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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.

The "Seven With Another" Concept: Fourteen People - Seven Teams - One IDEA: Create something different.

The “Seven With Another” Concept: Fourteen People – Seven Teams – One IDEA: Create something different.

“By inviting seven pairs of creatives from diverse fields to work together, we’re challenging them to look past their vastly different creative processes and skill sets and concentrate instead on what they do best – being creative.” Seven with Another.

The Seventh Edition of Seven with Another once again uniquely matched the pick of local creatives including a Maker and a VFX Director; a Musician and a Tattoo Artist; a Copywriter and an Architect; an Industrial Designer and Fine Artist; an Art Director and Fashion Designer; a Director/Photographer and Textile Designer; and last (but definitely not least) a Multimedia Artist and Performing Artist.

Seven with Another opening event. Photography christina Waterson.

Kory MCAvoy (Art Director, Enginegroup) and Fashion Designer Deanne Mayocchi’s Installation behind. Photography Christina Waterson.

Seven with Another opening event. Photography christina Waterson.

A refreshing mix of guests from a diverse range of professions. Photography Christina Waterson.

Seven with Another opening event. Photography Christina Waterson.

Hailey Bartholomew (Director/Photographer at You Cant Be Serious) paired with Erin Lightfoot (Textile Designer). Photography Christina Waterson.

Seven with Another opening event. Photography christina Waterson.

Hailey Bartholomew (Director/Photographer at You Cant Be Serious) paired with Erin Lightfoot (Textile Designer). Photography Christina Waterson.

“The creative process can be very insular. No matter whether you’re a fine artist, a designer, a developer or a writer, coming up with – and executing – ideas can be a lonely process involving just you and your imagination.” Seven with Another

Seven with Another opening event. Photography christina Waterson.

Marianne Harvey (Copywriter) and Paul Owen’s (Architect) work floats above guests. Photography Christina Waterson.

Seven with Another opening event. Photography christina Waterson.

Maker, Adam Meisenhelter (Doppelfactory) teamed with Zenon Kohler (VFX Director) from Cuttingedge to make the striking cabinet in the background. Photography Christina Waterson.

It is often at the edges that the most exciting things happen and this is where Seven with Another successfully pushes the possibilities of what can come through collaboration;

“The resulting collaborative artworks could be disasterous, or they could be truly mind-blowing, but what they definitely won’t be is boring.” Seven with Another.

Seven with Another’s Co-Founders Monique Kneepkens (Fries Need Mayonnaise) and Jessica Huddart (Creative Director at Josephmark or JM) are just as extraordinary as the creatives they bring together. Their passion ensures each new edition continues to evolve. To celebrate the seventh year, a selection of collaborative duos were invited back from each edition to share their experiences in a series of insightful public talks at the Brisbane Powerhouse.

Seven with Another opening event. Photography Christina Waterson.

Seven with Another’s opening event at the Brisbane Powerhouse, 11 July 2013. Photography Christina Waterson.

The opening night was extremely refreshing because guests originated from a broad range of professions and interests; a true sign of success and Seven with Another’s wide reaching support. The Eighth Edition is expected to once again break new ground; create new conversations between unlikely creative pairings and offer a unique platform to imagine beyond the edges of professions.

For more information on the participating creatives, past editions or upcoming events please visit Seven with Another’s website and Facebook page!

Recently I have had the pleasure of showing parts of Queensland to visiting International Guests. One could assume that this may be a thankless task full of one way questions and one way answers.

Not at all! Through this process something quite profound struck me.

My guests gave me a perspective; a childlike view or fresh take on my surroundings.  And further they gave me an insight into just how deeply I have connected with flora and fauna personally throughout my life.

Coastal Casuarina Foliage Detail. Photography Christina Waterson.

Coastal Casuarina Foliage Detail. Photography Christina Waterson.

Passing a coastal Casuarina with them, I found joy in describing not only the visual beauty of this modest tree, but also the sound it makes when wind gently caresses its draping fronds; causing them to sway rhythmically with a hush hush hush sound. I questioned if this sound and the sound of the word Casuarina had a tertiary link?

Pandanus Fruit Part. Photography Christopher C Hill.

