Straight Lines is a collection of new work by Canberra designer Elliot Bastianon which will be exhibited at M2Gallery in Surry Hills, Sydney, February 15–20. We spoke to Elliot about his concerns as a designer and also the direction of his new work.
I think my style could be described as minimal, but with personality. My enjoyment of repetition and geometry has been informing my practice over the last 2-3 years, which is most evident in the recent collection of work. I feel things are at their most beautiful when they’re in a very reductive state—stripped back structures and unpretentious processing of components have always interested me over more showy design.
Yes, I’ll make the pieces as well as design them.
Q: What are your main design considerations? What drives you?
Seeing the creativity that exists out there makes me really want to be involved with it and add my small contribution.
Q: What is your background, design education and experience wise?
I was fortunate enough to study at the Australian National University’s School of Art, where there was a strong emphasis placed on hand skills and understanding what has come before, but also material exploration and embracing unusual ways of doing things. The degree was a Visual Arts one so having that constant exposure to Art History was also very beneficial for me.
Q: Eighteen months ago an exhibition of your work titled Material Objects featured at Nishi Gallery. That collection focused on folded structures. Apart from the obvious, what’s behind the aesthetic of Straight Lines?
Straight Lines is a collection of furniture guided by a similar aesthetic principle. The pieces are highly rectilinear with a strong emphasis on the space created through simple, geometric forms. It’s defined by crisp edges and a consistent use of repetition, while the use of colour and textile adds an element of playfulness. The armchairs and sofa are characterised by the upholstery bulging through the grid structure; adding a soft, tactile element to the work.
It’s this feature that interests me the most and I’d like to explore it further with some more work. I feel brings a sculptural aspect to the collection and emphasises the relationship between soft and hard materials. And you just really want to poke it!
Q: Do you sell from retail outlets as well as galleries?
Currently I sell some work direct and some through furniture showrooms. In 2017 my business partner, Rene Linssen, and I launched Furnished Forever, a commercial furniture company that is targeted at hospitality applications. All this work is available exclusively through Café Culture + Insitu.
Q: Who inspires you most?
People who aren’t afraid to step away from the pack.
Q: Where do you see yourself headed from here in terms of product development?
I’d like to keep on exploring the ideas presented in Straight Lines and tune it for wider commercial applications. It’s one thing to make a one-off piece, but when it can be produced affordably, within Australia, and more people can live with it and enjoy it, well, I think that’s a pretty special thing.
Straight Lines: Feb 15–20, 2018
Designed and made by Elliot Bastianon @elliotbastianon
M2 Gallery 4/450 Elizabeth St Surry Hills, Sydney, Australia 2010
Photos: Charlie White @white__charlie