Tag Archives: people


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.

Mastercut at Burleigh. Photography Christina Waterson.

Mastercut at Burleigh show me their intricate photo etching process applied to stainless steel shim for the electronics industry. Mastercut is pretty amazing! Photography Christina Waterson.

The past few weeks have been full of researching and sourcing a rich tapestry of beautiful materials. Many of my works respond directly to a material’s properties and nature. Sometimes it’s a material’s translucency, figure or friction that I am working with. At other times it may be weight, thinness, shadow, structure or simplicity that I am drawn to. A search for a natural rhythm coupled with a responsive intuition to materials means that my work is never finished and the process of understanding and exploring is never over.

I am always on the hunt for interesting materials, processes and passionate people with unique knowledge of the materials they work with. I travel to some far and distant places and form important relationships with craftsmen, stockists and suppliers. Here are a sample of a few of the places I have visited to source materials for upcoming projects.

Pottery Supplies Milton. Photography Christina Waterson.

Pottery Supplies Milton. Photography Christina Waterson.

Uncovering some of my ceramics vessels made while study Visual Arts at QUT back in 2001 spurred me to see if Pottery Suppliers Milton, the local shop I used to frequent, was still based in the same location. To my delight it was and still stocked a full range of clays, glazes, reference books, and tools while also offering firing services.

Maclace Leather. Photography christina Waterson.

At Mac-lace leather supplier. Photography Christina Waterson.

I have also been spending a lot of time at Mac-lace, a leather supplier. My Nanna used to visit Mac-lace and Jolly & Bachelor in the 1940s and 50s when they were based in South Brisbane. My mum (who taught me leather work) shopped there in the 60s and 70s. I was lucky enough to visit Mac-Lace in its South Brisbane home in the early 90s just before it moved to East Brisbane then Capalaba. Great to see it’s still going strong!

A visit to The Big Red shed's recycled timber Yard. Photography Christina Waterson.

A visit to The Big Red shed’s recycled timber yard, at Darra, to source timber for a client. Photography Christina Waterson.

The Big Red Shed’s been supplying recycled timber for as long as I can remember. On walking in to their timber yard I was transported by the scent of freshly sawn hardwood, the sight of each unique piece of timber and hearing provenance and previous life story.

Vinyl Signage ready to go at Brand Productions. Photography Christina Waterson.

Vinyl signage sheets waiting to be cut at Brand Productions, Brendale. Photography Christina Waterson.

In the process of designing an exhibition for a client I have been working with Brand Productions for the fabrication of the exhibition’s display devices, signage panels and custom vinyl signage. I have worked with Brand over the last ten years on projects for the Museum of Brisbane as well as for my own exhibition signage installations. Every time I visit they are making interesting things and are always on the go!

Staff at Brand Productions form custom signage letters in Acrylic. Photography Christina Waterson.

Staff at Brand Productions form custom signage letters in acrylic. Photography Christina Waterson.


Tracelet (Limited 777) Editions 1 (Salmon - Lemon Aqua) and 2 (Scarlet - Vanilla - Baby Blue) released in 2012.

Tracelet (Limited 777) Editions 1 (Salmon – Lemon – Aqua) and 2 (Scarlet – Vanilla – Baby Blue) released in 2012.

With some exciting news to be announced in regards to Tracelet this week I thought I would REPOST about the Tracelet Project.

It’s been just over a year since the Tracelet Project (777 Limited) was launched at Brisbane’s Saturday in Design 2012 (SID). Over that time two colour editions have been released and I have personally given more than 700 Tracelet sets to people in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, London, Hong Kong and Singapore.

That’s a lot when you think each time I give a set I also share the story behind the inspiration, the maker and the process. Tracelet can only be given in this way.

Sharing the story of the Tracelet Project at SID Melbourne 2012.

Sharing the story of the Tracelet Project at SID Melbourne 2012. Photo James Braund.

Something quite magical happens each time. Tracelet ceases to be a bracelet made of Injection moulded food grade plastic and instead becomes a talisman about the gift of sharing knowledge.

Tracelet has travelled all across the globe and found homes with inspired individuals. Sometimes they run into each other while wearing Tracelet and say ‘You must have met Christina!’. Such beautiful stories keep flowing in from all over the world.

