A sense of fun and joie de vivre is the dominant theme in two current exhibitions at the Australian Design Centre (ADC) : Annie Gobel: Edge In and Chili Philly: Crochet Social. The ‘wearable sculptures” jewellery by Annie Gobel and colourful garment pieces by Chili Philly both intrigue and delight the senses.
Annie Gobel Edge In.
This exhibition is presented by the ADC in collaboration with the 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art.
Annie is Indonesian born and Melbourne based. As well as exhibiting around Australia this young artist has recently exhibited in Japan.
Beginning with a thick bold outline, the jewellery is simply set against corrugated cardboard backdrops, which are closer to skin tones than stark white walls. The texture also lifts the works and allows pastel colours to shine. The objects are often candy coloured enamel and some of the playful pieces are made from toys. This renders them more tactile and enticing.
Chili Philly Crochet Social
Melbourne based artist Phil Ferguson goes by the name Chili Philly. His work is being exhibited in partnership with the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, with one of the organisers describing it as ‘fun, camp and clever’.
Philly’s wearable art often takes the form of everyday objects, mainly food-related, which are transformed then captured as self-portraits and uploaded on Instagram. They sprang from the foods surrounding him in his earlier hospitality jobs.
The transformations use wool, acrylic and poly-filler. The video and photographic aspects are less self aggrandisement than an avenue naturally allowing his self deprecating humour to gain a wider audience.
His brightly coloured crocheted garments have gained a strong following on social media in the past few years, especially since March 2016 when this art became his full-time occupation.
At the launch of this exhibition the majority of the full house were obvious fans, many adorning food based head gear, crocheted and other. Their dedication was all the more extraordinary given the Sydney heatwave, as they queued for selfies with the creator.
Some serious trained crochet craftspeople wonder how he does it. He remarked that he started each work only knowing only one stitch, and he continued working to meet more people when new in town – hence the ‘social’ aspect.
Both exhibitions of jewellery and garments are fun and induce play. The Australian Design Centre organised kids’ and family workshops with the artists. Young attendees at the launches were impressed by the work. The exhibitions are truly fun for all ages.
The Australian Design Centre is located at 101-115 William Street Darlinghurst. The exhibitions are on display until the 15th March.
Featured image is from the Chili Philly Crochet Social exhibition. Pic by Simon Cardwell.