Curious Tales - A journey through form
7 April until 13 May 2017
Solo exhibition by mid-career, Canberran furniture maker Peter Bollington which looks to engage the user/viewer through function, colour, shape and form. The range will be primarily crafted from solid timber with accents of colour and various materials. The body of work will be a continuation of the multifunctional pieces previously visited, along with further complimentary pieces to the range.
Peter Bollington, Lili Credenza
by Karina Clarke, CEO Design Tasmania
Pete Bollington is a talented designer with a multidisciplinary practice including interiors, graphics and furniture design. His work is informed by his life’s experience and it is evident that his previous professions in interior design and graphics are embedded in his furniture.
Bollington studied Interior Design at Canberra Institute of Technology in the early 2000s with a major focus on furniture. An eye for detail and an acute appreciation for materials influenced him to switch degrees and pursue a career in furniture design. Bollington moved across to Australian National University School of Art, where he studied fine furniture/wood workshop under Rodney Haywood and design under Gilbert Riedelbauch. The fine furniture/woodworking degree is exemplary and has produced some of Australia’s most recognised furniture designers including Gary Galego, Henry Wilson and Jon Goulder.
Choosing to disrupt his studies to explore the world, Bollington headed overseas and took up the opportunity to work in one of London’s best interior design firms. This pause in his studies enabled a level of deep reflection and informed his final years’ work and his ability to bring a full skill set of interior design graphics and woodworking into his practice.
Bollington has spent many years thinking and observing the different ways we occupy and inhabit a space. As an interior designer, one of your main objectives is to create spaces that are easy to live in; as a furniture designer, your aim is to create objects that are easy to live with. Bollington’s furniture does this through simple geometric shapes and well-proportioned forms.
The name of the exhibition, Curious Tales- a journey through form, is enchanting and takes us to a place of wonder and delight. Bollington’s intention is to create harmony between the object and the built environment which we inhabit. My understanding is that such harmony frames a relationship and this is where design gets interesting. A relationship implies a connection between multiple entities. Healthy relationships involve empathy, balanced interdependence and ultimate respect. It’s not just about how an object occupies a space but indeed how it helps to engage the owner within the space.
Furniture and objects tell stories about the people who inhabit a space. Bollington’s furniture is deceptively simple and easy on the eye. You could imagine yourself living with such pieces because they are well proportioned, highly crafted and aesthetically pleasing. But it’s the details in these works that help to build the story: the juxtaposition of materials and additions of colour that draw your eye into the work. It is this attention that brings about the wonder and delight in Curious Tales, as the details are only revealed if you take the time to consider and read the furniture.
I can relate these works to that of graphic design and, in particular, to the creation of a new typeface, one that is easy on the eye but delivers a small tweak or quirkiness that keeps you engaged. An example is the ‘125 Desk’ with its refined geometry and surprise addition of an extended shelf acting like an exclamation mark but also providing function for the objects that really matter – books.
The world of furniture design is a fascinating place, for that world demands imagination to create objects that people choose to live with. The designer is not simply a designer but a builder of relationships and it is the intention of every designer that those are enduring ones. Bollington’s appreciation of fine woodwork and selection of additional materials like copper help form a narrative for the furniture. It is a balance between form, function and materials. Creating a balance between all three is rarely achieved in equal measure and yet remains at the heart of good design. Dare I say that Bollington has achieved this balance in Curious Tales- a journey through form.
Bollington is looking to make connections and build relationships through the creation of multifunctional pieces. He wants to elicit a level of play through touch and the warmth of the timber. Of course, most people do not actively play with their furniture – it usually sits in the corner minding its own business, until one day the owner becomes bored and decides to throw it out. However, it is a lot harder to disregard furniture that is well made and crafted and commands its place within the home. Bollington’s work will be around for some time, hearing and absorbing many a tale from its environment and owners.