Friday, 30 September 2011

Playlist: Lana del Ray

Lana del Ray's upcoming single Video Games has music afficionados around the globe in a spin, and deservedly so. With honey tones and haunting vocals not to mention comparisons to Nancy Sinatra, Lana's orbit is set to expand with the single already receiving substantial airplay pre-release. We're predicting big things as Lana rockets off the launch pad this summer.

Thursday, 29 September 2011


Here’s a preview of the revamped ‘Femina’, a striking new visual direction for the leading weekly Indonesian lifestyle magazine. Ikon collaborated with the team at ‘Femina’ to create a style guide and revitalise the publication with a unique look that is dynamic and fresh. The visual ‘tool kit’ featured colour palettes, fonts, image treatments, background patterns and typographic elements, such as break out shapes, rules, tabs, highlights and strike-throughs.


Wednesday, 28 September 2011

FONTIFICATE: Contrast Growth

Whimsical and ephemeral, Anna Garforth's typographic interferences in urban landscapes have turned our heads. We love the mossy goodness of Grow (above), not just for its vibrant green hues, but also for its fluid font work, which contrasts beautifully with the harsh brick wall it sits on. Transformative qualities can be seen in Rethink (below) which takes hundreds of delicate leaves and superimposes them on a bleak industrial landscape creating an intriguing contrast. Newer works utilise a variety of tapes to form words, while Trash Type takes recycling to a new level.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Friday, 23 September 2011

Bird's eye perspective

Your Rainbow Panorama is Olafur Eliasson's latest installation and it's pushing all the right buttons. Sitting atop the Arhus Museum in Denmark's Arhus, visitors are given a 360º view of the city from a platform suspended between the city and the sky. It's another example of inspired architectural form intersecting with art. We can only imagine what it must be like to experience and we think we'd like to see one in Sydney sometime soon.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Going Up

We're all for making grand entrances, and there's nothing like a sculptural staircase to enhance the experience. Paul Smith's flagship Seoul store (above) is breathtakingly modern outside yet inside English tradition rules. We love the salon hang, the fluid flow of the banister and how it leads you up. We love Korean artist Do Ho Soh's whimsical stairs created from his trademark translucent fabric (below) while Olafur Eliasson's surreal stairs really do lead nowhere, though with grace. We're lucky to have the award winning, FJMT designed Surry Hills library just around the corner housing a spiral set of stairs with strong sculptural flair. And one case we'd like to scale sits within the Metropol Parasol we mentioned a few weeks back. It's one of the most inspirational staircases we've seen.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011


Our focus with Wiggin' Out is usually on technological glitches, but with millions of people around the world currently Wiggin' Out to PonPonPon we thought we'd embrace the craziness of this catchy track with its eye-popping video clip. Our minds boggled on first viewing and we've been amazed at what we missed with subsequent viewings. We highly recommend at least one watch followed by a scan of viewer's comments. Four and a half million people couldn't be wrong... Or could they?!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Precision Swatch

To say we were blown away by Karsten Schmidt's kaleidoscopic projections may be an understatement, especially when we delved further into their creation. Inspired by the colour palettes of William Morris, Karsten handed over control to the audience via iPads at the recent The Cult of Beauty: The Aesthetic Movement 1860–1900 exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. In keeping with the Victorian era, Karsten created a canvas consisting of 620 hand-folded paper cones which formed a two panel Victorian-esque room divider. A blinding array of iPad projections were cast onto the screen sampling the patterns of William Morris' wallpapers. If you missed it at the V&A you can see a reworking at The London Design Festival which has just kicked off. While you're there check out Toby Horrock's Freefold Furniture whose shapes give a passing nod to Karsten's canvas. He's part of the Australian contingent coordinated by Matilda Design who will also be running a pop-up café for the festival.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Friday, 16 September 2011

This is: Stacked

It seems to us that artists across the globe have taken to stacking stuff and in the process have transformed everyday things into awe inspiring sculptures. Local artists Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro have been piling together all manner of objects from thousands of video tapes in Italy to household objects they have in storage. Called Luck Exists in Leftovers, the dinosaur replica (above) was created from discarded materials and then housed in a traditional Japanese home. Keeping the scale large, Colombian artist Doris Salcedo stacked some 1,500 plus chairs between two buildings in Istanbul in 2003 to commemorate lives lost in her native Columbia with breathtaking beauty. Michael Johanssen's installations are created from of all manner of objects resulting in both small and large scale works, which take engineering and precision to new extremes. And lastly,  Elisa Larvego looks to the street for inspiration. Shot in Mexico, her photographs of street vendor carts become whimsical sculptures when separated from their owners.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Monday, 12 September 2011

Flashback: Dear Photograph

The premise for Dear Photograph is simple: take a picture of a picture from the past in the present. No more needs to be said, other than we've been finding it compelling viewing as we look back fondly at times past and are reminded of our own heartwarming childhood memories.

