Exhibition: Furniture Defines Home

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Myles Gostelow discusses the making of his Squatters Chairs in the Octagon Room at the Bungendore Woodworks Gallery on the Sunday Morning walk-around. Photo: Grace Cochrane

Words: Evan Dunstone

Studio Woodworkers Australia’s second exhibition for 2020, Furniture Defines Home, opened at the Bungendore Wood Works Gallery on Saturday November 14 and runs until March 30, 2021.

SWA held its Annual General Meeting, as well as a Member’s Meeting, prior to the opening. There was a dinner on the Saturday night and a walk-around on Sunday. The AGM and the Member's Meeting were held in the Carrington’s excellent conference room and relied on technology, due to the COVID travel restrictions that were still in place. The turnout of local makers was strong, with new members such as Rolf Barfoed, Stuart Montague and Myles Gostelow present.

SWA Chair Will Matthysen ran the AGM from his Warrandyte workshop via Zoom. The key points were that membership had grown significantly over the previous 12 months, that the financial position was solid and that the board would need renewal when the terms of Will Matthysen as Chair and Warwick Wright as Secretary expire next year.

The Member's Meeting raised several issues, most of which related to the inclusion and involvement of younger, mid-career makers. Rolf Barfoed suggested that SWA introduce an annual Guild Mark style competition/award. There was an interesting discussion of how to use social media in a more collegial and strategic way. Members still in lockdown were able to contribute to this discussion via Zoom and everyone got to have their say.

Furniture Defines Home was conceived as a response to the trials of lockdown and the travel restrictions that we have all been enduring. The work is warm and personal. Of special note is David Upfill-Brown’s  ‘Wodyetia Bifurcata’. This sculpture represents David’s return to the workshop following his car accident earlier in the year. Wodyetia Bifurcata’ was the first piece of the exhibition to sell.

On Sunday morning there was a walk-around led by Geoff Hannah OAM and Evan Dunstone. BWWG exhibition manager Mahala filmed the  event and broadcast it via Zoom. Makers such as Phoebe Everill, Benjamin Reddan and Ross Williamson were able to participate from lockdown. All the attending makers had the opportunity to discuss their pieces with their peers. There was a wonderful collegial energy in the room, with many constructive discussions. This was SWA operating at its finest: a family of professional makers discussing in detail the craft they love.

In 2021 SWA will hold an exhibition in Sydney at the Australian Design Centre from the October 8 to November 17.

See a catalogue of works at https://bwoodworks.com.au/pages/furniture-defines-home

Learn more about Studio Woodworkers Australia


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