Exhibition Insight... Synergy


Synergy  exhibition installation. Image: Courtesy of JamFactory.

Synergy exhibition installation. Image: Courtesy of JamFactory.

 
CHEB, Perpetual Sun, 2018. Adelaide Black Granite. Image: courtesy of CHEB.

CHEB, Perpetual Sun, 2018. Adelaide Black Granite. Image: courtesy of CHEB.

Collaboration is the seed of innovation and the catalyst for forging exciting new pathways into the great unknown.
When two separate creative forces unite and put their individual energies, skills and knowledge together in the pursuit of creative endeavours, something extraordinary is sure to emerge.

Words by Caitlin Eyre.

Synergy showcases cross-discipline collaborations that have taken place as a result of JamFactory connections, both past and present. The exhibition examines the way in which new processes, designs and products come to fruition through collaborations between JamFactory’s four studio disciplines – Ceramics, Furniture, Glass, and Jewellery and Metal.

The word ‘synergy’ is defined as “the interaction or cooperation of two agents that produces a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects”. By working with others, particularly those from a different discipline, designers and makers can push past their own boundaries to explore new materials, skill sets and ways of thinking to create something beyond the realms of individual skills and understandings.

Through this exhibition, JamFactory celebrates the ingrained culture of creative collaboration that is fostered within the institution and that is visible in the various projects and products that the organisation helps to establish and nurture. Showcasing both existing and new revisions of works created during previous collaborations at JamFactory, Synergy explores and pays homage to the limitless possibilities that can arise through creative partnerships.

Synergy features collaborative craft and design objects by a range of JamFactory staff, Associates, alumni and studio tenants, including Andrew Carvolth and Damon Moon, CHEB (Christine Cholewa and Deb Jones), DANIEL EMMA (Daniel To and Emma Aiston), Yuro Cuchor and Connie Augoustinos, James Howe and Thomas Pearson, Jordan Gower and Danielle Lo, and JamFactory’s Ceramics Studio in conjunction with Waringarri Aboriginal Arts. Within this exhibition there are a number of different collaborative groups and interpretations of ‘synergy’ that are testament to the diversity and increasing popularity of collaborations in art, craft and design.

Former Creative Director of JamFactory’s Ceramics Studio Damon Moon and Furniture Studio Production Manager Andrew Carvolth developed a collaborative exhibition at Galleria Rubin as part of Milan Design Week in 2018. The exhibition integrated the display of the artworks, with Moon’s slip-cast objects sitting on top of Carvolth’s timber structures. For Synergy, this approach has been extended to feature new artworks that attest to Moon’s recent appointment as the Creative Director at the Bendigo Pottery Centre for Learning and Design (CLAD) and Carvolth’s recent explorations in metal for the 2019 Melbourne Design Week.

 

By working with others, particularly those from a different discipline, designers and makers can push past their own boundaries to explore new materials, skill sets and ways of thinking to create something beyond the realms of individual skills and understandings.

 
 
James Howe and Thomas Pearson, Fjord Glass Water Dispenser, 2017. Image: James Howe.

James Howe and Thomas Pearson, Fjord Glass Water Dispenser, 2017. Image: James Howe.

JamFactory Glass Studio Associate and Managment Team alumnae Christine Cholewa and Deb Jones are the creative duo behind CHEB, an Adelaide-based collective force focused on public art and urban design work. The pair merge letters from their first names to create a combined, collective identity that embodies the strength and centrality of their creative partnership. CHEB’s collaborative process also extends to working with external industries and individuals in their production of public projects across South Australia. Their large scale installations made for the Royal Adelaide Hospital façade and courtyards, for example, were a collaboration with Rachel Harris of art and graphic design studio Bit Scribbly. CHEB’s public artwork made for the Adelaide City Council Terrazzo Tree, 2016 was made in collaboration with Monterrazzo, a flooring company specialising in terrazzo. Its sister work Branchracks, 2016 was produced with the cooperation of Tom Reeves, sculptor and foundry operator of Bronzewing. Their most recent art installation, Perpetual Sun, 2018 was created for the Norwood Payneham and St Peters Council. The work features a raw quarried granite block with a concave semi-sphere carved out of its surface. The sun’s energy absorbed by the solar wall during the day in turn lights the sphere at night creating a ‘Perpetual Sun’. In the artists own words their aim was “to combine the old and of the earth with modern technology to create a beautiful third element.”

