UAP Unlimited Dinner

29 October, 2010

UAP Unlimited Dinner, Image (c) Tobias Titz, Courtesy Unlimited

As part of the recent Unlimited: Designing for Asia Pacific Triennial, 75 leading Creative Industries thinkers came together with representatives from the public and private sectors for an intimate evening of dinner and conversation in Urban Art Projects’ workshop. The event provided an environment in which a unique and diverse group could gather on creative ground to discuss design-led thinking and collaboration across sectors.

Famously a place where skilled craftsmen cast unique artworks, UAP’s workshop was an unconventional and exciting setting for a three-course meal. UAP has grown to be a place where collaborations of all kinds yield art and design solutions in evolving and inventive materiality. To capture this in the spirit of Unlimited, we asked emerging practitioner Kyle McLean to work with us to reactivate the foundry and create a theatrical experience that represented the idiosyncratic diversity of the place. Responding to the industrial architecture with nothing but light, McLean’s installation brought the essence of the foundry’s creative life into the space above the single, long dining table.

David Williams of Gilimbaa opened the event with a rousing Acknowledgement of Country and didgeridoo performance. Speakers for the evening were Ewan McEoin, Creative Director of Unlimited, Ben Tait, Urban Art Projects‘ CEO, and Mark Scott, Managing Director of ABC.

Video: Installation by Kyle McLean / Editing by Eva Luenig / Camera work by Pancho Colladetti & Eva Luenig / Music by Antony Raijekov

Kyle McLean, “Theatre of the Foundry” light installation, UAP Unlimited Dinner, Image courtesy Eva Luenig / Pancho Colladetti

Kyle McLean, “Theatre of the Foundry” light installation, UAP Unlimited Dinner, Image courtesy Eva Luenig / Pancho Colladetti

Kyle McLean, “Theatre of the Foundry” light installation, UAP Unlimited Dinner, Image courtesy UAP/Esther Cole

See also Büro North | UAP Unlimited Dinner

and Everyone Is Happy Productions | Light Installation @ UAP Unlimited Dinner

PROJECT National Gallery of Australia “New Look” Gallery
ARTIST (Entrance artwork) Dr Thancoupie Gloria Fletcher (Thanakupi)
ARTIST’S COLLABORATOR (Entrance artwork) Jennifer Isaacs AM
CURATOR NGA, Franchesca Cubillo
DESIGN UAP Studio, Jamie Perrow
ARCHITECT PTW Architects, Andrew Andersons AO
PROJECT ENGINEER Birzulis Structural Engineers
ARTWORK ENGINEER (Fish Trap) Robert Bird Group
LIGHTING DESIGN Steensen Varming

The National Gallery of Australia (NGA) last month unveiled its new Indigenous Galleries and main entrance to the public which features two unique public works.

Visitors to the gallery are greeted by Eran. The 2.7 metre spherical sculpture by renowned Indigenous artist Dr Thancoupie Gloria Fletcher (Thanakupi), and a 12 metre suspended piece interpreted from a Maningrida fish trap. Both were curated by the NGA and fabricated under the artist and collaborators’ direction at UAP’s Brisbane studio and workshop.

At the entry to a wing devoted entirely to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, the installations recognise the significance of indigenous culture in the context of contemporary architecture.

Ron Radford AM, Director of the National Gallery of Australia, said, “UAP have been fabulous to work with – they are so enthusiastic, professional and quick. The staff of UAP demonstrate a great understanding of materials, they are sensitive to artists’ wishes and have been so co-operative during the whole process.  We have really enjoyed working with them on these two projects.”

Ron Radford continued, saying “Thanakupi is Australia’s most senior female Aboriginal artist working today with a career spanning over forty years. Her beautiful Eran is the largest of her metal sculptures created to date. The Gallery was very pleased to be able to work with such a renowned international artist on the realisation of this project. The inclusion of this stunning spherical sculptural work complements the forms of the new wing and galleries very well. The fish trap is based on a 1950s Maningrida fish trap and UAP have been able to interpret and enlarge the original woven piece into a stunning 12 metre long intricate metal work. The fish trap is a feature work in the atrium and the shadow pattern it produces is almost as beautiful as the work itself.”

