View from the studio. Photography Christina Waterson.

View from the Studio in the hills with local wonder companion Benson who visits the studio daily. Photography Christina Waterson.


Textures and layering of surrounding. Photography 2015.

Textures and layering of beautiful landscape all around. Photography Christina Waterson.

I’ve enjoyed a studio sojourn since moving from my beloved long term studio in Brisbane. The move and new rural surroundings (with a great community of creatives and passionate people) have guided my work to new levels while allowing me to better balance work and life. I’ve had a deeper connection to nature (wildlife; seasons and natural cycles that inform my work) and to my inner self through the time and experience.

Studio in the Hills 2015s

View to great studio with focused work space fitted out with beautiful objects including Darcy Clarke’s Tuesday Collection (Construct work table and Hoopla feature pendant pictured). Photography Christina Waterson.

Many of the projects I’ve worked on throughout 2015 have been large-scale high stake projects, so having a good base has been essential to keeping it real; staying relaxed and focused; and remembering why I am an artist.

Thank you to  Darcy Clarke for sharing the most amazing studio in the hills with the sky and beautiful things all around!


The Forbidden City

Dream Walking. At the heart of Beijing lies China’s Imperial Palace (from the Ming to the Qing Dynasties), now known as The Forbidden City; home to The Palace Museum. Photography Christina Waterson 2011.

I woke this morning to vivid memories of my visit to The Forbidden City in Beijing. My thoughts were settling on the entry courts and more intimate details all around in screens, soffits and artefacts. I was privileged to visit the Forbidden City as part of my Winston Churchill Fellowship in 2011.

Over the past few weeks I have had flashbacks from this life changing time and thoughts about each person I spent time with; visiting Keiji Ashizawa and his Tokyo studio; my friends at PolyU and SCAD in Hong Kong; Mr Ohashi San in Beppu; Arda in Istanbul… I spent time with such talented and passionate people.

It dawned on me that it’s three years this week since I embarked on my Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship Research. It’s three years since I started TRACEPATTERN to record and share the experience. The Fellowship broadened my practice. It dared me to dream large and have more belief in my direction and work.  It encouraged me to open out and through this process connect with highly skilled, intellectual and generous practitioners across the globe. Three years on I draw on this experience and knowledge as it continues to resonate through my life and work.

How the time has flown! To celebrate Tracepattern’s Anniversary I’ll be sharing previously unseen photography of the experience and re-sharing a few special posts made during my Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship.




Night Time Street View of Soft Cell (Domestic Bliss Exotic Dream) 2014.

Night Time Street View of Soft Cell (Domestic Bliss Exotic Dream) 2014.

During April and May 2014 I was privileged to display Soft Cell (Domestic Bliss Exotic Dream) 2014 Edition within artisan’s Ivory Street Window, Fortitude Valley. A small preliminary study of Soft Cell was first exhibited in 2012 as part of my solo exhibition Trace at Pinup Project Space, Melbourne. This study was made in cork rubber. By this time other studies and tests of Soft Cell at a small-scale had also been made in leather, felt and fabric.

Trace Exhibition Studies at Pinup 2012. Photography Tobias Titz.

Trace exhibition studies at Pinup Project Space in 2012. Study of Soft Cell 2012 top-far left. Photography Tobias Titz.

Soft Cell represented a deliberate desire to work with softer materials and forms. My Churchill Fellowship experience profoundly moved me to follow this softer approach, having predominantly worked with more linear and rectilinear geometric elements throughout my practice until that time. After my exhibition at Pinup Project Space I spent a busy year running around the countryside creative directing. There was not much time for making in the studio.

Soft Cell Ivory Street Window Installation prep.

Soft Cell Ivory Street Window Installation test layouts and preparation. April 2014.

In 2013 I committed to realising Soft Cell at a larger scale in more vibrant colours and everyday materials. A successful application in 2013 to display Soft Cell (Domestic Bliss Exotic Dream) 2014 Edition in artisan’s Ivory Street Window got the ball rolling.

After spending many years starting with hard materials and hard forms I found the result more often than not was “hard”. I set to making with soft materials and soft forms with a hope to relax and make softer works. Christina Waterson 2012

Soft undulating rhythmic forms make up the Soft Cell family. Each generation of form, while unique, originate from the same simple element combined in different ways. Making Soft Cell required me to move differently; using softer and less controlled movements than those used to make The Komodo Series and Bloom Series. These softer circular movements used different muscles in my body. Within the work the compression and tension imbued in each form’s surface did require my concentration and some good timing.

