Design Fringe

Online show, to be announced soon

To celebrate Melbourne Fringe’s iconic, avant-garde furniture exhibition turning 35, it has a new name and a new home. Fringe Furniture has evolved and expanded to become Design Fringe – a new exhibition celebrating Melbourne’s extraordinary independent and emerging designers as well as the ground-breaking, bizarre and impractical works they produce.

Encompassing all types of object design including furniture, fashion and sculpture, Design Fringe expands on Fringe Furniture’s legacy, ensuring that open access design opportunities are embedded in the contemporary design industry into the future. 

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IMAGE > [Top] Fringe Furniture 2018. Photograph: J Forsyth.
Image courtesy Melbourne Fringe.

IMAGE >  Fringe Furniture 2019. Photograph: Tanya Volt.
Image courtesy Melbourne Fringe.

IMAGE > Fringe Furniture 2019. Photograph: Tanya Volt.
Image courtesy Melbourne Fringe.

Be bold

Operating for an extended period of three months at its new home at Linden New Art, plus an exciting curated collection at the Victorian Pride Centre during the Festival dates, Design Fringe will host an expanded program of events including keynote talks on accessibility, gender and sustainability in design; student workshops; tactile tours for blind visitors and a conversation with First Nations designer and Design Fringe centrepiece creator, Nicole Monks.

This year’s event has the theme of “home”, acknowledging that our own dwellings often provide the inspiration for exceptional design.

First Nations Commission awarded to Nicole Monks

Leading First Nations multi-disciplinary creative Nicole Monks has been awarded Design Fringe’s First Nation Commission. Nicole will receive $10,000 to realise her work birli nganmanha (eating together) that will form the centrepiece of the re-invigorated Fringe Furniture exhibition.

Nicole Monks is a multi-disciplinary creative of Wajarri Yamaji, Dutch and English heritage living, currently working on Country, WA. Monk’s practice is informed by her cross-cultural identity, using storytelling as a way to connect the past with the present and future. Her works take a conceptual approach that are embedded with narratives and aim to promote conversation and connection.

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IMAGE >   Nicole Monks, Untitled, 2021, grass tree resin, kangaroo skatt, charcoal, drift wood, river reed, shell, kangaroo teeth, echidna quill and eucalyptus, dimensions variable. Image courtesy of the artist.

IMAGE >  Portrait of Nicole Monks. Image courtesy of the artist.
Photograph: PRU AJA

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The assessment panel considered Nicole’s work drew elegantly from her deep understanding and connection to Country and provided an insightful consideration to the theme of Home.

For Nicole: “Whilst on Country, I have been considering the complex stories behind these traditional materials that were transformed into everyday cultural belongings over such a long time. These natural materials connect us to nature and each other; the rituals surrounding their manufacturing; the collecting and foraging; the seasonal relocation to particular regions of home; the cultural burns; the grinding; and learning and knowledge transfer in the creation of a thriving lifestyle and connected community. How the materiality of an object was the starting point for it stretching out to these deeper facets of cultural upkeep fascinates me.

In considering this I asked myself: could this materiality and connection be integrated into the home of today? How can I keep my connection to country and express my culture and belonging within my belongings? I’m of mixed heritage, so I’ve been developing the ideas of a western table setting made from natural materials found on the journey to Wajarri Yamaji Country. And how this expresses the time and place I find myself today.” 

IMAGE > Fringe Furniture 2019. Photograph: Tanya Volt. Image courtesy Melbourne Fringe.

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