The Maningrida fish trap is an important sculptural commission and presents a contemporary interpretation of a traditional woven fish trap from the Maningrida Aboriginal community in Australia’s Northern Territory. Works of art from Maningrida carry a strong reputation and are represented in collections nationally and internationally.

UAP’s design team travelled to the Northern Territory to work with George Ganyjbala, Maningrida elder and skilled fish trap maker and his family. The knowledge shared in this process allowed a respectful translation of Maningrida’s distinctive weaving methods into stylised elements for casting in aluminium. UAP then consulted with PTW Architects and Robert Bird Group Engineers in order to successfully integrate the artefact within the NGA’s new wing under creative direction of Ron Radford AM.

Jamie Perrow, UAP’s lead designer on the project, said, “It was an honour to work with George Ganyjbala and the Maningrida Aboriginal community to create the Maningrida fish trap sculpture. Our intention for this piece is a reverent and symbolic interpretation of a historic and culturally important indigenous artefact. We hope that visitors from all over Australia and overseas will be inspired by the piece.”

The final installation, which measures 12 metres in length, is suspended inside the atrium of the NGA’s new main entrance. The fish trap is the focal point in the visitor’s entry into the gallery and has multiple vantage points from the ground floor and second storey walkway. Not unlike the humble tool of its origin, the fish trap functions to draw visitors in and guide them through the gallery as they become immersed in the wider collection.

In an interview with ABC’s Artworks, Franchesca Cubillo described the effect, “The beautiful thing about fish traps is that there is movement that flows in and out of the fish traps, and it’s a flow of energy. Once materials enter into the fish trap, they come out changed. For us it was a wonderful way in which we could allow our visitors to come into these wonderful new galleries and flow through this beautiful space and go on a journey, but equally to come out different.”

Thanakupi’s sphere, entitled Eran, is truly a stunning sculpture which stands in front of the Gallery’s new entrance and creates a striking entry statement in the forecourt landscape.  The Gallery enjoyed working with the artist and UAP to the creation of this exciting new sculpture.

Eran means river. The work depicts various land-based creative legends through representations of animals in the stories of the tribes along the rivers of Weipa—the Evath eran and N’Gath eran—that is the Mission, Hay and Embley rivers to give their common English names.

The galleries and entrance, designed by Andrew Andersons AO of PTW Architects, were opened on Thursday 30 September in an official ceremony by the Governor General of the Commonwealth of Australia, Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce AC.

ARTIST Dani Marti
ARTWORK TITLE Baroque Minimalism
PROJECT Westfield Centrepoint 100 Market Street
LOCATION Sydney, NSW, Australia
CLIENT Westfield
ARCHITECT John Wardle Architects
DESIGN UAP Studio, Elishia Whitchurch
YEAR 2010
PHOTOGRAPHY Mark Llewellynn Photography

Dani Marti has conceived an integrated façade artwork for Westfield Centrepoint in Sydney. The artwork is located at the main entrance on Market Street, and forms part of a masterplanned curatorial program activating key areas of the mall.

Marti, a Spanish-Australian sculptor, predominantly works in soft materials, skillfully manipulating thick ropes and weaving them into rhythmic patterns that appear as oversized fabric swatches.

The Centrepoint façade achieves this woven aesthetic with panels of cast glass-reinforced concrete. Marti creates a visual play between form and material, pushing the viewer’s perception as the concrete appears to warp and weave in flowing patterns across the surface.

A unique feature in the revitalised streetscape, the intriguing, tactile façade invites exploration and touch.

Progress Images

Workshop sketches / Image courtesy Seesaw Photography

Design thinking can shape the experience of movement through our ever-growing cities and humanise public spaces. Given the opportunity to rethink traditional approaches to urban planning how would a group of built environment professionals and creative practitioners meet environmental challenges with good design?

Urban Art Projects (UAP) and the Society of Environmental Graphic Designers (SEGD) facilitated a collaborative workshop on October 12, bringing together minds from environmental graphics (Jack Bryce Urban Design, Jell Design), urban planning (Urbis, Place Design Group), landscape architecture (Lat27), art (Kuuki, UAP) and design (Integration Studio). The interdisciplinary teams experimented with new ways that residents and short stay visitors might explore beyond Brisbane’s CBD, and tackled the problem from the perspective of two fictional characters: an international business person and a local parent with a young child. The characters’ imagined journeys brought diverse challenges to light, such as the hilly topography of Brisbane and navigation between dispersed urban villages.

