Current and upcoming projects, commissions, new products etc..
Re-launching Solid through Artefact Industries
Some thoughts on Solid
Considering it was my first real foray into the world of industrial design, back in 2014, I thought it a fairly natural transition to make by approaching the design in much the same way I approach my art. As an artist I always try to make a point of not overly imposing my will on the materials I use, allowing them to express themselves. After all, they are chosen quite purposefully for their particular characteristics, idiosyncrasies, and maximising those elements greatly contributes to the success of the work. I really believe a minimalist aesthetic is the best way to work with nature, it doesn’t jar against the primal visual language the work is immersed in. A built environment is another story, with a different visual language at play, much more literal, cerebral. While I will use a completely different style of work, depending on the context, with lighting I feel the minimalist aesthetic can bridge that language barrier with great self-assurance.
This is very much the case with Solid. It’s timber – plain and simple. I find there is an objective beauty in wood that deserves to be expressed and displayed without the constraints of a designer’s ego or excessive engineering. I feel the same way about most materials – stone, glass etc, even paint. So with Solid the aim was to produce a simple expression of form, and show off the piece of timber. The proportions are designed with this aim in mind, while allowing the necessary nuts & bolts side of things to function without obstructing the aesthetic.
That turned out to be the hard part.
Minimalism often takes such a painfully laborious and convoluted journey to arrive at a result that seems so effortlessly simple. In this case; maintaining the unbroken appearance of a single piece of timber, while allowing full access to the lighting components inside took a level of engineering that is almost excessive, but really just enough. The design has gone through a number of alterations over the years – changing the proportions and re-mounting the diffuser internally, and may go through more still. Much the same with my artwork, things are rarely “finished”, it’s a state that is far too static for my liking anyway.
It’s also been a great experience collaborating with Artefact Industries on the product. It’s opened up opportunities to work directly with architects and interior designers, even selecting specific pieces of timber to match their overall design scheme – producing a great result, and very happy clients. It’s a great relationship, bridging my creative / experimental side as an artist with the commercial realm. Artefact’s influence and commitment to working with Australian companies also meant that the internal components are locally produced, even the LED strip – a cutting edge, very high-end, high quality product manufactured locally by Coolon, a company I’m also working with on a large public art project.
We’re extremely lucky to have access to a huge variety of timbers right on our doorstep and working with them also presents a great opportunity to show off some less likely species of timber, reclaimed or sustainably forested Australian hardwoods and hydro-woods. The product can be a statement piece, or blend in with any interior design scheme or palette.
Every piece has its own story to tell…
The Solid range is available now through Artefact Industries
Shenzhen public art project
I’m about to install a new public art piece in Shenzhen. Commissioned by China Resourced Ltd. through Art Front Gallery (Japan) I’m delighted to be involved in such a significant project. A select group of artists from around the world have been chosen to install permanent works in the new MixC development in China’s Silicon Valley. My work “Diaphanous Bloom” is made of polished stainless steel, mist and light and rises nearly 10 meters above the grounds of the central plaza, emitting a canopy of mist. People can walk under and through the ikebana-inspired form and watch the mist roll along the wind currents, picking up the sunlight filtering in through the surrounding architecture. At night the work glows with it’s own integrated lighting. A big thanks to Art Front Gallery, UAP, and China Resources Ltd. for the opportunity.
Grand opening December 2017
The Ripple Light
A new prototype currently being tweaked, Ripple is a hand-turned timber wall light that sits on that exciting fence right between art and design. An expression of my affinity to water and my experiences studying and working with it over many years. This piece pictured is in pine, with red gum detailing. 430mm diam.
Hand Crafted Hi-Fi
I’ve begun developing a range of hi-fi speakers, using solid tone-woods to produce a very responsive and developed sound. Pictured above are bookshelf speakers in solid cherry wood. The 5.5″ wid-woofer and 1.5″ tweeter by Scanspeak coupled with a custom designed crossover work to produce a very smooth response, great for any mid-sized room.
I’m currently open to orders through the contact page
More designs and sizes on the way..