Seeing and Knowing New Perspectives in Furniture Exhibition Catalogue

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<strong>See<strong>in</strong>g</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Know<strong>in</strong>g</strong>:<br />

<strong>New</strong> <strong>Perspectives</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Furniture</strong><br />

Bryn Davies | Br<strong>and</strong>on Harrison | Jess<br />

Humpston | Daniel Little | Georgia Szymanski

Craft + Design Canberra is partially supported by the ACT<br />

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<strong>in</strong>itiative of the Australia State <strong>and</strong> Territory Governments,<br />

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Cover Image: Daniel Little | ARBR Chair. 2023 | Photo: Daniel Mulheran

<strong>See<strong>in</strong>g</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Know<strong>in</strong>g</strong>:<br />

<strong>New</strong> <strong>Perspectives</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Furniture</strong><br />

Bryn Davies | Br<strong>and</strong>on Harrison | Jess<br />

Humpston | Daniel Little | Georgia Szymanski<br />

16 February - 16 March 2024<br />

Craft + Design Canberra

Image: Bryn Davies | Solace 1, 2023 | Daniel Mulheran

Image: Jess Humpston | Calefaction, 2023 | Photo: Franky Walker

Image: Br<strong>and</strong>on Harrison | M<strong>in</strong>ilith, 2023 | Photo: Allena Tran

<strong>See<strong>in</strong>g</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Know<strong>in</strong>g</strong>:<br />

<strong>New</strong> <strong>Perspectives</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Furniture</strong><br />

<strong>Exhibition</strong> Statement<br />

<strong>See<strong>in</strong>g</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Know<strong>in</strong>g</strong>: <strong>New</strong> <strong>Perspectives</strong> <strong>in</strong><br />

<strong>Furniture</strong> is a group exhibition featur<strong>in</strong>g the<br />

work of Bryn Davies, Br<strong>and</strong>on Harrison, Jess<br />

Humpston, Daniel Little <strong>and</strong> Georgia<br />

Szymanski.<br />

<strong>Furniture</strong> holds an <strong>in</strong>terest<strong>in</strong>g dichotomy with<strong>in</strong><br />

our everyday lives: it is a phenomenon that<br />

spans the artistic <strong>and</strong> the functional, from<br />

complex to m<strong>in</strong>imalist. Like all craft it has been<br />

deeply affected by changes <strong>in</strong> culture, trends,<br />

<strong>and</strong> technology.<br />

How we see a piece of furniture is guided by<br />

many preconceptions <strong>and</strong> enculturated<br />

assumptions about where they fit <strong>in</strong> our world.<br />

Mass consumption, ease of production, <strong>and</strong><br />

ubiquity are just some of many modern forces<br />

that change how we live with our objects <strong>and</strong><br />

skew their value. Modern consumerism has<br />

altered our connection to the materials, the<br />

process <strong>and</strong> the <strong>in</strong>spiration beh<strong>in</strong>d much artistry<br />

<strong>and</strong> craft. These forces constitute the ‘know<strong>in</strong>g’<br />

that we br<strong>in</strong>g to our ‘see<strong>in</strong>g’ of objects.<br />

The purpose of this group exhibition is to<br />

encourage the viewer to explore different ways<br />

of see<strong>in</strong>g, to br<strong>in</strong>g curiosity to the mundane <strong>and</strong><br />

to challenge the familiarity, preconceptions <strong>and</strong><br />

‘know<strong>in</strong>g’ that <strong>in</strong>fluence our view of objects, <strong>in</strong><br />

this case furniture. This exhibition hopes to be a<br />

celebration of the human aspect <strong>in</strong> mak<strong>in</strong>g, the<br />

beauty of everyday th<strong>in</strong>gs, to shed light on the<br />

familiar <strong>and</strong> allow the viewer to explore, touch<br />

<strong>and</strong> experience furniture, its material, <strong>and</strong> its<br />

process from a different perspective.

