Diamonds in the Rough – A memory of (print) design envy

The rough – a typical corner in a café displaying free cultural promos

Come see our exhibition, bring friends, colleagues, interested strangers – a slice of OZ design awaits

26 August to 17 September 2011
Wed to Fri – 11.00am to 6.00pm
Sat – Noon to 5.00pm

Lamington Drive
15-25 Keele Street, Collingwood, Australia 3066
Telephone 03 8060 9745

Visit Lamington Drive here

Exhibition statement :

A memory of (print) design envy
1988 to 2011

Every year millions of tonnes of printed matter are developed to sell, promote, inform, catalogue, tell stories, or all of the above. A small percentage of this printed matter satisfies commercial needs while exploring creative practice.

The appeal of the projects displayed depends on the viewer. Beyond an individual’s likes or dislikes, these works demonstrate special qualities of creative play, idea generation, craft and detailing of image, form, type and layout development that makes them shine from the rough.

Australia lacks a diverse resource of its graphic design. This memory of printed work provides a rare opportunity to take in the diversity, vision, expression and skill developed by a truly talented bunch of (mostly) Australian designers and imagemakers. An Australian creative style, or way of making work may well be here somewhere.

Andrew has collected this work over 20 years. It was available for free (from cafes and bookshops), sent in the post, gifted, stolen, or purchased (for less than fifty dollars). This collection has the odd Studio Pip and Co. project for the cultural and design sectors, or it has been influenced in some way by these works.

This collection (be it a small slice) has no awards or formal merits attached to it, it is here for your enjoyment and reference.

I dedicate ‘Diamonds in the Rough’ to all my peers and their ability to consistently make fine and (often) enviable work. Aa

Production notes :

Lamington Drive contacted the studio in February to hold an exhibition mid year. Many ideas were tossed about, a studio retrospective etc, however in an age that seems to be about the self, liking something and generally placing oneself in the middle of everything, we struggled to find an idea that would appeal to us, as well as a broad audience.

Months passed nothing came to mind, however during the process of getting together content for desktop magazine a conversation with Stuart Geddes (Chase & Galley), over a beverage or too, hatched an idea which fit our needs and was accessible to a broad group of people. The exhibition was originally going to be called – So Annoying – an in joke with Stuart and a few other designers, however, an in joke, is a ‘in’ joke and new name was needed.

Diamonds in the Rough came together when working out the headline for our desktop 16 page pictorial piece. Diamond Dogs by David Bowie was kicking around the studio, and a colleague Marco Gjergja had recently name his studio Sawdust & Diamonds in homage to alt pop harpist diva Joanna Newsom. Diamonds seemed to need a context, home or presence.

The studio pulled together the exhibition in three weeks, off the back of Andrew’s Sydney talk, August 01. A Sydney now Berlin based colleague, Graeme Smith, used hand bag sealing process for a flat paper based exhibition for the Italian Chamber of Commence. We thought this process would be perfect for hand sealing, protecting and presenting physical printed objects across a range of sizes and thicknesses.

The project started with reviewing, sorting and shortlisting hundreds of pieces. After inspecting the space we felt there was an opportunity to present the objects hanging in the space, rather than being hung on the walls. With the print pieces in hand and some ideas, a plan was made, materials were sort, 8 to 14 objects were sealed in purpose made bags sealed to a sturdy yet simple coat hanger, 30 hanging bags were made including the prototypes.

A simple rig was purpose made for the space defining a 24 point 80 x 80 cm grid, the structure was made on site, garden hooks completed the presentation, allowing each hanger to move yet full into uniform perpendicular line. Flat A2 posters devised for the Desktop 25 year edition wallpapered on the short walls, Andrew handed applied the show graphic freehand, with a roller and a ten of red acrylic paint. Three days of collating, sorting, source and bad making and a day of assembly, brought together this simple yet very effective public show. A special thanks to Sam, Aimee and Piers for all your help.

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Set up images

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Opening night and Desktop 25 years launch, 01 September, images by John Deer with thanks

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Documentation images by Lynton Crabb with thanks

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