Beautiful messages, images and thank yous continue to keep me inspired!

Beautiful messages, images and thank yous continue to keep me inspired!

I have received hundreds of thank you emails accompanied by images of people loving their Tracelets; wearing them for special events or in their everyday, or finding new ways to use them (drawing patterns or playing with them as earrings and crowns).

Thank you and stay tuned!

Chain reactions open at artisan: idea skill product in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane.

Chain Reaction opens at artisan: idea skill product in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane. Photography Christina Waterson.

The Chain Reaction opening was a fantastic gathering of diverse creative practitioners and excited guests. It was absolutely jam-packed with people and abuzz with a fabulous energy.

Anna and Elie Moubarouk with Her Honour the Governess of Queensland Penelope Winslet.

The beautiful Emma and Elie Moubarak with the Governor of Queensland, Ms Penelope Wensley AC. Photography Christina Waterson.

Before the formal proceedings three artists within one of the branches of the chain gave artist talks. They included Christina Waterson (artist and designer), Abe Muriata (painter and potter, traditional rainforest shield maker and self-taught weaver) and Brian Robinson (multi-skilled contemporary artist, whose practice includes painting, printmaking, sculpture and design). Here I share with you my introduction to Abe Muriata:

Elie Moubarak rang me out of the blue to let me know he’d nominated me for the Chain Reaction exhibition. It made my day – in fact it made my month! Thank you Elie. When he rang I was actually meticulously cutting up and painting hundreds of pieces of cardboard, and assembling them into my work Celestial Analogue.

Elie is a talented individual (Gerard’s Bistro, Laruche and Lychee Lounge; designer, maker and engineer) who brings other talented and unique people together through his diverse projects. Chain Reaction is one of those exciting projects.

It was lovely to speak with Elie. I got to hear about the interesting things he’d been working on and I shared mine. So often practitioners work away in their studios and don’t get the chance to hear how their work affects people or what other practitioners are up to. Chain Reaction opened up those lines of communication.

Making my choices of who I was going to nominate in the chain was easy. I followed my gut instinct. Ringing them was the hard thing. I had such respect for my selected practitioners, so was pretty nervous about calling them out of the blue.

I first developed a love of Bi-cornial baskets when I worked on the Story Place exhibition at the Queensland Art Gallery in 2003. Bi-cornial baskets or Jawans are traditionally woven by women. Abe is the only man to weave them and he brings exceptional skill, precision and material sensitivity to each of his works.

When I rang Abe Muriata and told him how much I respected him and his work  I cried – mainly because I was sharing quite personal thoughts on how I’ve loved living with one of his works for the past 10 years. Thank you Abe.

I wondered why I hadn’t gotten in touch before – why I hadn’t sent an email or called Abe or the Girrigun Aboriginal Arts Centre to let him know.

I would like to sincerely thank the team at artisan for envisioning Chain Reaction and opening up those lines of communication. I look forward to meeting all of the Chain Reaction creative practitioners and hearing about their inspirational works and links.

Thank you!

Christina Waterson, Chain Reaction Opening, 20 February 2013

Barbara Heath and Malcolm Enright's exquisite work.

Barbara Heath and Malcolm Enright’s exquisite work. Photography Christina Waterson.

Opening up lines of communication.

Open lines of communication. Photography Christina Waterson.

I loved meeting Chain Reaction creatives Abe Muriata, Emily Murray, Brian Robinson, Rebecca Ward and Remo Vallance.

I regret I didn’t meet every Chain Reaction artist on the night. I have made it my personal mission to get in touch with each of them to say hello!

Abe Muriata holding one of his beautiful bi-cornial baskets. Photography by Darcy Clarke.

Abe Muriata holding one of his beautiful bi-cornial baskets. Photography by Darcy Clarke.

As one of two artists nominated for the Chain Reaction exhibition by the fantastic Elie Moubarak (Gerard’s Bistro, Laruche and Lychee Lounge), I in turn then selected practitioners whose work and generous spirit continue to inspire me. One such practitioner is Abe Muriata, Girramay man of the Cardwell Range area. Abe is a painter and potter, traditional rainforest shield maker and self-taught weaver.

