23 JULY – 1 SEPTEMBER 2016
WOODWORK BY IAN HIGGS
DESIGN BY MALCOLM STEWART
METALWORK BY DEAN BELL
AN EXHIBITION ABOUT COLLABORATION
In the Octagon ArtSpace
Bungendore Wood Works Gallery
Saturday 23rd July at 2pm by
David Mac Laren
Artistic Director Bungendore Wood Works Gallery
Exhibition continues until 31 October 2016
Ian Higgs completed his trade qualifications as a cabinetmaker and decided that spending his life making beautiful and wonderful things would be a noble and fulfilling way to live. Since that time he has been continuously self employed as a designer/maker of one-off commissions for his own clientele, as well as making for architects, designers, artists, and for industry; making patterns and prototypes.
In every case, the requirement for something precise, appropriate and highly resolved has driven his interest in committing to a project. He has dedicated his career to making objects that have never been seen before – some of them indeed “beautiful and wonderful”.
This exhibition is a continuation of that desire to make things required, but not yet formed. The collaboration with Malcolm Stewart and Dean Bell has given Ian the opportunity to further express that desire, with all the inherent inspiration and co-operation of a dedicated team sharing a common desire.
Malcolm Stewart began his working life in the world of computing in Melbourne. A trip to Canada and attendance at the Vancouver School of Art earned him an advanced Diploma in Ceramics. He undertook further post-graduate study at the West Surry College of Art eventually returning to Australia to set up a pottery studio at Upwey in the hills outside of Melbourne. Early successes saw Malcolm’s pots in the National Gallery of Victoria, the Newcastle Regional Gallery and in private collections both in Australia and overseas.
The genesis of this exhibition came with the building of a house he designed that when finished, required curved furniture to complement his design that was primarily a series of four interconnected ovals.
Thus began the collaboration with Ian Higgs whose woodworking studio was conveniently situated nearby. Malcolm provided Ian with designs cut to scale in plywood followed by discussions between the two regarding the mechanics of the pieces, timber, grain, colour and numerous details not evident in the original brief. As the confidence in each other’s ideas evolved, Malcolm was happy to have Ian use his initiative to resolve difficulties, and enhance details, that inevitably arise during the making process.
The decision to use other materials in addition to wood brought Dean Bell into the group. Dean’s expertise in all things metal was most welcome.
Ian’s suggestion that Malcolm’s designs may have a broader appeal to a wider public has led to this exhibition. All three artisans are looking forward to continuing their collaboration; and to date they have all found the exercise to be a most stimulating and enjoyable experience.