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The launch of the Stellar Collection at Tait's Sydney Showroom. Photography Fiona Susanto courtesy of Tait.

The launch of the Stellar Collection at TAIT’S Sydney Showroom. Photography Fiona Susanto courtesy of TAIT.

The Stellar Collection was launched in Melbourne and Sydney during October and November 2014. I so enjoyed these events with TAIT because after all our hard work we shared Stellar with such lovely people. It’s a pleasure to post a transcript of the short speech I gave on the occasion of the launch of Stellar in Sydney, on 6 November 2014.

In the moment welcoming guests

Christina Waterson in the moment welcoming guests. Photography Fiona Susanto courtesy of TAIT.

Thank you for sharing this special evening with us as we launch the Stellar Collection.

The Stellar Collection was inspired by the night sky. As a child I was in awe of the Milky Way’s beauty and would spend many a hot summer’s night out on the water tank star watching. My brothers and I would look for satellites and shooting stars, often making our own constellations using the stars we could see, and our different interests as a reference point. This playfulness is at the heart of the Stellar Collection as it encourages people to become modern-day astronomers, making their own constellations and patterns in the form of sculptural screens, ceilings, wall reliefs and objects.

While the names and patterns for our traditional constellations are inherited from Greek mythology, almost every culture on earth envisaged patterns in the stars that captured their unique culture and nature. For Stellar’s signature patterns I re-imagined the stars in the night sky to form a set of new constellations based on the patterns and lines of Australian flora and fauna.

Avid audience

Avid audience listens to Gordon Tait’s MCing for the Sydney Launch of Stellar. Photography Fiona Susanto courtesy of TAIT.

Tonight we are launching three signature patterns in the Stellar Collection called Kingii, Banksia and Rosella. Kingii reflects the distinct form of the Frilled-neck lizard’s open mouth. Patterns within the Banksia’s flower spikes at different stages of growth and blooming are reflected in the Banksia pattern. And my favourite pattern in the collection, Rosella, captures the moment when a family of Rosellas (birdies) alight from feeding on grass seed and pine nuts.

My passion is to create large-scale intricate surfaces whose depth, detail, and effect on light and shadow transform and bring a finer grain to the spaces around us. Therefore it’ only natural that Stellar’s elements form sculptural screens, wall reliefs and ceilings. The elements also make both functional and sculptural objects and we have a few of our favourites on show tonight.

We are delighted to share the Stellar Collection with you and can’t wait to see the unique patterns, objects and colour combinations that you create with Stellar.

Thank you and enjoy the evening.

What a wonderful evening. Thank you to all who attended for making it so special!

What a wonderful evening made special by the lovely guests. Photography Fiona Susanto courtesy of TAIT.

Gordon Tait and Susan Tait.

Gordon and Susan Tait sharing a special moment with Christina Waterson. Photography Fiona Susanto courtesy of TAIT.

Stellar is a credit to all involved in the process. A massive thank you to Susan and Gordon Tait for your generosity of spirit and belief in realising the Stellar Collection. Thank you to TAIT’S fabulous team whose skill and expertise across all areas of streamlining, fabricating and sharing Stellar make it unique. To Max&You thank you for your amazing energy on all things marketing and publicity of Stellar for TAIT, and especially such enjoyable launch events. Thank you Mr Cameron Bruhn for MCing Stellar’s Melbourne Launch, and Gordon Tait for MCing the Stellar’s Sydney Launch – you both brought a personal touch through the insights you shared.

Thank you to all who attended the launch events – it was great meeting such lovely, enthusiastic and talented individuals.

Visit TAIT for more information about the Stellar Collection.

My Torbreck Home and Studio of Seven Years. Photography Aidan Murphy.

My Torbreck Home and Studio of Seven Years. Photography Aidan Murphy 2008.

Maybe you’ve noticed I have been extremely quiet of late. I’ve been busy planning, packing and de-cluttering in preparation for moving from my precious Torbreck studio and home of seven years. It was a major undertaking, made more difficult by the success of my creative practice and a very busy 2014. A good problem to have – yes!