Pandanus Fruit Part. Photography Christopher C Hill.

Pandanus Fruit Whole. Photography Christopher C Hill.

Pandanus Fruit Whole. Photography Christopher C Hill.

Pandanus Frond Cellulose. Photography Christopher C Hill.

Pandanus Frond Cellulose. Photography Christopher C Hill.

Pandanus Spiralling Growth. Photography Christopher C Hill.

Pandanus Spiralling Growth. Photography Christopher C Hill.

Pandanus Prop Roots. Photography Christopher C Hill.

Pandanus Prop Roots. Photography Christopher C Hill.

Further along on finding a Pandanus fruit I talked excitedly about the beauty of each part of the Pandanus; from the heavy fruit; to the serrated frond and its underlying cellulose structure; and pattern of growth supported by its succulent, if not phallic, props.

New Gum Leaves. Photography Christina Waterson.

New Gum Leaves. Photography Christina Waterson.

New Gum Leaves Detail. Photography Christina Waterson.

New Gum Leaves Detail. Photography Christina Waterson.

Wondering if the gum trees were OK my friends asked me “Are they dead leaves… is that tree dying?” “On the contrary,” I explained “Its the gum’s new leaves with their brilliant flash of colour”.

Paper Bark Tree Grove. Photography Christina Waterson.

Paper Bark Tree Grove. Photography Christina Waterson.

Montague Road Paper Bark Detail. Photography Christina Waterson.

Montague Road Paper Bark Detail. Photography Christina Waterson.

A favourite were the Paper Barks (Melaleuca); flush with water and a blush of seemingly endless distinct paper-thin and fine fibrous layers. Paper barks are very relaxing to be around and to touch. As children my brothers and I played in a wet grove (probably more accurately called a Melaleuca swamp land) where we built cubbies. It was always a cool and shady place during our hot summer holidays.

Even though now I pass these things everyday (on my way to coffee, work or various appointments) it struck me just how much I love Australian flora’s modest, diverse and sometimes contradictory nature. I suspect sharing in this way may be similar to the excitement of describing something for the first time to your children.

An eye-opening process that makes you never take for granted your surroundings or the insights of the people around you.

Six Jewellers Six Ways Exhibition at Ari Athens Jewellery

Six Jewellers Six Ways at Ari Athans Jewellery. Photography Christina Waterson.

Six Jewellers Six Ways opened with excitement at Ari Athans Jewellery, in Brisbane, at the beginning of July 2013. This group exhibition featured new explorations by jewellers Danielle Boal, Anna Varendorff, Julie Smeros, Jane Bowring, Bibi Locke and Ari Athans, and coincided with The National Jewellers and Metalsmith’s Conference.

“…Six Ways” refers to each jewellers’ experiments and idiosyncrasies that make their practice and jewellery unique. The exhibition maps Ari Athans’ professional relationships with the practitioners – formed over many years. A personal knowledge of each jeweller’s “way” stems from the experience of working closely together on Ari’s production pieces in her studio.

Danielle Boals' Pendants

Danielle Boals’ Pendants. Photography courtesy of Ari Athans’ Blog.

Danielle Boals’ pendants for the exhibition draw on Pareidolia or “the imagined perception of a pattern or meaning where it does not actually exist (as in considering the moon to have human features)”.

“I thought it was funny” states Danielle,”how such simple shapes can so quickly be interpreted as a human face.”

Glazed ceramic, brass, cotton, and polyester were combined to form Danielle’s haunting pendants.

Anna Varendorff

Anna Varendorff’s new collection for the exhibition explores the gesture of drawing. Photography courtesy of Ari Athans’ Blog.

Anna Varendorff sharing her beautiful Jewellery

Anna Varendorff shares the inspiration behind her beautiful new range. Photography Christina Waterson.

My favourite peice form the night.

A guest trying on my favourite piece form Anna’s new collection. Photography Christina Waterson.

Melbourne jeweller Anna Varendorff presented a dynamic body of work using insulated electrical wire composed with traditional materials.  These new pieces were playful and reminiscent of squiggles or doodles. They reinforced Anna’s love of drawing in space; but in a free and relaxed way that diverges from her past completely minimal and reductionist collections.

