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Robin Boyd, A Portrait Of An Australian House

Art

‘Is it just that the Australian public clings to its depressing little boxes because it knows no better, has seen no better design?’ asked architect Robin Boyd.

There are no ‘depressing little boxes’ in this exhibition of Boyd’s work, which celebrates the iconic design of one of Australia’s most celebrated architects. As part of the  ‘Robin Boyd: Centenary of Design‘,  the Monash Gallery of Art has commissioned photographers Lauren Bamford and Lydia Wegner to capture a Boyd home in their own distinctive styles, to be exhibited alongside historic photographs by Mark Strizic. Lauren and Lydia chat with us about this dream opportunity, and the enduring impact of the mid-century master.

24th May, 2019

Photo – Lauren Bamford, Untitled, 2019, from the series Kangaroo Ground – courtesy of the artist.

Photo – Lauren Bamford. Untitled, 2019, from the series Kangaroo Ground – courtesy of the artist.

Photo – Lauren Bamford. Untitled, 2019, from the series Kangaroo Ground – courtesy of the artist.

Photo – (left) Lauren Bamford, Untitled  2019, from the series Kangaroo Ground – courtesy of the artist.

Photo – (left) Hallway Twist (right) Upper Yellow, Lydia Wegner.

Photo – Ceiling Slide, Lydia Wegner.

Photo – Red Door, Lydia Wegner.

Photo – (left) Bathroom Red, (right) Kitchen Grid, Lydia Wegner.

Miriam McGarry
Friday 24th May 2019

‘I feel sentimental in his spaces, even when I’ve never seen them before’ – Lauren Bamford.

The opportunity to participate in the Robin Boyd, a portrait of an Australian house  exhibition came about when Lauren Bamford and Lydia Wegner were both contacted by Pippa Milne, curator at the Monash Gallery of Art to photograph an iconic Boyd home. Lauren explains that she ‘couldn’t say no’ to the appeal of capturing mid-century design, Boyd architecture, and being paired with Lydia!

After an architectural tour of celebrated Boyd homes in Melbourne, both photographers were drawn to The Wright House in Warrandyte. This stunning bush home is designed as an open floor plan, but offers shifting private zones with rice paper screen sliding doors. Exposed beams, stone walls, a brass fire chimney and pebble details offered texture and warmth that both photographers were drawn to.

As an artist who plays with and manipulates light, Lydia was attracted to the materiality and minimalism of Boyd’s work, she she sought to gently abstract the space, in her distinctive style. She explains ‘I wanted to highlight and accent Boyd’s minimalist design and unique juxtaposition of materials. I used a number of coloured lights and reflections in the works, which provide a link to my own photographic practice.’

For Lauren, the Wright house won her over with the brass chimney, that reflected a ‘warm golden glow’ when the sun hit it, and transformed the surrounding material textures in the home as the light shifted. The photographer drove to Warrandyte pre-dawn to ‘let the light do most of the work’ and was rewarded with a perfect sunrise, and ‘all the shadows and reflections I had hoped for.’

Lauren and Lydia’s work is exhibited alongside photographs by Mark Strizic, a key documenter of Boyd’s designs, who shaped the way the public viewed the iconic architecture. The exhibition presents multiple ways of seeing Robin Boyd’s architecture and legacy. As Lauren highlights, there is a sentimentality in viewing Boyd’s designs, ‘even if you’ve never seen them before.’

Robin Boyd, a portrait of an Australian house
Lauren Bamford | Lydia Wegner | Mark Strizic25 May – 14 July
Monash Gallery of Art
860 Ferntree Gully Road
Wheelers Hill
VIC 3150

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The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net