A sample of the layout options considered for the Ivory Street Edition of Soft Cell. Illustrations Christina Waterson.

A sample of the layout options considered for the Ivory Street Edition of Soft Cell. Illustrations Christina Waterson.

Soft Cell marked a shift from previous installations within the Ivory Street Window. My two previous installations within Ivory Street Window were more linear in nature. They were also made with a single material of predominantly one colour.  The Soft Cell 2014 installation could have taken an infinite number of layouts as shown above, in the preliminary sample options (L and C) for my original application. I decided on a geometric tartan layout (R).

Day time street view of Sequence 01 of Soft Cell.

Day time street view of Stage 02 of Soft Cell’s evolution. Photography Christina Waterson.

Soft Cell Sequence of Growth Showing (L >R) Stage 02, Stage 03 and Stage 05. Illustrations Christina Waterson.

Soft Cell Sequence of Growth (L >R) Stage 02, Stage 03 and Stage 05. Illustrations Christina Waterson.

The installation grew over time and evolved through a sequence of patterns. In doing this my hope was to draw people closer to inspect the work’s detail and form, and maybe ponder what the forms might remind them of, or how each colour might stir different memories and associations.

Vivid recollections and studies borne from a sense of rediscovering a distinctly Australian sense of nature and place are brought to light through this new collection. While the Domestic Bliss Exotic Dream Edition of Soft Cell uses everyday materials found in our homes, up close the materials’ colour, fluidity and overlay transport us to another place and suggest different flora, fauna and landscapes. One may see a hint of parrots, waves, jellyfish or a flourish of orchids in the overlapping arabesques. It’s these tactile curves and arabesques that form the essence of things – the soft cells. Christina Waterson Artist Statement 2014

Soft Cell Hues reminds me of orchids. Photography Christina Waterson.

Soft Cell Hues. Photography Christina Waterson.

Soft Cell Hues. Photography Christina Waterson.

Soft Cell Hues. Photography Christina Waterson.


Tweaking Soft Cell on the opening night of the exhibition. Stage 05 of Soft Cell’s evolution. Photography Richard Stride for artisan.

My work continues on the Soft Cell family of surfaces and forms. STAY TUNED as this new collection truly reaches its full potential!



Scale Screen 2012 by Christina Waterson (Detail). Photography by Tobias Titz 2012.

With the Stellar Collection of sculptural screens and wall reliefs etc. soon to be launched in Spring 2014 by the fabulous Australian furniture icon TAIT, let’s have a look back at a post from March 2012 showing the development of Scale Screen 2012. Here in full follows the original post – ENJOY! You can also see the original post here!

The development of Scale Screen occurred over many years. This project was assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body (through a New Work – Established – Australia Council Grant)Scale Screen’s origins are linked to my Bloom Series Home-wares and furniture range, launched in 2009. Scale Screen’s origins are linked to my Bloom Series Home-wares and Furniture range, launched in 2009. From the outset of the development of The Bloom Series, I had always envisioned Pixel Screen (pictured below) to be realised in coated sheet metal.

Pixel Screen part of The Bloom Series 2009 by Christina Waterson. Photography by Jon Linkins 2009.

Through the Australian Council Grant I rationalised the design of Pixel Screen in coated sheet metal to ensure modularity, as well as fabrication and installation ease. Importantly throughout this process I maintained the essential qualities of the original artwork. The streamlining of Pixel Screen however meant the adaption was different enough to warrant a new name. The name Scale Screen comes from the form of the elements that make up the screen. They look like reptile scales (especially Brown Snakes or Frilly Necked Lizards, and also like the opened mouth of a Frilly Necked Lizard) so the name directly reflects this quality and also references my unique country Australian childhood;

The surface, colour and depth of the Scale Screen project is informed by the skin of Taipan and King Brown snakes. In my hometown of Sharon in Queensland, the remnants of shedded snakeskin on timber joists proves a reminder of the local reptilian residents – snakes rub on the rough joists to break their skin for the process of shedding. Amongst Australia’s most aggressive and poisonous snakes, the beauty of their skin belies their potential danger. I play with the duality of the notions of protective efficiency and deadly beauty as being inherent to Australian native flora and fauna.

In the foreground: Scale Screen 2012 Photography by Tobias Titz 2012.

A distant and more acute view of Scale Screen 2012 to the right. Photography by Tobias Titz 2012.

My works are intended to be experienced in space, time and light. This is particularly clear in the development of Scale Screen 2012. The patterns within its surface are 3-dimensional; they are patterns that exist in space – new patterns are revealed and continuously evolve as you walk around the work.