I feel a deep respect for Abe Muriata through the joy of experiencing his work on a daily basis. I wake each day to one of Abe’s beautiful bicornual baskets, or Jawuns, that hangs beside my bed. Jawans are traditionally woven by women. Abe is the only man to weave them. His delicate and intricate weavings have a modest yet palpable presence. With exceptional skill, precision and material sensitivity, Abe weaves both traditional and contemporary materials into breathtaking bicornual baskets unique to the rainforest people.

The beautiful shadows. Photography by Christina Waterson,

The beautiful shadows created by Abe’s lawyer cane Jawun transport me. Photography by Christina Waterson.

In those first personal visioning and awakening moments of morning my eyes often rest on the soft form of his lawyer cane Jawun. Its distinctive strata and layering create a myriad of fragile shadows. My mind wanders and I imagine what it would be like to rest inside the basket, held lovingly by the inner curves of its enveloping surface. In this way Abe’s work engages me to look deeper and transports me to a realm of possibilities and creative moments of insight.

View more of Abe Muriata’s beautiful work through the Girringun Aboriginal Arts Centre.

See Abe’s work close up at artisan: idea skill product from 14 February 2014 as part of the Chain Reaction exhibition, and view the special links Abe has selected; renowned practitioners Emily Murray and Brian Robinson.

Andrew Bartlett in Studio 6.

Highly skilled Furniture Designer/Maker Andrew Bartlett greets me in Studio 6 at JamFactory. Original post.

Meeting and getting to know uniquely talented people made my 2013 a special year. Here are a few of my favourite people portraits captured during 2013! Thank you to all of the creatives whose philosophies, generous spirit and beautiful work inspired me throughout the year!

Duncan Meerding in Adelaide Streets during Fringe Festival.

Designer/Maker Duncan Meerding in Adelaide Streets during Fringe Festival.

Asa with Phoebe Lamps

Åsa Jonasson with one of the beautiful Phoebe Lamps. Running into Phoebe post.


Jeweller Jessamy Pollock making paper studies in JamFactory’s Studio 5.

John Quan

Sunday arvo with designer John Quan in Studio 6 at Jamfactory Contemporary Craft and Design.

Designer Elliat Rich at Wood Opening 2013.

Designer/Curator Elliat Rich at Wood: Art Design Architecture exhibition opening, Adelaide 2013.

An afternoon drive in the Victorian Countryside with dear friends.

An afternoon drive in the Victorian Countryside with dear friend Cameron Bruhn.

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

Professor Raymond Quek, Dr. Paul Emmons and Christopher Hill (Linedota) at Parallel Nippon exhibition opening.

Watching the talented Anna Varendorff share her beautiful jewellery at Six Jewellers Six Ways opening, Ari Athens Jewellery, Fortitude Valley.

Watching the talented Anna Varendorff share her beautiful jewellery at Six Jewellers Six Ways opening, Ari Athans Jewellery, Fortitude Valley.

Australian Designers Lunch at Space Furniture, Melbourne with Patricia Urquiola and Alberto Zontone.

Australian Designers’ Lunch at Space Furniture (Melbourne) with Designer Patricia Urquiola and Alberto Zontone. Lunch with Patricia Urquiola post here!

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!

Brisbane News Issue 959 Cover

Feature: Design in Focus. Brisbane News Issue 959 Cover. Courtesy of Brisbane News.

This week a great article about Hightide: Queensland Design Now Exhibition was published in Brisbane News. A sample of designers, whose work is featured in the exhibition, were interviewed by Jane Scott and photographed by Richard Waugh and Megan Slade for Brisbane News. They included Jason Bird (author of Hightide, Luxxbox), Surya Graf (Sugarfry, Snack-on, Street and Garden) and Christina Waterson (yours truly).

Decade of Design.

Decade of Design: Jason Bird (Luxxbox) author of the Hightide: Queensland Design Now Book pictured within the exhibition at artisan, Fortitude Valley. Brisbane News Issue 959.

Brisbane News Issue 959

Surya Graf relaxing on his Wave Bench, Sunshine Coast. Christina Waterson pictured with X-Screen. Brisbane News Issue 959.