Friday, 9 September 2011

This is: Barely There

A certain playfulness between positive and negative space through the use of fine line and elaborate working methods has been registered on our radar. The current exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum, Love Lace, which is garnering attention globally in art and design magazines for its sense of wonder, is a case in point. Waltraud Janzen's Boots (above) immediately took our attention with their ability to focus our attention on form as we went in search of an invisible person to fill those boots. Late last year we marvelled at Lead Pencil's Ghost Billboards (below), which were designed to highlight an abundance of visual pollution, though we think they're quite poetic. Chinese artist Shi Jindian (bottom) creates mechanical objects like cars and bikes from wire using his own method of crochet. With painstaking effort these visionary artists challenge the boundaries of materials, drawing beauty from the mundane to comment on functionality and all with a sense of wonder and serenity.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Masterful Connection

“When I work, I work very fast, but preparing to work can take any length of time.” Cy Twombly

We wish we could be in London to experience the exhibition Twombly and Poussin: Arcadian Painters, which will bring summer to a close in England. Our attention was piqued when we read Cy Twombly's quote: “I would’ve liked to have been Poussin, if I’d had a choice, in another time” mainly because we couldn't quite make the connection between these two very different painters. Whilst the comparison between the two greats was set to make for spectacular viewing, the exhibition's significance changed abruptly with news of Twombly's death soon after opening. Judging by all reports the comparison with Poussin is masterful. They shared a number of key themes including Arcadia and the pastoral, Venus and Eros, anxiety and theatricality and mythological figures. Cy's work is arresting and we think it is well worth the trip to London on its own. Images: Hero and Leander (To Christopher Marlowe) [Rome], 1985, Cy Twombly (top) and The Triumph of Pan, 1636, Poussin (bottom).

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Taco express

We reckon the resurgence of the simple taco is a good thing, maybe even a really good thing. Tacos are light and tasty and when matched with Margaritas and summer, you've got a killer combination for long hot days. El Loco is doing a fine job dishing them up in our hood (pictured) and we love the thinking behind Melbourne's Taco Truck, a mobile van pulling up all over town dispensing delicious tacos. We're hoping to see Taco Trucks on the streets of Sydney soon. Beach bar anyone?

SATE: Paw Paw Magic

We take to sampling sensational taste treats with gusto here. On a recent adventure to crocodile country we not only savoured the most amazing paw paw salad ever, but also witnessed a true master of the mortar (above) at the Parap Markets in Darwin. With machine-like speed, bowls were pestled and tossed by these expert hands to order (brave the chilli of your choosing). We were also pleased to see that even dressing for a tough day on the tools has room for a little bling - note bejeweled buttons.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Play List: Making Mirrors

As fans of Gotye's last album Like Drawing Blood we were excited when his latest Making Mirrors - our current favourite spin - dropped. Created in a barn on his parent's country Victoria property, Gotye's new album is rich and layered with a focus on acoustic instruments, some of which he found on op shop jaunts while recording. The local op shops also provided old vinyl records from which Gotye's trademark samples are lifted. We've been watching Making Making Mirrors - a short documentary that gives insight into Gotye's creativity.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Friday, 2 September 2011

Sitting type

We have a wonderful working relationship with type and lately we've noticed that we may well be able to live with typography too. Designers have recently been taking 3D typography to a whole new level creating chairs and other pieces of furniture that look to type forms for inspiration. Utilising the entire alphabet, Dutch designer Roeland Otten created a range of stools and chairs that featured in Dutch Design Week to rapturous applause (above). We love the Swiss crew's collection Set (below) who have melded type into bars and tallboys using scale and spelling, and considering it's Friday we're all for a wind down tipple. And lastly, 'b' is for bottom... While not new, the Bold Type Chair (below) is still an impressive design feat, made entirely from cardboard it can withstand almost 1,000 kilograms.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Out now: Spring Oily

Who doesn't love spring? Warmer weather and the first flowers blooming... For us catching a whiff of jasmine wafting on the breeze is a sure sign the season is changing. This year Oily's Spring issue is heralding the end of winter with a lavender cover and the inside word on harvesting mandarin oil. We're pleased to be part of the team on another edition of Oily and never cease to be impressed with what nature delivers every day.