Image: Daniel Little | ARBR Chair, 2023 | Photo: Daniel Mulheran

Image: Bryn Davies | Solace 1, 2023 | Photo: Daniel Mulheran

Bryn Davies<br />



Solace 1 <strong>and</strong> Solace 2 conceptually are two side<br />

tables that can be adapted <strong>in</strong>to any household<br />

room. Both tables are explorations of space <strong>and</strong><br />

light, orig<strong>in</strong>ally <strong>in</strong>spired by Japanese modernist<br />

cab<strong>in</strong>et design <strong>and</strong> architectural forms. The side<br />

tables present simple <strong>and</strong> ref<strong>in</strong>ed spaces formed<br />

through the structural slats of Silver Ash that are<br />

a strong contrast to the darker tones of the<br />

Tasmanian Black Wood <strong>and</strong> Eastern Red Cedar.<br />

The name 'Solace' came from the time spent on<br />

these works throughout the year. The creative<br />

journey that this project took me on allowed me<br />

to f<strong>in</strong>d ‘Solace’ <strong>in</strong> the physical <strong>and</strong> mental<br />

attention to both the design <strong>and</strong> construction of<br />

the pieces.<br />

Orig<strong>in</strong>at<strong>in</strong>g from Sydney's south coast, Bryn<br />

Davies studied a Bachelor <strong>and</strong> Honors degree at<br />

the ANU School of Art <strong>and</strong> Design <strong>in</strong> screen<br />

pr<strong>in</strong>t<strong>in</strong>g. Dur<strong>in</strong>g this time he found a love for<br />

furniture <strong>and</strong> design through the school's design<br />

department <strong>and</strong> various local <strong>in</strong>spirations.<br />

Shortly after graduat<strong>in</strong>g Bryn began work<strong>in</strong>g<br />

with wood, <strong>and</strong> was mentored by master sculptor<br />

<strong>and</strong> designer Tom Mac' Mahan.<br />

Bryn completed a Cert IV <strong>in</strong> F<strong>in</strong>e <strong>Furniture</strong> at<br />

the Sturt School for Wood <strong>in</strong> 2021.<br />

He is now a country based Artist/Designer-<br />

Maker. Bryn's practice predom<strong>in</strong>antly focuses on<br />

modernist styles <strong>and</strong> <strong>in</strong>fluences from Japanese,<br />

cubist <strong>and</strong> rectil<strong>in</strong>ear forms <strong>and</strong> designs.

Image: Bryn Davies | Solace 1, 2023 | Photo: Daniel Mulheran

Image: Bryn Davies | Solace 1, 2023 | Photo: Daniel Mulheran

Image: Br<strong>and</strong>on Harrison | M<strong>in</strong>ilith, 2023 | Photo: Allena Tran

Br<strong>and</strong>on Harrison<br />



How does one <strong>in</strong>teract with their environment?<br />

<strong>Furniture</strong> is comfort<strong>in</strong>g <strong>and</strong> familiar. There is<br />

memory there, <strong>and</strong> yet each memory is different.<br />

My <strong>in</strong>terests <strong>in</strong>volve the <strong>in</strong>timate relationship<br />

that humans build with the world around them,<br />

from public space to products. By play<strong>in</strong>g with<br />

this experience through texture, balance,<br />

structure <strong>and</strong> movement, I aim to create<br />

furniture that becomes an <strong>in</strong>timate partner <strong>in</strong><br />

the life of the user.<br />

The forms my work takes are visually<br />

m<strong>in</strong>imalist, however, <strong>in</strong>tricately crafted to focus<br />

purely on the end use <strong>and</strong> the relationship it has<br />

with it’s human counterpart.<br />

<strong>Furniture</strong> for the humans.<br />

Br<strong>and</strong>on Harrison is a furniture designer <strong>and</strong><br />

maker based <strong>in</strong> Naarm/Melbourne.<br />

Interested <strong>in</strong> human-centered design at a macro<br />

level, he worked as a Town Planner before<br />

mov<strong>in</strong>g to a more <strong>in</strong>timate, human scale that<br />