I launched my creative business from this studio in 2007. The unique light and outlook at Torbreck has been inspirational. Many of my collections including The Komodo Series 2008; The Bloom Series 2009; Scale Screen 2012; Shadow Set 2012 and Soft Cell 2012/14 were conceived or made as small tentative studies at this special address.

The Komodo Series 2008 by Christina Waterson including (L > R) Study, Solid X-Screen and Plexa Screen 2008. Photography Christina Waterson 2014.

The Komodo Series 2008 by Christina Waterson including (L > R) Poly Woven Study, X-Screen (Solid Edition) and Plexa Screen 2008. Photography Christina Waterson 2014.

Early morning in the studio, April 2014. Photography Christina Waterson 2014.

Early one morning in my Studio, April 2014. Photography Christina Waterson 2014.

2014 Portait Christina Waterson.

A special inspirational place. Me pictured with Fall 2002 and Taking Flight parts 2010. Portrait for 2014.

For me this place represents freedom and escape, light and openness, and I feel many of these aspects are part of the work I conceived and made while residing and working there in the sky. While I am deeply saddened to leave this special place I know an exciting new chapter is just beginning.

Home-in-Time-to-Catch-Sunset

Always home for sunset. Photography Christina Waterson 2014.

A special thank you to Linda, Ty, Alex and David from Torbreck who everyday go above and beyond to make Torbreck a special place to live and enjoy!

 

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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.

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

Since starting my blog tracepattern.wordpress.com 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.

An intimate lunch.

An intimate lunch at Space Furniture, Melbourne.

I was blessed to attend an intimate lunch hosted by one of my all time design heroes – Patricia Urquiola, at Space showroom, Melbourne. Patricia and partner in life and business Alberto Zontone were in Australia at the end of November for Space Furniture’s 20th birthday celebrations!

Spanish-born architect and designer Patricia Urquiola is one of the world’s most renowned designers. Her designs, such as Smock or Tropicalia Chairs and the tactile Dechirer tile range for Mutina, are inspirational. Each of her projects show an understanding and respect for materials, exquisite and sensitive detail, and a beautiful playfulness.

Yes, I am in awe of her work. To meet Patricia and find she is also a generous, intelligent and down to earth woman just really blew me away! I was speechless after spending lunch with her and I still am now!

Dhiren Bhagwandas and Jon HOlland. Photography Courtesy of Space Furniture.

Designer Dhiren Bhagwandas and Jon Holland (Space Furniture, State Manager). Photography Courtesy of Space Furniture.

Good company, great conversation and a special meal shared. Photography Courtesy of Space Furniture.

Good company, great conversation and a special meal shared. Helen Kontouris with Nick Rennie. Photography Courtesy of Space Furniture.

The other special Australian designers that shared the experience were Lisa Vincitorio, Helen Kontouris, Nick Rennie, Dhiren Bhagwandas and Emma Aiston and Daniel To (Daniel-Emma). Wow… such esteemed company and a great experience!

Patricia Urquiola!

Patricia Urquiola so kindly wearing my gift!

When I gave a set of my Tracelets to Patricia she exclaimed, “I have nothing to give you!” Patricia has given so much already through her inspirational work!

Thank you Patricia and Alberto; all of the Australian designers that attended; and especially Jon Holland, State Manager of Space Furniture, Melbourne for a great experience and initiative!

Parallel Nippon Contemporary Japanese Architecture 1996 – 2006 opened at artisan: idea skill product in fortitude Valley on 8 August 2013. Photography Christina Waterson.

Parallel Nippon Contemporary Japanese Architecture 1996 – 2006 opened at artisan: idea skill product in Fortitude Valley on 8 August 2013. Photography Christina Waterson.

To conclude my wrap of the exhibitions and events I visited throughout August I would like to make special mention of the thoroughly enjoyable evening I had at the Parallel Nippon opening hosted by artisan: idea skill product, on 8 August 2013.  I attended the opening on the generous invitation of Raymond Quek (Professor of Architecture at the Soheil Abedian School of Architecture).

Professor Raymond Quek, Dr. Paul Emmons and Christopher Hill. Photography Christina Waterson.

