Melbourne – Lyon Housemuseum

Melbourne is a diverse city that’s full of art, design and craft of all different kinds. This creativity is especially evident in the architecture that’s randomly scattered around the city. You can walk around and see modern pieces of architecture sandwiched between an assortment of old and new buildings alike, which I suppose is quite a rare thing in other countries. The Lyon Housemuseum in Kew, an inner suburb of Melbourne, was a property recommended to me and certainly didn’t disappoint.

Lyon Housemuseum is owned by architect and collector Corbett Lyon. Corbett designed the space with a concept of fusing art and personal living under one roof, so although the who family live there, his wife and two children, you can take a tour where his collection of art is shown. Currently this house is for private tours only, which I was lucky enough to walk around on with his wife Yueji as a tour guide. The construction of a public art gallery attached to the residence is currently under construction and will result in one of the largest art locations in Melbourne when completed in 2018.

The whole building is designed around a two storey ‘white cube’ at the front of the building and a two storey ‘black cube’ at the rear. These cubes house the paintings, sculpture, video work and installations, and the family areas also work around these spaces. Although there are many pieces of great art, what was intriguing for me was to see how the so called “normal” idea of a living space has been broken down, an unusual mixture between public and private.

I think it’s a unique concept to open up your living space in such a way. Not only is this property open in the physical sense, with surprisingly few barriers between each space, it’s open in a sense that the public can view it and enjoy the art. For an architect these tours are invaluable and gives him knowledge on how humans look at art in a space, as well as flow in an environment. Overall a beautiful property that’s worth visiting if you’re ever in Melbourne. Here are a few photos taken inside, I was especially interested in capturing some of the details and objects scattered around. Enjoy.

28 April, 2017

Melbourne – Duldig Studio

On a trip to Australia late last year I visited the Duldig Studio and sculpture garden in Malvern East, a suburb of Melbourne. This location is fairly hidden on a normal suburban street, only the unique sculpture scattered on the front lawn gives you a clue to what lies behind the front door of this property.

This is the former home and studio of sculptor Karl Duldig and his wife, artist and inventor, Slawa Duldig née Horowitz. Karl was born in Poland and later moved to Vienna when he was a child. While studying under noted Austrian sculptor Anton Hanak he met his future wife Slawa Horowitz. Both were talented in many aspects of art and lived a life of constant creativity, literally immersing themselves in the creative process on a daily basis. Whilst Karl focused heavily on sculpture, Slawa dabbled in design and painting and went on the invent a new type of folding umbrella. Many of the furniture and objects inside were designed by her, which are modular in form and have a Bauhaus inspired look that’s even relevant today.

As you make your way to the back of the property Karl’s original studio resides there, a place in which he experimented with sculpture and pottery using mainly terracotta clay. These sculptures can be seen in the garden, as well as some metal ones that have been casted from these original clay versions. The whole setup is not only inspiring because of their output as artists, it’s also wonderful to see how they integrated themselves in to a creative environment and lived and breathed this mentality their whole lives. A must visit if you’re ever in Melbourne.

19 April, 2017

Osaka – TRUCK Workshop

10 March, 2017

Kyoto – Furniture & Objects at Kawai Kanjiro’s House

2 February, 2017

Kyoto – Kawai Kanjiro’s House

I was told about a famous potter’s house in the centre of Kyoto that was supposed to be one of the only traditional town houses still left in Kyoto. So following the advice given to me I made my way on a rainy day, and there, just off a side street, was a fairly inconspicuous entrance that set the tone for the whole property.

As I walked in I was instantly struck by the aesthetic inside, a dark wood interior that’s built around a central opening, penetrating right through the middle of the build. Not only does this make the building incredibly cool on humid days, it’s also functional in terms of letting in light and creating a feeling of space throughout the property.

Building and setting aside, the contents were just as inspiring. This was the house of Kawai Kanjiro, a Japanese potter who was a key figure in mingei and studio pottery movements, which included Bernard Leach, Shōji Hamada and others. Not only does this property still showcase some of his works in a natural setting, it also highlights his studio and a big climbing kiln that are situated towards the back of the property. Inside features some of his sculptures and woodcarvings, which also use natural materials and let nature speak for itself. Another theme in this property.

The ceramic work made by Kawai Kanjiro is different to my own personal style, but I appreciated these differences and loved the simplicity and functionality in all the forms. I was also struck by how his life and work fused in to one, the simplicity in his work fed in to his life and helped direct his way of living on a daily basis. This is definitely something I will take away from this visit and will try to apply to my own life.

“Everything that is, is not. Everything is, yet at the same time, nothing is. I myself am the emptiest of all.” – Kawai Kanjiro

25 January, 2017