Jane Scott from Brisbane News was great to speak with. The interview felt more like an enjoyable conversation than a formal interview. Photographer Richard Waugh visited my studio to take the photograph for the Brisbane News article. We had a lot of fun and Richard captured some great photos with the natural light pouring in from the south. Thank you Jane and Richard!

Have a read of the article and let me know what you think! And definitely visit the Hightide: Queensland Design Now Exhibition to see the great work of all of the designers up close. The exhibition runs until 8 February 2014, at artisan: idea skill product in Fortitude Valley.

Hightide Opens at artisan

The Hightide exhibition opened at artisan: idea skill product on 31 October 2013. Photography Christina Waterson.

The Hightide: Queensland Design Now exhibition and book serve as a terrific introduction to the featured 22 Queensland designers. A sample of their designs, realised from 2002 to 2012, appear in the exhibition and speak of their passion to make inspirational objects that become a special part of people’s everyday lives. Their designs also show a sensitivity to materials and a celebration of light and shadow informed by a deep connection to this place, Queensland. Lift the corner a little and you find the designers’ true depth and contribution rest further afield beyond their designs.

Catching up

Catching up: Benjamin Breitenstein (luxxbox and Made Here Now) and Karl Hilton. Photography Christina Waterson.

Many of the designers’ projects have been realised throughout Australia and overseas. They redefine and push materials in ways that only come from working closely with makers and manufacturers in Australia and the Asia-Pacific Region. Many of the featured designers collaborate with practitioners across fashion, food, architecture, and design as well as give ongoing mentorship to design students and design professionals. They have side projects in publishing and writing as well as exhibition and event design.

David Shaw and KT Doyle

The inspiring David Shaw and KT Doyle in deep conversation. Photography Christina Waterson.

Designers including Daniel Tobin (UAP), Jason Bird (Luxxbox), Alex Lotersztein (Derlot) and Luis Nheu (Interior Designer, Brand + Slater) have contributed to public art, interior and architectural projects across the globe. Others write and publish books, journals and guides. Jason Bird initiated, wrote and published Hightide: Queensland Design Now. KT Doyle, Surya Graf and Christina Waterson (yes me!) share their inspiration, process and perspective through their blogs What I Learned Last Week, A Sugar Fry and Tracepattern, respectively.

Bjorn Rust is a Co-founder and the editor-in-chief of Scrag End Journal (about food and also a cut of lamb). Darcy Clarke has written a guide entitled Creating a Difference: Business Tips for Creative People to Become Business People. David Shaw (Street & Garden) and Marc Harrison (husque) maintain thriving design businesses and have actively mentored some of the featured designers for many years; importantly guiding, informing and inspiring them and the next generation of practitioners.

Lift the Corner

Dig deeper and see what you discover…

I wholeheartedly encourage you to visit the Hightide exhibition at artisan, enjoy the Hightide book with a coffee and a sweety, and then take the time to look a little closer into the 22 Queensland Designers.

You will be truly inspired by not only the breadth of their world class designs and depth of practice, but also the true heights of their creative reach!

Plexa#1 screen from The Komodo Series 2008. Photography Aidan Murphy.

Plexa#1 Screen from The Komodo Series 2008. Photography Aidan Murphy.

I always find it insightful to receive feedback and hear what other people draw from my artworks and designs. Recently Christopher Hill, online editor of DETAIL daily, posted about my work. Here I share with you a portion of the post:

“…Interpreting this ancient knowledge with her contemporary design sensibilities, gives her work a particular quality. No doubt informed by her architectural training, and knowledge of three dimensional geometry, it is also spatial.

The weavings and foldings of hard materials that she creates, are beautiful, full of skill, and utterly mesmerising.

The artist often finds beauty in repetition. It is this that transports the viewer deep into the spatial and rhythmic qualities of her work. It is almost impossible to resist being drawn into a kind of groove, an aesthetic state of bliss that involves being lost in their often delicate complexity…”

X-Screen part of the Komodo Series 2008. Photography Jon Linkins.

X-Screen from The Komodo Series 2008. Photography Jon Linkins.

Thank you Christopher Hill for your unique insights! Visit DETAIL daily for the full post.