furniture is able to respond to. He studied f<strong>in</strong>e<br />

woodwork <strong>and</strong> furniture design at Sturt Craft<br />

centre <strong>in</strong> the NSW Southern Highl<strong>and</strong>s <strong>and</strong><br />

currently holds a residency at the Victorian<br />

Woodworkers Association.<br />

His practice is focused on structure, movement<br />

<strong>and</strong> the <strong>in</strong>teraction between people <strong>and</strong> their<br />

furniture that works to humanise an often<br />

abstract <strong>and</strong> cerebral design manifesto. With<strong>in</strong> a<br />

framework of timber he is able to tap <strong>in</strong>to the<br />

cultural memory of a familiar natural material.<br />

Br<strong>and</strong>on was the w<strong>in</strong>ner of Wood Review’s 2022<br />

student Maker of the Year, has been <strong>in</strong>cluded as<br />

a f<strong>in</strong>alist <strong>in</strong> the 2023 VIVID design award, the<br />

2023 Carence Prize for furniture design <strong>and</strong> the<br />

2021 Craft + Design Canberra’s Emerg<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Contemporaries exhibition.

Image: Br<strong>and</strong>on Harrison | SLYD, 2023 | Photo: Allena Tran

Image: Br<strong>and</strong>on Harrison | SLYD, 2023 | Photo: Allena Tran

Image: Daniel Little | ARBR Chair, 2023 | Photo: Daniel Mulheran

Daniel Little<br />


In my practice I strive to explore <strong>and</strong> celebrate<br />

the <strong>in</strong>terplay of design, craftsmanship <strong>and</strong><br />

materiality. I endeavor to create pieces that<br />

<strong>in</strong>spire a deeper appreciation of the beauty <strong>in</strong> our<br />

everyday objects. My goal is to create objects that<br />

can be lived with, repaired, <strong>and</strong> discovered anew.<br />

My current body of work explores texture,<br />

lightness, <strong>and</strong> the endless possibilities of<br />

exploration. These Objects are created to st<strong>and</strong> <strong>in</strong><br />

opposition to the more ubiquitous products of<br />

mass manufacture. The genesis of my recent<br />

pieces emerged through a process of iterative <strong>and</strong><br />

creative play. Notably, the sculptural essence of<br />

the ARBR chair evolved from the <strong>in</strong>tuitive<br />

carv<strong>in</strong>g of prototypes.<br />


Daniel J Little, a Sydney-based designer maker,<br />

began his journey <strong>in</strong>to furniture <strong>and</strong> ceramic<br />

design at Sturt Mittagong, where he served as a<br />

Studio Assistant at Sturt ceramics department.<br />

He went on to study <strong>Furniture</strong> design at Sturt<br />

School for Wood where he graduated <strong>in</strong> 2021. On<br />

graduation he took up a teach<strong>in</strong>g position at<br />

Heartwood creative <strong>and</strong> is currently a furniture<br />

resident at Sturt Galleries. Daniel has sold works<br />

at galleries <strong>in</strong> multiple states <strong>in</strong> Australia <strong>and</strong><br />

was the category w<strong>in</strong>ner of the Australian Wood<br />

review maker of the year <strong>in</strong> cab<strong>in</strong>ets <strong>in</strong> 2022. His<br />

practice explores the endless potential for new<br />

forms <strong>and</strong> ideas that challenge the ubiquity of<br />

mass manufactured objects.<br />

The ARBR chair is built with local Queensl<strong>and</strong><br />

silver ash, an <strong>in</strong>tentional decision made to<br />

highlight a beautiful <strong>and</strong> underused local<br />

material. The focal po<strong>in</strong>t of <strong>in</strong>terest <strong>in</strong> the piece<br />

is a po<strong>in</strong>t of space created by the curved <strong>in</strong>terplay<br />

of three molded components. Each of these three<br />

pieces consists of 10 ash strips that were glued <strong>in</strong><br />

purpose built formas to become match<strong>in</strong>g pairs.<br />

They are shaped to appear almost like they are<br />

grow<strong>in</strong>g together, Thus the name ‘ARBR’ a play<br />

on the word ‘Arbor’ a shelter or growth of v<strong>in</strong>es. I<br />

am <strong>in</strong>spired by the <strong>in</strong>terplay of light <strong>and</strong> shadow<br />

