Fringe Furniture, as part of the Melbourne Fringe, was one of the most captivating design events I attended last year, introducing a host of new designers and craftsmanship at which to marvel. This year’s showcase is shaping up to be even more unmissable!
Curated on the theme ‘Unite!’, the 2019 event will feature 135 pieces, five of which have been created by artists who are blind or have low vision.
Canberra-based artist and post-grad ecology student Ceilidh Dalton will exhibit her Echidna Desk, alongside an Insect Hotel by Melbourne’s Jane Spracklan, who was inspired to take up woodcraft after attending a Fringe Furniture tour in 2018.
‘I have thoroughly enjoyed learning a new craft and expressing my creative self,’ tells Jane, who has previously exhibited papier-mâché at the Royal Melbourne Show. ‘I have lost all my central vision to a type of macular degeneration; I was diagnosed at age 19 and I am now 61. While I have lived with a disability for most of my life, I have always tried to see the positive side of it (not being able to drive means I have to walk, which means I am kept fit, and my carbon footprint is reduced!), and I’m also determined to keep my horizons broad,’ adds Jane, also the designer behind a stunning redgum jewellery box.
Another student of Vision Australia’s carpentry course, Robert Adams will showcase a chessboard, inspired by the social engagement the design encourages and his own fond memories teaching his grandchildren. Meanwhile, Van Truong’s beautifully handcrafted speaker sound system design will be included to highlight the uniting power of music.
‘One of the things I’m most excited is that we are holding Tactile Tours – to get up close and personal with some of the most extraordinary objects on display at Fringe Furniture 33,’ tells Fringe’s Access and Inclusion Coordinator, Carly Findlay. ‘Designed especially for people who are blind or vision impaired, an experienced accessibility guide will take you on an audio-described tour, piece-by-piece, into every nook, cranny, curve and corner that these playful works boast.’
Fringe Furniture 33
12th-19th September, 11am-5pm
1 St Heliers Street