I applied the knowledge I gained through the Australia Council Grant Research and Development to other subsequent commissions. Taking Flight (pictured below) uses the same fabrication techniques as Scale Screen but has dramatic differences in form and concept.

Taking Flight 2011

Conceptual Photography of Scale Screen’s sister work Taking Flight 2011 (Folded Aluminium wall relief commissioned by Aurecon) directly used the skills and knowledge from developing Scale Screen. Photography by Jon Linkins 2010.

Taking Flight 2011 by Christina Waterson installed in Aurecon’s Brisbane Head Office Reception. This work aimed to capture a sense of action and growth; similar to birds alighting from a forest or the flourish of blooms in spring. Photography by Jon Linkins 2011.

Scale Screen 2012 Detail by Christina Waterson within Trace at Pin-up Architecture and Design Project Space. Photography by James Braund.

Scale Screen 2012 Detail by Christina Waterson within Trace at Pin-up Architecture and Design Project Space. Photography by James Braund 2012.

I would like to sincerely thank the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body for assisting the Scale Screen project.

Go to TAIT’s Website and TAIT’s Blog for all news on the launch of the Stellar Collection in Spring 2014.

Fall 2002 Installation Concept for Ivory Street Window Installation in 2005 part of Unleashed 2005, artisan. Illustration by Christina Waterson.

Fall 2002 Concept for Ivory Street Window Installation in 2005 part of Unleashed 2005, artisan. Illustration by Christina Waterson.

Over almost a decade I have enjoyed exhibiting my large-scale installations in artisan’s Ivory Street Window. The space is perfect; it’s protected while being very public; outward looking to Ivory and Brunswick Street and therefore an accessible way to present to people who wouldn’t ordinarily get to engage with my larger scale works. People can appreciate the installations there day and night as they walk, drive or bus by. The space also affords a different understanding of ones work through the light, movement, near and far approach; and the scale of the window space and street itself.

I’ve presented installations in artisan’s Ivory Street Window at key moments in my practice. Here I share with you a snap shot of the three installations undertaken in 2005, 2008 and most recently 2014.

Fall 2002 Detail of Ivory Street Installation 2005. Photography Andrea Higgins for artisan.

Fall 2002 Detail of Ivory Street Installation 2005. Photography Andrea Higgins for artisan.

Fall 2002 was installed in artisan’s Ivory Street Window in 2005 as part of Unleashed exhibition.  Fall’s interlocking stainless steel elements cascade against the surface of the wall with its elements able to be reconfigured into a hanging installation (Rest 2002) and stacked horizontally (Align 2002).

Front View.

Fall 2002 Detail of Ivory Street Installation 2005. Photography Christina Waterson.

Gravity transformed the perfect geometric forms into a scurry of movement and light. The stainless steel elements quivered with slight changes in air flow and their thin edges reflected the smallest presence of light. Street and traffic lights as well as headlights of passing cars were beautifully reflected in the work’s thin stainless steel edges. Fall is now an important part of my personal collection and takes pride of place in my living room.

Plexus 2008 installed in artisan's Ivory Street Window in 2008. Photography by Andrea Higgins for artisan.

Plexus #1 2008 installed in artisan’s Ivory Street Window in 2008. Photography by Andrea Higgins for artisan.

Plexa #1 (Cardboard Prototype) 2008 prested inIvory Street in 2008. Photography Andrea Higgins for artisan.

Plexus #1 (Cardboard Prototype Komodo Series) 2008 hand cut and woven in recycled cardboard. Presented in artisan’s Ivory Street in 2008. Photography Andrea Higgins for artisan.

In 2008 I showcased a preliminary hand cut cardboard prototype of Plexus #1 (Part of the Komodo Series launched later that year at Living Edge, Brisbane). The series includes three-dimensional arrays, weavings and sculptural objects that explore beautiful repetitive, structural forms at a variety of scales.


Plexus #1 (Cardboard Prototype Komodo Series) 2008 detail showing the space of the window and materiality of the work. Photography Andrea Higgins for artisan.

As people moved past the the window installation they would see ever shifting tessellation between the work and its shadow. Closer inspection revealed the delightful materiality and complexity of the interwoven elements. Over the month Plexus #1 was in artisan’s Ivory Street Window it evolved and grew; with new elements added weekly until it finally filled the window.

Day time street view of Sequence 01 of Soft Cell.

Day time street view of Sequence 01 – Soft Cell (Domestic Bliss Exotic Dream) 2014. Photography Christina Waterson.