Ideas generated included:

  • improved wayfinding systems that place landmarks in a radar accounting for distance and hills
  • open-source branding for precincts that integrates with public transport systems, public artworks, landscape features and mobile devices
  • concepts for engaging families and children, such as collectible wayfinding currency
  • mobile “Caravans of Courage”, 1970s style roaming hubs of culture and activity
  • extending the goCard to function as a multi-use passport to the city

The workshop was held as part of the Icograda Design Week held in Brisbane, Australia, from 11-17 October.

Workshopping: Damian Thompson of Lat27 / Image courtesy Seesaw Photography

Left: Kent Gration, Integration Studio, Image by UAP
Right: Reference imagery for Spring Hill precinct, including a selection by Cara Gartland / Image courtesy Seesaw Photography

Workshop Sketches / Image by UAP

Public Orientation System / Concept sketch by Kent Gration, Integration Studio

go explore Card / Concept Sketch by John Ellway, Jell Design

Workshop Participants: Jack Bryce – Jack Bryce Urban Design, Kent Gration – Integration Studio, Paul Hardyman – Urbis, Carmel Haugh, Jodie Cox, Scott Miller & Esther Cole – UAP, Damian Thompson & John Illet – Lat27 Landscape Architects, Gavin Sade & Priscilla Bracks – Kuuki, Nicole Wright – Griffith University / QCA, Alex Cohn – Place Design Group, John Ellway – Jell Design

See also Jell Design | Designing the outer city

Urban Art Projects has won The Optus Platinum Award at the Lord Mayor’s Business Awards (LMBA) Gala Dinner.

As well as taking out the most coveted award in the LMBA program, Urban Art Projects (UAP) won the Nova 106.9 Award for Business Creativity, one of seven business award categories.

Managed by Brisbane Marketing, the award winners were announced by Lord Mayor Campbell Newman at the annual Gala Dinner, held in the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre.

The judging panel of four paid tribute to UAP for its commitment to building Brisbane’s creative industries and contributing to the city’s global competitiveness by exporting its innovative products and expanding its offices in international markets.

Accepting the Platinum and Business Creativity Awards from Lord Mayor Campbell Newman was Mr Ben Tait, CEO of UAP.

Ben Tait said UAP entered the Lord Mayor’s Business Awards – Business Creativity category to highlight the company’s investment in creativity and our success locally and abroad driven from our Brisbane headquarters.

“Winning a LMBA will not only provide a great opportunity to showcase UAP as a leading creative and innovative business, but also encourage our team to reflect on the success we have experienced to date,” Mr Ben Tait said.

“Brisbane’s creative industries are amongst the best in the world, filled not only with creative but innovative and hard working contributors, many of which we are privileged to have shared successful outcomes within the built environment locally and abroad.

“Brisbane is home for UAP and will always be our headquarters.”

ARTIST Matthew Tobin
PROJECT Ningbo DongQian Lake
LOCATION DongQian, China
CLIENT Ningbo DongQian Lake Tourism Bureau
YEAR 2010

DongQian Lake is the largest natural freshwater lake in Zhejiang province, approximately 15 kilometres from the heart of the regional seaport of Ningbo, China. This region has long been known as a ‘fertile land of fish and rice’ with a rich history and cultural heritage. In recent times the region has emerged as a popular national recreation and holiday destination due to its pleasant subtropi­cal climate and picturesque natural environment of hills and mist covered waters.

This artwork designed by UAP Principal Matthew Tobin, is themed on the reeds that surround DongQian Lake and the Dayan goose which is native to the region. Integrated into the undulating landscape of the lake’s surrounding landforms and road verges, the artwork presents a strong visual statement for motorists at the Entrance-way.

The artwork is monumental in scale and linear in nature. It extends across a large area but reads as a single conceptual idea creating a beautiful and sophisticated visual link between the Entrance-way and the lake’s edge.