Julie Smeros

Faceted Rings by Julie Smeros. Photography courtesy of Ari Athans’ Blog.

Guests try on Julie Smero's rings.

Guests try on Julie Smeros’ faceted rings. (Julie right). Photography Christina Waterson.

Julie Smeros'”patience and dedication to detail … has been with her since our days in kindergarten” recalls Ari. Julie explored the lost wax casting technique to produce the series of faceted silver rings for “...Six Ways”.

Jane Bowring

Jane Bowring’s elegant rings. Photography courtesy of Ari Athans’ Blog.

Balance and measure underpin the work of Jane Bowring. Each permutation and combination of process, form and material are informed by Jane’s avid research.

Bibi Locke Brooch

Bibi Locke brooch. Photography courtesy of Ari Athans’ Blog.

“…Six Ways” provided an opportunity for Bibi Locke to present her latest retail range; closely informed by a  recent study sojourn in New York. The range explored regeneration and degrees of permanence within the natural and urban landscapes.

Ari Athens

Ari Athans’ Earrings alongside one of her paintings. Photography courtesy of Ari Athans’ Blog.

Ari Athans’ playful earrings for the exhibition were made from detritus plastics found at North Gorge beach, Stradbroke Island. Working on this series while preparing for a solo painting exhibition at Edwina Corlette Gallery at the time, Ari found the plastic’s softened yet geometric shapes against the pumice resonated deeply;

“I immediately connected the plastic’s shapes and colours to my brushwork. I started collecting like mad. It was quite a contrast – the pumice with the plastic. Different origins but they travelled together and deposited on this beach because they share the same density.” Ari.

Flotsom

King tides and heavy seas revealed the rich vein of pumice and plastics during Ari’s family visit to the island. Photography courtesy of Ari Athans’ Blog.

The exhibition wasabuzz with people enjoying the new works by each of the jewellers.

The exhibition was abuzz with people enjoying the new works by each of the jewellers. Photography Christina Waterson.

Six Jewellers Six Ways in essence reflects the mutual respect held between these practitioners, and celebrates the differences or their creative approach.  It also marks the important ways established practitioners, like Ari Athans, continue to support, challenge and showcase the creative practice of peers.

Thank you Ari Athans for another delightful exhibition opening. Photography of the jewellers’ individual works (as noted) courtesy of Ari Athans’ Blog.

Let the SpeedMeet +Folio Review commence. Photography Elliot Fooks.

Let the SpeedMeet + Folio Review commence! Photography Elliot Fooks.

The latest instalment of Tarmac’s SpeedMeet + FolioReview (presented by DIA Queensland Branch Tarmac Student Council) was held at The Queensland Museum and Sciencentre on 30 July 2013.

Using the format of speed dating, but with a whole lot more style and design intent, Industry Professionals sat down with passionate students, reviewed their work and offered advice about landing that all important first job. Students received folio feedback, made some important contacts, and gained insight into the industry.

Students mingle before the event starts.

Students gather before SpeedMeet + FolioReview event starts. Photography Elliot Fooks.

Every five minutes (or so) a bell rang to mark the time for participants to stand up and swap tables (and therefore mentors). This format made for an exciting event with a fast and furious pace, and interesting and to the point discussion.

Folio review and feedback. Photography Elliot Fooks.

Folio review and feedback. Photography Elliot Fooks.

Attending students were from a broad range of creative industries including Interior Design, Architecture, Graphic Design, Illustration and Industrial Design, as well as hybrid and interdisciplinary mixes of all of the above.

Julian Munro (Derlot) talks shop with an avid audience. Photography Elliot Fooks.

Julian Munro (Derlot) talks shop with an avid audience. Photography Elliot Fooks.

The industry professionals, who mentored for the event, included Jason Bird and Benjamin Breitenstein (Luxxbox), David Shaw (Street and Garden), Marc Harrison (Husque), Julian Munro (Derlot), Natalie Wright (Lecturer Interior Design, QUT), Christina Waterson (yes thats me), Beck Davis (Design Department, Griffith Uni), Kasia Jarosz (Jarosz Design), James Luu and Melissa Tooley (PDT), Philip Bugden (One Alliance) and Eddie Maksoud (Edwards Advertising).