Dusk street view of Sequence 04 – Soft Cell (Domestic Bliss Exotic Dream) 2014. Photography Courtesy of Richard Stride for artisan.

Soft Cell 2014 was installed during May 2014. The installation evolved through five distinct sequences and was a playful and colourful installation of my latest collection and softer direction.

Night Time Street View of Soft Cell (Domestic Bliss Exotic Dream) 2014.

Night time street view of the final sequence of growth – Soft Cell (Domestic Bliss Exotic Dream) 2014. Photography Christina Waterson.

More on this my latest installation – Soft Cell 2014 and the whole collection in a future post! STAY TUNED!

THANK YOU artisan; idea skill product for supporting my work through display and exhibition over the past decade. 




Launching the Why We Create Series in 2012 at Pin-up Project Space Melbourne. Photography James Braund.

Throughout my creative practice I enjoy sharing knowledge through writing, blogging, lectures, talks and workshops. It may come as a surprise to you just how active I am in this area. It’s an integral part of my practice, if not sometimes the most important.  Why? I feel sharing my perspective and experience in this way may encourage other practitioners, bring perspective to professions about the importance of design and creative thinking; share an understanding of the process behind realising creative projects and encourage people to find their own groove and path in the world.

On the eve of presenting a series of workshops and talks for QUT Art Museum as part of the WOOD: art design architecture exhibition (presently at QUT Art Museum) I reflect on some of the key knowledge sharing moments I have enjoyed along the way.


Sharing the making and concept behind Tracelet 2012. Photography James Braund.

Since starting my blog in 2011 I have enjoyed writing about creative practitioners’ work as well sharing the background to my own practice and process. During this time I also contributed as a freelance writer and photographer for ArchitectureAU and worked as Creative Director for Howwecreate.

QUT Landscape Design Studio Workshops 2009. Photography Christina Waterson.

QUT Landscape Design Studio Workshops, 2009. Photography Christina Waterson.

Pattern and Tectonic’ Workshops for Brisbane State High School Year 11 Art Students in early 2013 culminated in their annual CREATE event. An Art + Place Workshop and Talk, for Arts Queensland, at Noosa in 2012 led to a chance meeting with architect Phillip Daffara (PlaceSense). My inclusion in a series of Workshops with artists Nicole Voevodin-Cash (Public art and Landform) and James Muller (New media/Film maker) for Montessori International College Students the same year came from this first meeting. The workshops engaged students and staff to use art practices in galvanising concepts, developing guiding principles to articulate the Art+Place vision; and identifying opportunities for integrated artworks within the College’s new campus.

Why We Create's Queensland Launch

Why We Create’s Queensland Launch in 2012 at Trace on James Street.

Side Project Interview with architect Shane Thompson.

SLQ APDL Side Project Interview with architect Shane Thompson. Image Courtesy of APDL.

There have been a host of public lectures and forums each with their own unique focus, content and audience. Most memorable were an SLQ Side Project Interview with Architect Shane Thompson in 2012, Pecha Kucha UNLIMITED Talk (State Library of Qld) in 2010, World IP Day Talk QUT (Kelvin Grove Campus) and Pecha Kucha Vol 01 (Brisbane Powerhouse) in 2008. I recently gave a talk to design students visiting DesignEX 2014. I presented alongside the exceptionally talented practitioners Gordon Tait (TAIT) and Adam Goodrum in a session chaired by Penny Craswell. I so enjoyed seeing Gordon and Adam’s inspirational work!

Bombay Sapphire Design Discovery Award Talk at Redland Gallery in 2008.

Bombay Sapphire Design Discovery Award Floor Talk at Redland Gallery in 2008.

Artist Talks are a lovely way to connect with people and share knowledge on a more intimate level. My most memorable and enjoyable artist talks include one held at the Rosshilli House, Ipswich (Queensland), a Gold Coast Chapter DIA Breakfast Talk in 2010, and a Bombay Sapphire Design Discovery Award Talk at the Redlands Regional Art Gallery in 2008.

Bond Uni Guest Critic

Guest Critic for Bond Uni Architecture Design Studio Crits in 2013. Photography Courtesy of Bond University.

Guest lecturing and critiquing is also important and takes a lot of energy to ensure feedback is specific, clear and relevant to each student and their project. Last week I had the pleasure of being a guest critic for Suzanne Bosanquet’s 3rd Year Design Studio at University of Queensland (UQ). I have been a guest critic across a diverse range of design fields including Architecture Design, Interior Design and Landscape Design at The Queensland University of Technology, University of Queensland and Bond University.