<strong>and</strong> endeavor to explore the romance <strong>and</strong><br />

fragility of this <strong>in</strong> my piece. This design was an<br />

experiment to push the material <strong>and</strong> create a<br />

piece that imbued both a sculptural quality but<br />

rema<strong>in</strong>ed warm <strong>and</strong> functional.

Image: Daniel Little | ARBR Chair, 2023 | Photo: Daniel Mulheran

Image: Daniel Little | ARBR Chair, 2023 | Photo: Daniel Mulheran

Image: Jess Humpston | Calefaction, 2023 | Photo: Franky Walker

Jess Humpston<br />


Work<strong>in</strong>g predom<strong>in</strong>antly <strong>in</strong> timber, my work<br />

balances traditional woodwork<strong>in</strong>g with<br />

architectural character, contrast<strong>in</strong>g clean l<strong>in</strong>es<br />

with the tactility of the h<strong>and</strong>-made. A<br />

background <strong>in</strong> both fashion <strong>and</strong> <strong>in</strong>terior design<br />

has helped tune my underst<strong>and</strong><strong>in</strong>g of the space a<br />

piece of furniture <strong>in</strong>habits <strong>and</strong> the <strong>in</strong>timate<br />

physical <strong>in</strong>teraction between user <strong>and</strong> object. At<br />

both macro <strong>and</strong> micro scale, connection between<br />

user <strong>and</strong> furniture is always considered with the<br />

aim to elevate everyday functional requirements<br />

with an element of the unexpected. My work is<br />

m<strong>in</strong>imal, yet detail focussed <strong>and</strong> my practice is<br />

dedicated to material exploration with<strong>in</strong> highly<br />

rational <strong>and</strong> brief-driven parameters.<br />


AJess Humpston is an emerg<strong>in</strong>g designer-maker<br />

based <strong>in</strong> Naarm/Melbourne work<strong>in</strong>g<br />

predom<strong>in</strong>antly <strong>in</strong> timber. A recent graduate of<br />

the Sturt School for Wood, Jess also holds an<br />

Honours degree <strong>in</strong> Interior Architecture at<br />

Curt<strong>in</strong> University <strong>and</strong> an Advanced Diploma <strong>in</strong><br />

Fashion <strong>and</strong> Textiles from the WA Institute of<br />

Fashion <strong>and</strong> Textiles. Jess is currently an artist <strong>in</strong><br />

residence at the Victorian Woodworkers<br />

Association where she tutors part time whilst<br />

balanc<strong>in</strong>g a career <strong>in</strong> Interior Design. A f<strong>in</strong>alist <strong>in</strong><br />

last year's Clarence Art Prize, Jess has been<br />

<strong>in</strong>volved <strong>in</strong> exhibitions <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g Design Fr<strong>in</strong>ge<br />

<strong>and</strong> Craft Victoria where she was a participat<strong>in</strong>g<br />

designer <strong>in</strong> The Chair exhibition. Jess has<br />

contributed to the Australian Wood Review as a<br />

judge <strong>and</strong> writer <strong>in</strong> addition to w<strong>in</strong>n<strong>in</strong>g AWR<br />

Maker of the Year <strong>in</strong> 2022.