Furniture designer James Howe and glass artist Thomas Pearson worked across their respective disciplines to create the Fjord Glass Water Dispenser for the 2017 Drink Dine Design Award. Bolstered by a common interest in material and craft processes, the pair’s collaborative working relationship emerged organically through sharing a studio tenant space at JamFactory. Throughout their collaboration, Howe and Pearson maintained a strong commitment to ensuring a fluid design and making process so that each artist could contribute freely to the evolution of their product.

Ceramic artist Jordan Gower and jeweller Danielle Lo collaborated on a three-piece teaware set for the 2017 Drink Dine Design Award. Their collaboration was a natural progression based on similar design interests, the inherent foundational overlaps in each of their practices allowing Gower and Lo to question the limitations of their own mediums and to think within different material contexts. For Synergy, Gower and Lo have taken design elements from their previous collaborative work to create a new series of lidded vessels that explore material crossovers and the similarities of tone and texture within their separate practices.

 
JamFactory and Gloria Mengil of Waringarri Aboriginal Arts,  My Favourite Bush Tucker,  2017. Image: courtesy JamFactory

JamFactory and Gloria Mengil of Waringarri Aboriginal Arts, My Favourite Bush Tucker, 2017. Image: courtesy JamFactory

Design studio DANIEL EMMA was founded in 2008 by husband and wife team Daniel To and Emma Aiston, whoare also JamFactory’s Creative Directors. The pair recently produced a furniture collection that embraced their shared experiences in Asia since childhood and paid homage to the urban landscapes that continue to influence the use of colour and form in their practice. The Anna Vase, 2017 was created with the collaborative assistance of ceramicist and JamFactory studio tenant Yuro Cuchor, whose skill and knowledge in slip casting turned Daniel Emma’s design into a reality. JamFactory tenant and previous Associate Connie Augoustinos then glazes the objects using her traditional glaze recipes. For Synergy the Anna Vase appears in three new and unique colourways.

Since 2016, the JamFactory Ceramic Studio has engaged in a creative partnership with Waringarri Aboriginal Arts to produce a range of wheel-thrown ceramic tableware featuring motifs of native Australian bush tucker. The range is made onsite at JamFactory and decorated with decals of bush peanuts and bush plums by Warringarri artist Gloria Mengil. In providing the ceramic tableware for decoration with Mengil’s designs, JamFactory supports Warringarri Aboriginal Arts in their mission to secure economic independence for artists and their communities.

The plethora of successful collaborations that have been forged at JamFactory attest to the unique and nurturing environment that the organisation fosters through encouraging experimentation across the four studio disciplines. As a multi-disciplinary institution, JamFactory has a commitment to providing designers and makers with the flexibility to work with experts in other fields and access to studios beyond their own discipline. It is this freedom of movement and unhindered exploration between studios at JamFactory that underscores the inherent value of creative partnerships within art, craft and design, and the bountiful results that working in synergy can achieve.

Synergy is exhibiting at JamFactory Adelaide in Gallery Two from 17 May - 14 July 2019. 

Curators: Caitlin Eyre and Rebecca Freezer

Essay: Caitlin Eyre

Exhibitors: Andrew Carvolth & Damon MoonCheb (Christine Cholewa & Deb Jones) Daniel Emma (Daniel To & Emma Aiston) & Connie Augoustinos & Yuro CuchoJames Howe & Thomas PearsonJordan Gower & Danielle LoJamFactory Ceramic Studio in conjunction with Waringarri Aboriginal Arts