Professor Raymond Quek, Dr. Paul Emmons and Christopher Hill (Linedota). Photography Christina Waterson.

Raymond was also accompanied by Christopher Hill (International Adjunct Teaching Fellow at Bond University and Co-Founding Architect of Linedota, London) and Dr. Paul Emmons (Associate Professor at the Washington – Alexandria Architecture Centre of Virginia Tech). Paul was in town after presenting his lecture “Embodied Orthographic View of the Architect” as part of Bond University’s 2013 Architectural Lecture Series.

Traditional Music enjoyed. Photography Christina Waterson.

Traditional music accompanied the opening at artisan. Photography Christina Waterson.

Guests attending the exhibition opening enjoyed tracing the evolution of Japanese Architecture between 1996 and 2006 while enjoying traditional music and intelligent conversation.

It was interesting to see many projects I’d personally visited, summarised here in an exhibition format. How hard it is to translate through exhibition the true experience and joy of architecture. One must experience architecture in the flesh; in time; through arrival and the sequence of spaces; and within a greater context.

Parallel Nippon at artisan

Parallel Nippon exhibition panels. Photography Christina Waterson.

And then there is the detail, of which an exhibition can offer but a taste and only encourage one to undertake an international quest. I am dreaming of travel; especially a return to Japan in the not too distant future. Parallel Nippon only further ignited this feeling in me.

Now I must hasten to the joyous and ever shifting present…

But first a special thank you to Professor Raymond Quek for such a kind invitation to attend the opening. Further gratitude to Raymond, Christopher Hill and Dr Paul Emmons for making it a most enjoyable evening.

For more on the travelling exhibition see a review by Hayley Curnow for ArchitectureAU. Continuing its international tour Parallel Nippon opened at The High Court of Australia, in Canberra, on the 12 September (running until 4 October 2013). Visit their website for details.

Hightide's Brisbane Launch Kicks off with a bang!

Crowd gathers for the Official Brisbane Launch of Hightide on 1 August 2013. All photos courtesy of Hightide and Luxxbox.

August started with a bang as the Hightide: Queensland Design Now book by Jason Bird was launched at Luxxbox Showroom in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane.

Formal Proceedings.

Formal Proceedings: Jason Bird speaks of his passion for the book as Andrew Mackenzie (URO Media) and Hon. Ian Walker MP wait in the wings.

Hon. Ian Walker MP, Minister for Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts officially launched the book with a heartfelt speech. Guests included design professionals; the DIA; Robert Forster (Co-Founder of the Go Betweens) who wrote an essay for the book entitled ‘Beautiful Loneliness’; media; avid design students; and of course the designers featured in the book.

The HIghtide Team

The Hightide Team: Bjorn Rust (Designer)(Gestalt-Ingenieur), Andrew Mackenzie (Publisher, URO Media), Ellie Gleeson (Editor) and Jason Bird (Author and Founder)(Luxxbox).

Party On!

The celebrations continue: Hightiders Marc Harrison (Husque) and David Shaw (SG) enjoy a chat with our Minister.

Christina Darcy Ari

Hightide Catch: Christina Waterson (yes thats me!) with Darcy Clarke (Designer) and Ari Athans (Jeweller).

Hightide's Brisbane Launch Kicks off with a bang!

This man is a legend: Robert Forster (Co-Founder of The Go Betweens) shimmies through the crowd.

Party On

Party On: Ok so some of the designers kicked up their heels and had a little fun playing up for the cameras!

Toshi and Darcy

Hightiders: Beautiful Fukutoshi Ueno and rogue Darcy Clarke share peace and love.

Launched

What’s you name? A kind stranger balances the Hightide Book – Brisbane launch success! Voilà!

STAY TUNED! The Hightide Queensland Design exhibition will open at artisan: idea skill product in late october and run from 25 October to 21 December 2013. On display will be key works from each of the 23 designers featured in the book. It’s going to be a great way to end the year – on a high note!

All photos courtesy of Hightide and Luxxbox. Thank you again for a great evening! For a preview of the Hightide: Queensland Design Now book visit Bjorn Rust’s awesome flick through video or to secure your copy go to URO Media.