The 2014 Australian Interior Design Awards Jury.

The 2014 AIDA jury (L-R): Paul Kelly, Susanna Bilardo, Hamish Guthrie, Joanne Cys (jury convenor), Geraldine Maher, Victoria Judge, Matthew Blain, Christina Waterson and Ryan Russell. Not pictured is jury sustainability advisor, John Gertsakis. Photography Jonathan Butler. Courtesy of ArchitectureAU.

Being a member of the judging panel for 2013 The Australian Interior Design Awards and returning as a Co-Chair for the Awards in 2014 was insightful, affirming and fantastic to contribute to the design profession in this way. Other guest judging roles I have undertaken include for the 2008 Noosa Regional Travelling Scholarship, and 2012 Launchpad Programme.

You never know the difference made through sharing in these ways. I encourage you to be generous with your time, ideas and perspective when it comes to knowledge sharing. Your biggest legacy may well be how you inspire people to greater things in their own practice.

See QUT Museum’s website for WOOD Workshops in June 2014. I am also presenting a public floor talk on Thursday 12 June 2014 at the QUT Art Museum.

Colony 2010. Photography Jon Linkins.

Colony 2010. Made in Agathis Australis (New Zealand Kauri or Kauri). Photography Jon Linkins.

After touring Australia for the past year for WOOD: art design architectureColony 2010 came home to Queensland this month and is presently on show at the QUT Art Museum. The Kauri used for Colony 2010 is very old, has passed through many hands and travelled countless miles. In the 1800’s Kauri Pines, tens of thousands of years old were felled in Northern New Zealand and shipped to Australia.

The Making of Colony. Photography Christina Waterson.

This complex work was made possible through working with a highly skilled artisan based near Mapleton, Queensland. His knowledge of making and respect for the wood is evident in the final piece. The precious wood was used as efficiently as possible. Photography Christina Waterson.

This timber was used for bridges, boats and storage vats because of its strength and natural resistance to rot. During this time the Kauri used in Colony 2010 was shipped to Sydney and made into rum vats for the Pyrmont distillery that began operation in the 1890’s. In the early 1990’s the distillery was closed and the Kauri staves from the vats were salvaged.

I grew up in Bundaberg (Queensland) where sugar and rum production were the main industries. Large Bundaberg rum vats similar to those at Pyrmont Distillery. Photo courtesy of Bundaberg Rum.

I grew up in Bundaberg (Queensland) where sugar and rum production were the main industries. Pictured here are large Bundaberg rum vats similar to those from the Pyrmont Distillery. Photo courtesy of Bundaberg Rum Ltd.

Traces of the timber’s previous use have been kept in Colony 2010. Some panels still have the rum visible in their surface: appearing as darker lines and shades. The rum soaked staves wafted of rum as they were machined. Colony 2010 is an experiment. It is a lesson in what not to do with wood. The wood staves have been cut to reveal the patterned end grain of the Kauri to show the age of the original tree. While the timber is very old and stable this type of cutting and tapering has really pushed the material to its limit.

Colony 2010 (Detail). Photography Jon Linkins.

Colony 2010 (Detail). Photography Jon Linkins.

The finite nature of Kauri Pine: the tree and the wood, have informed the work’s arrangement. Colony 2010 is made up of like, repeated parts grouped together for strength, protection and support. At the edges is where the work is vulnerable but also where it is most likely to grow, multiply and seek out new ground.

Colony 2010. Photography Jon Linkins.

Colony 2010 silhouette. The edge holds the greatest potential for growth or vulnerability. Photography Jon Linkins.

At the edges of society, culture and thinking this dichotomy also exists. At these edges creative endeavours, new ideas and ways of thinking push forward into unknown territory or pull back to safer ground. At the edge there is the potential to succeed and grow, or risk everything, fail and retreat. Colony 2010 holds true to this condition by pushing material, form and ideas of function. Its existence is a result of pure belief and a will to strive for something more. Seeing this work again reminded me just how lucky I am to still be on this journey, despite all odds.

WOOD: art design architecture is on show at the QUT Art Museum until 29 June 2014. Check out there website for public programmes, events and workshops related to wood (the material and the exhibition). WOOD: art design architecture resulted from a collaboration between JamFactory Contemporary Craft and Design and Botanic Gardens of Adelaide, where it was presented in February through early April 2013, with the exhibition continuing its national tour throughout 2013 and 2014. Take a closer look at my review of the original exhibition here.