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 a window gallery located in the window of the Australian Design Centre HQ on William Street in Darlinghurst. The exhibition space has direct street frontage, is accessible to view 24 hours a day and is lit for viewing at night.

31 January to 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.

Julie on Sweet Spot
I love the process and the story telling of my craft. Setting out on a new project is always an adventure. There’s pleasure in allowing the ideas and connections to form as they come, one step at a time. I’ve learned not to anticipate the outcome. It’s better to trust the journey. The cut paper stencils I’m using are ones that I created when making a new body of work last summer in the Blue Mountains for a show called Edge To Edge. The works I created were printed land and cityscapes of favourite places - some here in NSW, some in Tasmania and Scotland. I built up these artworks in layers, overprinting many times, building up a large scale image from tiny little shapes cut from paper and applied with a roller over and over, until the form felt right. Cut paper stencils have always been my favourite method to create new work for textiles - they are an immediate and intuitive was of designing.  This was the first time I had used them to create complex large scale landscapes.

I was turning my process on its head, letting my textile practice steer my art practice for a change. Turns out it was a good move. As I cut each stencil shape and applied it to the artwork, I also printed it onto a clean piece of fabric - one by one as the shapes came – to be the reference and record of the artwork as it was being made. They became a legend, a catalogue of symbols that collectively describe the landscapes. Then the joy, the surprise when I realised that, in fact, this legend, these individual stencils themselves, were the heroes of the project, rather than the artworks. I called them my Library of Shapes. 

So now a year later, I am returning to these libraries, and taking them to the next step back towards textile design. For the first time I will be repeating theses motifs, symbols, stencils and shapes to create a new body of work – a prototype group of fabrics. I’ve called this new work Sweet Spot, because as an artist and designer, this is where I find my most creative space, in that sweet spot where the two disciplines overlap.

As a part of the exhibition program, Julie will spend 18-22 February printing in the William Street window culminating in a day of workshops, listed below.

Sweet Spot Community Printmaking Workshop
Join an hour-long stencil print workshop to create a unique, collaborative textile design with Julie. 
When: Saturday 22 February, 2020
Where: Australian Design Centre
Tickets: $55, all materials included, book here

Images (t-b): Julie Paterson, Sweet Spot (detail), 2019. Julie Paterson in her studio. Photos : courtesy the artist

julie paterson