Formerly known as the Cicely and Colin Rigg Contemporary Design Award, the Rigg Design Prize is a triennial prize for Australian contemporary design, hosted by the National Gallery of Victoria. Valued at $30,000.00, the prize is made possible through the legacy of the late Colin Rigg (1895-1982), a former Secretary of the NGV’s Bequests’ Committee.
This year, for the first time in the award’s 20 year history, the new-look Rigg Design Prize is a national award, including practitioners from across Australia (previously, the award was open only to creatives practising in Victoria). The resulting exhibition is a diverse showcase of the very best in Australian contemporary design.
Curated by the recently established NGV Department of Contemporary Design and Architecture, the 2015 exhibition showcases a significant body of work from seven Australian contemporary designers. The shortlist includes Adam Goodrum (NSW), Brodie Neill (TAS), Daniel Emma (SA), Kate Rohde (VIC), Khai Liew (SA), Korban/Flaubert (NSW) and Koskela (NSW) in collaboration with the weavers of Elcho Island Arts (NT). Each exhibitor has presented their work as a major installation, incorporating design, light and object based works ranging from the functional to the highly conceptual.
‘When embarking on the Rigg Design Prize 2015, we set out to identify designers who are helping establish a picture of contemporary Australian design that is independent, original and expresses contemporary values’ says Simone LeAmon, NGV Curator of Contemporary Design and Architecture.
‘The Prize aims to present the most interesting object and furniture design being done in Australia today’ – Simone LeAmon, NGV Curator of Contemporary Design and Architecture.
Amongst a seriously impressive line-up, this year’s Rigg Design Prize 2015 was awarded to Sydney designer Adam Goodrum for his sculptural body of work entitled ‘Unfolding’ – a series of three scaled-down houses constructed with folding transparent acrylic sheets, overlaid with a dichroic film, casting colourful and ethereal shadows onto the gallery walls.
Adam’s practice has has a long standing preoccupation with things that ‘fold’. ‘Early in my career I created a folding house for emergency situations. Functionally it needed to be transported flatpacked, and opened for immediate shelter’ recalls Adam. ‘The house was the solution to a humanitarian problem, but its mechanics and folding functionality have unfolded literally and metaphorically into a practice long pursuit’.
Adam remains fascinated with the idea of the two-dimensional turning into the three-dimensional, and the ease and playfulness with which a folding mechanism can achieve this. The interplay between the naive forms, translucent materials and light in his winning installation represents taking an everyday object or problem, and breathing life, inventiveness and colour into it – ‘Conceptually, this is an expression of my career’ Adam says.
If you’re in Melbourne, or planning a visit over summer, the exhibition is on until early Feb and well worth a look!
Rigg Design Prize 2015
On now until 7th February 2016
The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia
(Located at Federation Square, not St Kilda Rd)