Check out upcomingTarmac Events (including Speedmeets and Design Crawls) on the DIA Tarmac Facebook page or get in touch with DIA Tarmac directly and be a part of their next great event!

A SPECIAL THANK YOU to Vanessa Parker (President of the DIA Qld Tarmac Student Council) for inviting me to be a Guest Professional for the event! Gratitude to Elliot Fooks (3rd year Industrial Design student, QUT) for the great photography.

Hundreds of tiny exploding blooms of the wattle in bloom

Wattle in bloom. All photography by Christina Waterson.

Sometimes it takes a perfect (inspired) stranger to bring one’s mind back to the present. This morning one such stranger reminded me that it is that time of year when the wattle blooms in all of its glory. I have been so engrossed with projects I had not taken the time to appreciate our floral emblem’s beauty up close. This stranger rode past me on a bicycle. Bursting forth from their backpack was a joyous stash of wattle blooms.

The blooming of the wattle marks the time when University of Queensland students should start studying for their final examines – as opposed to when the Jacaranda blooms (which is way too late in the semester). It also marks a terrible time for hay-fever sufferers. Condolences!

New buds wait to bloom

New buds wait to bloom alongside others fully formed.

The wattle’s floral clusters of small concentrated yellow fluffy explosions punctuate the landscape; bushland comes alive with hypa-colour; streets are lined with a yellow haze; and bees and birds are intoxicated by the pollen and scent that ensues.

Thank you kind stranger for reminding me to be in the glorious present!

An engulfing intoxicating experience

Lost within the engulfing microcosm of exploding wattle inflorescences.

A stranger soaks up the afternoon sun

A stranger soaks up the afternoon sun at Highgate Hill Park, Brisbane Qld.

This particular time of year always gives me tingles.

Memories and a deep connection to one’s creative spark are stirred by a heightened sense of everything around.  It’s cold outside but if you find a nice place in the sun out of the wind you can lie down and dream under the big sky as horse tail clouds drift effortlessly by. The days are short and the shadows beautifully long. Scents seem stronger on the moist air. They transport ones mind to times past – all suddenly overlaid at this moment.

Then there’s soup, doonas, your favourite woollen jumper and best of all long warm cuddles. Now as the days get longer with every day, the months ahead fill with promise, creativity and light.

Work by BSHS Students enjoyed at CREATE Event. Photography Christina Waterson.

Work by BSHS Students enjoyed at CREATE Event. Photography Christina Waterson.

In early 2013 I was invited with other well-known local artists, to present a series of pattern and tectonics talks and workshops to Year 11 Brisbane State High School (BSHS) Art Students.

Through an intensive program set out by BSHS Art Teachers Ms Cilento and Ms Kidd – utilising repetition and pattern and a rigorous making process – students developed material studies capturing an assigned action (for example crumpling, weaving, pleating, looping, coiling etc.) into 3D sculptural works for display at the BSHS’s Create Festival. Create is an annual event celebrating work by BSHS Visual Art, Media Arts and Film & Television students.

Work by BSHS Students enjoyed at CREATE Event. Photography Christina Waterson.

Work by BSHS Students enjoyed at CREATE Event. Photography Christina Waterson.

Work by BSHS Students enjoyed at CREATE Event. Photography Christina Waterson.

Work by BSHS Students enjoyed at CREATE Event. Photography Christina Waterson.

I love sharing knowledge and it was an absolute joy to present the talks, experience each students unique vision, see the diverse works featured at CREATE on June 14, 2013 and receive some nice feedback from BSHS’s Ms Kidd, Head of the Visual Arts Department on the workshops:

We have also been privileged to have Christina Waterson and Donna Marcus visit our classrooms to talk to students about their art practice. Both artists work in Sculpture, however their process and methodology is quite different, and it has been useful for students to experience different ways of working. Ms Amalia Kidd, HoD, Visual Arts, BSHS May 2013 Newsletter.

Work by BSHS Students enjoyed at CREATE Event. Photography Christina Waterson.

Work by BSHS Students enjoyed at CREATE Event. Photography Christina Waterson.

