17 August - 14 October 2007

Freestyle: new Australian design for living brings together the work and stories of 40 leading Australian designers who create designer objects for everyday use, encompassing furniture, lighting, textiles, homewares, fashion, jewellery and accessories. In this dynamic exhibition, around 200 handmade one-off and limited edition pieces are showcased and considered alongside industrially manufactured items and prototypes, to reflect the breadth and nature of design excellence and innovation in Australia. After a highly successful national tour the Art Gallery of South Australia in Adelaide is the final Australian venue for Freestyle, and offers visitors an exciting glimpse of tomorrow’s museum pieces, today.

With an emphasis on ‘design for living’ Freestyle presents some of the most innovative contemporary Australian objects created for everyday domestic use. Amid the eclectic display is colourful resin jewellery and homewares by Dinosaur Designs, F!NK & Co.’s iconic water jug, Adam Goodrum’s playful folding Stitch Chair, quirky satchels from Crumpler, woven baskets from Maningrida Arts & Culture, Akira Isogawa’s cutting-edge garments and patterned textiles from Tiwi Design and Vixen. Representing new design in South Australia are the Gray Street Workshop’s jewellers and sculptors Julie Blyfield, Catherine Truman and Leslie Matthews, and renowned furniture designer Khai Liew.


Stitch Chair

Adam Goodrum, Stitch Chair 1996-2005, Aluminium, stainless steel.


“We are currently witnessing a ‘coming of age’ for Australian design,” says the exhibition’s curator, Brian Parkes, Associate Director of Object Gallery in Sydney. “Australians have shown a certain capacity to make do with what is available at hand – often turning isolation to advantage and regularly innovating to adapt to the environment or circumstances of the day” he explains. For Parkes, Freestyle celebrates the freedom with which Australian designers take to their practice, unencumbered by the weight of history, rules or tradition.

Parkes will present an introductory talk in the exhibition on Friday 17 August at 12.45pm and a free illustrated public lecture about the development of Freestyle on Saturday 18 August at 1.30pm in the Radford Auditorium. Coordinating Curator is Robert Reason, the Art Gallery’s Curator of European & Australian Decorative Arts, who has worked with Parkes to display the exhibition in Adelaide.

Freestyle goes on show at the Art Gallery of South Australia daily from 17 August until 14 October. For the first time, visitors will also have the chance to take their own piece of an exhibition home with them, as the Art Gallery Bookshop carries a wide range of goods, which feature in Freestyle.

Freestyle is a collaboration of the Melbourne Museum and Object Gallery, Sydney. The Principal Sponsor is Bombay Sapphire.

Exhibition sponsor

Bombay Sapphire


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