This work connects ancient patterns with climate science research on coral and trees.

Chili Philly: Crochet Social 2023

COMING SOON!
4 February – 22 March 2023

Phil Ferguson, aka Chili Philly, brings Object Space to life for Sydney WorldPride with their delectable crochet creations, school dance social-style!

Yurilyimanha Wajarri Barna

28 October - 22 November 2022

yurilyimanha wajarri barna - moving about on Country, was named by Aunty Elvie Dann in Wajarri country of the Murchison region in Western Australia. An opportunity to connect to Country and share cultural knowledge whilst crafting kangaroo pelt bags.

Hope: An ADC and GOST collaboration

7 - 28 October 2022
A creative exchange between Australian Design Centre and Canberra’s Gallery of Small Things (GOST), Hope presents two simultaneous exhibitions in each venue, bringing NSW and ACT-based makers to new audiences.

Dinner Table Syndrome

9 August - 28 September

Sue Jo Wright is a Sydney-based artist using textiles to explore the concept of ‘Dinner Table Syndrome’, a term used to describe the alienation deaf and hard-of-hearing people experience every day at important social gatherings — such as at the dining table.

Tjanpi Desert Weavers

14 July - 1 August 2022


Tjanpi artists use tjanpi (grass) to make spectacular contemporary fibre art, weaving beautiful baskets and sculptures and displaying endless creativity and inventiveness.

Indigenous Jewellery Project

2 June - 13 July 2022

The aim of the Indigenous Jewellery Project is to strengthen and continue existing traditions and facilitate artists to develop a career as exhibiting contemporary artist jewellers through upskilling.

The Miner's Wife

31 March – 31 May 2022

A textile work is inspired by the Coober Pedy tradition of the miner’s wife having first pick of the quarried opals.

Subplot

4 March – 28 March 2022

Otto Paton raises questions about the hidden forces that shape our future while investigating the impact of development on the urban landscape.

High (safe)-Tea

10 February – 3 March 2022

High (Safe)-Tea presents a traditional tea party playfully reimagined with an emphasis on hygiene and safety in a COVID-19 safe manner.

Apothecary Now!

18 November 2021 - 02 February 2022

Inspired by Renaissance apothecary jars (or albarellos), Sassy Park’s pots use techniques and motifs that link the current Covid-19 pandemic to history

Windowsmiths: Murmuration

20 May - 7 July, 2021

Murmuration - A Pliable Formation is a contemporary installation by the Windowsmiths.

Gingham All You’ve Got

25 March - 13 May
Eloise Rapp uses regular cotton business shirts as the base material for her work commenting on the urgent need to repair, reuse and revalue used textiles as robust materials.

Fashion Futures

4 February - 20 March 2021

In partnership with UTS Fashion & Textiles, we present a selection of work by the 2020 graduates. Three designers will be featured in our William Street window gallery for two weeks each. The designers are: Joshua Saacks, Kerry Brack and Sally Jackson.

Patterns In-between

26 November, 2020 - 27 January, 2021

Patterns In-between is Bic’s self-examination of living between two cultures and acknowledgement of the reality that exists ‘in-between’. 

Connecting Cultures

9 October – 24 November, 2020 

Connecting Cultures showcases wearable collections from Indigenous Australian brand, Gillawarra Arts and Colombian brand, Mami Watta Collections.

WORKSHOPPED20: Object Space

9 August - 30 September 2020 

On display, work by Alex Gilmour, WORKSHOPPED20 superstar.

The New Neighbours: Meredith Woolnough

09 June - 29 July 2020

On display in Object Space is the work The New Neighbours by Meredith Woolnough as a part of the exhibition Open House: 3rd Tamworth Textile Triennial.

In the Fire Zone: How to Cook a Knife

26 March - 27 May 2020

Designer-maker, contemporary jeweller and winner of the Australian Design Centre Award for Profile 19, Dianne Beevers investigates what might happen if people learn how to make their own domestic tools. This exhibition reveals her first accomplishments in knifemaking showing two Damascus kitchen knives.

Sweet Spot: Julie Paterson

31 January - 18 March 2020

Sweet Spot is a collection of stencil symbols and the marks that they make. In this work Julie Paterson cross pollinates her multidimensional practice as a designer, painter and printmaker. The collection of symbols, originally part of landscape paintings, create a library of shapes that leap from the canvas.

Bright Start

21 November 2019 - 22 January 2020

Bright Start features the work of first year students of the Bachelor of Design Degree and is part of the Designing Bright Futures exhibition program produced by Australian Design Centre in partnership with UNSW Art & Design. 

Intergradation: Taerim Claire Jeon

3 October - 13 November 2019

Intergradation is an exhibition of the Jogakbo (Traditional Korean patchwork) work of a Sydney based artist Taerim Claire Jeon. This exhibition is presented in partnership with the Korean Cultural Centre, Australia. 

Gadigal Mural Exhibition

2 July - 13 August 2019

Gadigal Mural is an Object Space exhibition, celebrating NAIDOC 2019 and the United Nations International Year of Indigenous Language. 

Jane Theau

1 August – 25 September 2019

Just shopping, always shopping is one of a series of large-scale lace drawings depicting people in unexceptional, everyday moments

Stephen Goddard

28 May - 26 June 2019

Welcome. by Stephen Goddard explores typographical design, punctation and meaning in street signage.

How do you read the sign? If you trespass will you be prosecuted, or that no trespassing violators will be prosecuted and should be allowed to stay?  

Suzanne McRae

11 April - 26 May 2019

Suzanne McRae's work is immersed in sentimentality and the haunting nature of memory. These once cherished creatures, inhabitants of the past, live on today. 

Gunybi Ganambarr

1 February - 3 April 2019

On display in Object Space is the work of acclaimed Yolngu artist Gunybi Ganambarr as part of the exhibition STEEL: art design architecture. 

Dennis Golding

22 November 2018 - 23 January 2019

Kamilaroi/Gamilaraay artist Dennis Golding exhibits one of his newest superhero capes titled My Cape, which empowers human and posthuman experiences of being on country. 

Dorothy Filshie

5 October - 14 November 2018

Fish Out of Water is an exhibition of the textile object work of NSW artist Dorothy Filshie.

Esme Timbery: Shellwork

2 August - 3 October 2018

The iconic artworks, Untitled 'Sydney Opera House' and Untitled 'Harbour Bridge' by Bidjigal artist and elder Esme Timbery celebrate the important shellwork tradition of the La Perouse community and Timbery's contemporary practice. 

Euphemia Bostock

21 June - 29 July 2018

Fashion Collection 1987 by artist Euphemia Bostock is a collection of handprinted garments featuring original designs created for the 1987 Au Printemps Department Store exhibition ‘Australis down under’ in Paris.

Vita Cochran

5 April - 22 May 2018

Textile artist Vita Cochran embraces bold colour and geometric designs through her hand-embroidered handbags and applique hangings. 

Play Up

8 February - 24 March 2018

This project involved the making of objects to support humour therapy in dementia care and was a collaboration between Tasman Munro, a social designer interested in creating objects that bring life to communities and Jean-Paul Bell, a humourmanitarian with a long history in the arts and health industry. 

Gunjan Aylawadi

6 October – 15 October 2017

Sydney-based paper artist Gunjan Aylawadi presents HAKK, a large-scale, intricate paper installation.

Adam Cornish

23 November 2017 - 31 January 2018

Adam Cornish's Trinity Collection is based on the nautilus shell and was the first project he designed for Alessi.