Image: Jess Humpston | Marg<strong>in</strong>, 2023 | Photo: Greg Piper

Image: Jess Humpston | Marg<strong>in</strong>, 2023 | Photo: Greg Piper

Image: Claudia Vogel | Adapt A Bench, 2023 | Photo: Lefika Images<br />

Image: Georgia Szymanski | Curved Drawers, 2022 | Photo: Issy Connelley

Georgia Szymanski<br />


I am a multi-discipl<strong>in</strong>ary designer maker based<br />

<strong>in</strong> Naarm (Melbourne). I work primarily with<br />

wood to create functional pieces, blurr<strong>in</strong>g the<br />

l<strong>in</strong>es between furniture, object <strong>and</strong> sculpture.<br />

My practice <strong>in</strong>vestigates <strong>in</strong>timacy with<strong>in</strong><br />

personal <strong>and</strong> collective spaces through a variety<br />

of scale <strong>and</strong> material matter. I am <strong>in</strong>tent on<br />

practic<strong>in</strong>g my craft as a way of re-evaluat<strong>in</strong>g the<br />

beauty of commonplace objects <strong>and</strong> their role <strong>in</strong><br />

our sense of place.<br />

Made to Measure tabletop uses offcuts from a<br />

previous project <strong>and</strong> legs that I developed <strong>and</strong><br />

created at Sturt School for Wood <strong>in</strong> 2022. The<br />

legs are formed us<strong>in</strong>g a slid<strong>in</strong>g partner jig with 12<br />

lam<strong>in</strong>ations steam bent <strong>and</strong> glued <strong>in</strong> the jig. The<br />

steam bent process was my first experience at<br />

bend<strong>in</strong>g <strong>and</strong> re-produc<strong>in</strong>g multiples. I worked<br />

with a metal fabricator Old Four Legs to create<br />

the prototype Weight of Some Th<strong>in</strong>g. Work<strong>in</strong>g<br />

with a fabricator on a piece of furniture was<br />

another first experience. The development of my<br />

furniture craft h<strong>in</strong>ges on <strong>in</strong>corporat<strong>in</strong>g new<br />

materials, techniques <strong>and</strong> ways of production.<br />


Georgia completed a Bachelor of Interior Design<br />

(Honours) at RMIT <strong>in</strong> 2018, a Certificate II <strong>in</strong><br />

Cab<strong>in</strong>et <strong>and</strong> <strong>Furniture</strong> Mak<strong>in</strong>g at Box Hill<br />

Institute <strong>in</strong> 2020 <strong>and</strong> graduated from Sturt<br />

School for Wood with a Certificate IV <strong>in</strong> F<strong>in</strong>e<br />

<strong>Furniture</strong> Mak<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> 2022. Georgia currently<br />

teaches an open course at the Melbourne Guild<br />

of F<strong>in</strong>e Woodwork<strong>in</strong>g <strong>and</strong> facilitates furniture<br />

mak<strong>in</strong>g with people with disabilities at<br />

Connect<strong>in</strong>g to Australia <strong>in</strong> Brunswick,<br />

Melbourne. Georgia is currently curat<strong>in</strong>g <strong>and</strong><br />

present<strong>in</strong>g an exhibition with Jess Humpston<br />

for Melbourne Design Week 2024.<br />

Georgia has recently exhibited at the Melbourne<br />

Design Fr<strong>in</strong>ge 2023 Speculation: Eight Billion<br />

Little Utopias. She exhibited as part of the Ceres<br />

Fair Wood exhibition for Melbourne Design<br />

Week 2023 <strong>and</strong> with Vivid Emerg<strong>in</strong>g Designer<br />

Awards. Georgia was jo<strong>in</strong>tly granted the<br />

<strong>Furniture</strong> Design Award <strong>and</strong> Authentic Design<br />

Alliance Award of Merit <strong>in</strong> 2022 by the Latitude<br />

Group Vivid Emerg<strong>in</strong>g Designer Awards.

Image: Georgia Szymanski | Curved Drawers, 2022 | Photo: Issy Connelley

Image: Georgia Szymanski | Weight of Some Th<strong>in</strong>g, 2024 | Photo: Issy Connelley

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