Transformation: Lucy Irvine announced as the 2021 DESIGN Canberra Festival designer-in-residence | HerCanberra

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Transformation: Lucy Irvine announced as the 2021 DESIGN Canberra Festival designer-in-residence

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Transformation is the theme of DESIGN Canberra Festival 2021—and no local artist could better articulate this ephemeral concept than Lucy Irvine.

On first inspection of The Stills, DESIGN Canberra Festival‘s 2021 signature artwork by acclaimed artist Lucy Irvine, the collection of 25 bronze sculptures appear to be woven from a series of gold-tinged jewellery—rings and necklaces folded over and over.

In reality, the work was created from a series of casts Lucy created from sculptures of foam, rope and cable ties which then became wax moulds and finally the finished bronze castings—a remarkable transformation taking place in between.

Fittingly, ‘transformation’ is the theme for DESIGN Canberra’s upcoming festival, which will take place from 8–28 November across the city.

“Our appreciation of transformation can too easily rely upon a definitive before and after,” explains Lucy. “What if transformation could also be an ongoing process without a beginning or an end, existing in a million small interrelations that are, for example, happening long before the materials are in hand and long after the work is on the wall?”

Commissioned especially for the festival, The Stills will be represented in a signature Craft ACT exhibition during the festival, with Lucy’s work also showcases in a large-scale temporary installation at The Cutting, near Lake Burley Griffin.

For DESIGN Canberra artistic director Rachael Coghlan, there was simply no other artist to better represent transformation in their work than Lucy Irvine, adding that transformation was a fitting theme for our ever-shifting world.

“In the context of the upheaval and disruption of the coronavirus, we have a shared responsibility and extraordinary opportunity to achieve real transformation,” says Rachael. “How can design foster a resilient, connected, creative and responsible way of living?”

Now in its eighth year, DESIGN Canberra showcases the city’s thriving design community and in 2021 presents a diverse program of events, exhibitions, talks, tours, activations, markets, collaborations, artists’ studios, and open homes. Stay tuned for more details soon.


What: DESIGN Canberra Festival 2021
When: 8-28 November 2021
Where: Various locations across Canberra

Photography: Lean Timms

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