Designers on your doorstep

Aleshanee Faery 

Thoughts of what home means to me emerged while restricted to within 5km of where I live. I’ve moved house so many times that there is no geographical home, no family property to return to. Belongings hold memories. The weaving loops reveal my response to the changing mental and emotional states experienced during 2020 lockdowns, when some of the small sculptures woven together within this work were created. This work extends my use of materials from tiny sculptures to domestic size, and artistic expression from abstract to communicative. A chair represents comfort, support and warmth. It is placed within a nest for sheltering protection. I choose to hang it for precarious security. Security, safety and comfort are not guaranteed in rented homes. Safety, acceptance and belonging depends on whether you have a choice in who you live with, as does privacy and companionship. The concept of home can seem like a fairytale – something read about, heard about, perhaps vaguely remembered but elusive. Lomandra longifolia (spiky-headed mat-rush or basket grass) is a native herb found near Melbourne’s creeks and rivers and planted in revegetation areas. Lomandra in this work was sourced from Merri Creek, Darebin Creek, and the Yarra Birrarung.

IMAGE > Aleshanee Faery, <em>Ephemeral shelter</em>, 2021, lomandra longofolia and found objects, 30 x 30 x 30 cm
Not for sale

I have a studio in the Northcote by the Merri Creek which I haven’t been able to use in lockdown. I get very distracted trying to work at home, as my cat sometimes walks all over my work and it’s a small space.

I started making sculptures from Lomandra that I collected from the Yarra River near where I live in Lockdown 1. They began as quite simple structures. The Design Fringe brief prompted me to make a much more complex design, as I was inspired by the theme of ‘Home’.

I think nature is the best designer! On my walks, I have enjoyed seeing the tree swings in the Yarra Bend Park and a tree that leans over the path

and the bridge that take me there – the bridge is ugly but its functional!

My apartment has some interesting design elements – it’s quite minimal in some respects even though I am sure it  was designed by a 6ft tall male who never cleans (!) .

I don’t really have a kitchen – its the galley end of the livng room really (!) -  but a feature of it I really like is the splashback which is made of glass - I appreciate the simplicity of that, as most splashbacks are made of tiles. I love tiles but I don’t like grout and how hard it is to keep clean!

The juice press ! It’s a great design because the mechanism requires no electricity – it’s a essentially a simple lever that extracts juice but also looks great. It’s also blue – I’m obsessed with that colour – and it’s also shiny.

I also love the beautiful vase by Ursula Dutkiewicz, a Melbourne artist.

 Here’s a photo of it against the glass splashback that I love.

The gates of the Collingwood Community Garden were sadly locked a few months ago, but I’ve been involed with them for a long time and have planted a lot of vegetables there. I love steaming or sauteeing fresh, seasonal produce and adding a bit of olive oil and lime to enjoy its natural qualities. That’s how everyone at the community garden enjoys their vegetables!

IMAGES [Top to bottom] > All images courtesy of the artist.

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Designers on your doorstep

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