‘Home: Feast, Bathe, Rest’ by Arent&Pyke for Rigg Design Prize 2018
An aperture slices through dark green walls to reveal an opulent ochre-hued linen curtain. As it weaves through the space, the curtain drapes in small pools on pale wide floorboards of Douglas Fir.
A soft spotlight falls onto a rough-hewn block of solid stone. The light catches the polished surface where the stone has been carved away to form a bowl-shaped vessel. Behind this piece is a more refined structure. The same stone has been worked to a smooth finish, its edges mitered, almost precise. A surface of brass reflects the form of a black crystal sculpture sitting quietly and powerfully on top…
This vignette is the first imagery visitors see when they visit our 2018 Rigg Design Prize exhibition piece. Arent&Pyke is delighted to have been invited by the NGV to take part in the triennial design prize this year, where we eagerly explored and celebrated the theme of Domestic Living.
Our installation, entitled ‘Home: Feast, Bathe, Rest’ explores what we consider to be the essential functions of a contemporary domestic interior. To replenish (feast); restore (bathe); and retreat (rest). Our response is a conceptual interior where the focus is on conjuring the emotions of these spaces.
As populations grow and cities engineer themselves upwards and outwards, we find ourselves searching for more restorative spaces to call home. In our design, deep thresholds emphasise the separation of the chaotic exterior and the calm interior. Dark walls and intentionally positioned light and shadow create mood and spatial poetry. Smaller details highlight the innate beauty of craftsmanship, paying homage to Australian aesthetics and design.
Each of the three spaces within are defined by a bespoke furniture piece. Designed by Arent&Pyke principals Juliette Arent and Sarah-Jane Pyke, with Associate Genevieve Hromas and Designer Phoebe Stone, each piece is a testament to the skills of the local makers we rely on to bring our visions to life. A contemporary Australian artwork also resides within each space and creates a dialogue with the bespoke furniture piece, one informs the other. It is through this dialogue that each space’s unique and intuitively recognisable energy is apparent. We are reminded that home is a place in which we should find comfort in familiarity, and inspiration and delight in beauty.
Two ceramic vessels sit atop our bespoke dining table. Lauren Brincat’s ‘One without the other’ glistens above, a beacon, calling people to come together. Across the table top dances a vibrant scene, a stream of conversation that speaks to the lively interchanges that take place here, replenishing mind and soul.
Rough-hewn and refined blocks of Luca Split Stone, raw and statuesque, delineate a restorative space that honours the daily ritual of bathing. A transformative process is explored in their physical contrasts. A crystal sculpture by artist Dr Lisa Cooper sits quietly and powerfully on top, the crystals spilling out in a way that suggests flowing water and renewal.
A richly textured linen curtain encircles the daybed, itself a melange of texture and pattern. The space is artfully layered with soft, comforting textiles, calling out to weary bodies ready to retreat from the day. The domain of rest is a space we return to every day. Joel Ngallametta’s ‘Thap Yongk/Law Poles’ speak of the restoration of souls. Through the upturned trees, spirits are returned to the earth, and so at the end of the day do we return to ourselves as we slip into a whimsical space of dreaming and surrender.
Comfort, protection, beauty, empathy, community and sensuality are all ideals we seek to foster within our homes. As designers, we see ourselves as facilitators of this most soulful domain and through our Rigg Design Prize installation we have pursued the idea of home as the physical embodiment of wellbeing.
The exhibition runs from October 12 through to February 24, on Level 3 of the Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Federation Square, Melbourne.
We would like to thank all the talented craftspeople, artists and suppliers who helped us realise our vision.
- Anna Schwartz Gallery
- Artbank NSW
- Atelier Furniture
- Briggs Veneer
- Daniel Barbera
- Don Cameron
- Eco Outdoor
- Gary Galego
- Inge Holst
- Joel Ngallametta
- Lauren Brincat
- Lisa Cooper
- Living Edge
- Lucy Turner
- Planet Furniture
- Simple Studio
- Tigger Hall