Thank you BSHS and a special thank you to the passionate team of educators within BSHS’s Visual Arts Department.

Making Plexa#1 at SLQ. Photo by David Sandison

Design’s true contribution to the wider community is something money just can’t buy.

Beyond fashion, sales, price point and the hottest-newest item for sale, there is the intrinsic worth of design that transcends market forces.

Can you buy the true belief and passion, ingenuity, and provenance built into projects over time? Can you measure the value of direct relationships and knowledge grown through design process and investigation? What’s the current asking price for meaningful places of experience that grow within the memories of future generations? What is the creative capital that creative thinkers bring to the wider community?

We may be able to buy the products and projects of design thinking, but that doesn’t ensure the acquirer values their meaning and concept. Many Australian Retailers, Designers and Architects have conveyed their clients’ focus on price rather than an understanding of the background story to products and projects. Especially since the GFC, clients and buyers are caring more about price.

At some point in the recent past sell overtook soul.

How much do you sell those for? Where can I buy one? How much did that cost to make? When one answers the barrage of questions with ‘Actually you can’t buy these anywhere”, “That’s the only one in the world”, or ‘Our business plan for this product is not to sell it’.

There is an understandable silence. And then there is a smile and often a nod, and a ‘Wow’ exclamation. I have witnessed this response through the Tracelet Project.

Personal experience and connection. Photography by George Dedic.

Tracelet is a symbol, a talisman. It took about ten years for it to evolve into its present form. You can’t buy it anywhere. These are personal gifts that are not sold. You can only receive Tracelet once the story of its origin has been shared. Yes it’s a bracelet that’s meant to be worn.

But above all, Tracelet is to be treasured and to remind the wearer of the gift of knowledge, of process and a connection with the designer/maker.

So far I have personally given 400 Tracelet sets to people. In doing this I get something far more important than a few dollars in the bank.

Giving Tracelet at Brisbane Indesign 2012. Photography by George Dedic.

I get to share Tracelet’s story directly, witness peoples’ responses, hear what they see and connect in a way that is not possible within the normal retail model.

It is my personal belief that a designer’s true gift rests not just in the physical objects and places that they have made through out their career. These are merely the perspiration from an endeavour to make everyday experiences better.

INSPIRATIONAL MOMENTS! Array Installation for the 2007 Qld Architecture Awards Event: a collaboration between Christina Waterson and Cox Rayner Architects. Photography by CFC Photography.

Our biggest contribution is the opportunity to inspire and move others (professionals, students and people from not only the design sector but all areas of the community) to think differently.

Our philosophies, sharing our process and knowledge and (yes) how these ideas are embedded in the environments and things that we design in the world, are integral to creating a spark; a spark that challenges people to think differently about what and why they do what they do in life, work and business.

Passionate chats at Why We Create’s Queensland Launch. Photography Joshua Thies.

Making connections at Why We Create’s Queensland Launch. Photography Joshua Thies.

Our true value is not the price that we get for our designs or the number we sell over time, but rather the relationships between people and personal connections made within all of our thinking.

Written for DESIGN ONLINE, The State Library of Queensland’s new online resource.

Design Online is delivered and curated by the State Library of Queensland’s Asia Pacific Design Library. The Asia Pacific Design Library is a shared space (physically and digitally) for industry, academia and the public to come together in the generation of new knowledge around design in the Asia Pacific.

Check out Design Online and the also fantastic Design Minds!

An amazing sunset over Mt Cootha, Brisbane!

Having time to enjoy it!

Going through my dress-up box and finding a shirt I used to wear when I was 21.

Seeing the silhouette of mangroves against bikeway patterns from a Brisbane River City Cat.

Groovy licorice all-sort coloured van.

An old meter on the street.

Celebrating because you can!

Mr Butcher Bird on my balcony railing.

Colour combinations.

Water evaporating in patterns on a tiled roof.

My Up-late pineapple.

The Andy Warhol feature on Face Time.

Full moon from a plane.

A man with a cauliflower!

Watching a chef passionately preparing precious flavours at Ortiga, Fortitude Valley.

… DANCING, MUSIC, FRIENDS …