F!NK: fostering design
29 May - 29 June 2008
Sean Booth | Rachel Bowak | Robert Foster | Elizabeth Kelly | Rohan Nicol | Bronwen Riddiford | Oliver Smith | Remi Verchot
Fostering Design: Australian Aluminium Design represents the talent and originality of Canberra based company F!NK & Co. in an illuminating exhibition curated by Merryn Gates. Here in Australia’s purpose built capital city the machinations of heavy industry are seemingly remote yet in the workshops of Robert Foster’s company F!NK & Co, aluminium products are being forged that are the height of one key industry that is alive and well in this city - the creative industries.
Robert Foster emerged from the Canberra School of Art, now the Australian National University School of Art, a place where the craft arts flourished and established a legacy of creative culture in Canberra. Foster built a business based on a similar collegiate form of working that he first experienced at the ANU School of Art, making and creating with a material that he loves, aluminium. Foster’s belief in the potential of the highly malleable and versatile properties of aluminium (also known as alumina), married with his entrepreneurial vision is a truly innovative approach. As an artist he has created a viable Australian business by collaborating with other designers and becoming a centre of ideas and experimentation realising products that are full of energy, reinvention, and originality.
Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre marvels at the talent resident in this city and finds that the most exciting projects and riveting practices are right here on our doorstep. Emerging from the European skilled crafts people and artisans of Canberra’s history, F!NK & Co. continue to renew this tradition. Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre are committed to bridging links with as many audiences as possible and putting Canberra on the map in new ways. This exhibition acknowledges the spirit of all involved with F!NK, exposes the wonderful applications of aluminium as one of Australia’s important resources, and through Merryn Gates’ passionate eye for detail, recognises this original Australian company.
Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre is delighted to be working alongside F!NK & Co., the designers and artists showcased in this exhibition, Merryn Gates, and the Australian Embassy Washington DC, in telling the story of this unique company, its signature material – aluminium, and its vision.
Executive Director, Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre