Launched in 2019, the expanding program now supports more than 20 Creative Industries Residents at Powerhouse Ultimo, including internationally renowned Australian fashion house Romance Was Born; independent youth broadcaster FBi Radio; multidisciplinary artist Nell; Electronic Music Conference; and The Australian Graphic Design Association. Residents are offered access to the Powerhouse Collection and subsidised workspaces to embed their creative practice in the Powerhouse Ultimo Creative Industries Precinct. The Precinct drives interdisciplinary collaboration amongst Residents within the Powerhouse Program as part of the renewal of Powerhouse Ultimo.
Founded in Cairns by Meriam Mer designer Grace Lillian Lee, First Nations Fashion and Design is a national voice representing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander designers. Their inaugural presentation at Afterpay Australian Fashion Week 2021 made history as the first all-First Nations runway, cast and crew. Designs commissioned by the Powerhouse were first seen in the runway show and are currently being exhibited in Eucalyptusdom (until 28 August). The Residency will provide First Nations Fashion and Design a space to launch a national community membership program of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander creatives; build a Knowledge Bank of best practices for working with First Nations creatives; and expand their Fashion School, a series of grassroots, on-Country skills development workshops to grow a self-sustaining fashion ecosystem.
Fashion label Iordanes Spyridon Gogos, founded by Jordan Gogos, also staged its first runway show at Afterpay Australian Fashion Week 2021, receiving widespread acclaim for its contemporary celebration of community and collaboration featuring 25 designers under one unified vision. With a focus on sustainability and wearable art, ISG celebrates notions of gender fluidity and accessibility. In December 2021, the Powerhouse announced a collaboration with Iordanes Spyridon Gogos to stage a Afterpay Australian Fashion Week 2022 runway show, for the first time in the museum’s history and as part of the Powerhouse Late program. Jordon’s practice embodies the Powerhouse Ultimo renewal with ISG presenting a hyper-experimental, speculative design-based approach to installations, design development, and performances. The Residency will create space for collaborations with more than 50 designers on runway shows, product collaborations, publications and NFTs. It will also serve as a photo studio, show room and work room.
Architecture and Industrial Design practice Studio KaaKi was established in 2020 by Kristian Kaufmehl and Caroline Kite, with a shared vision to create buildings, spaces and products that are joyful, beautiful and enduring. The studio’s practice is centred on the belief that each project, large or small, can create positive change for people and the environment through design. The Residency will foster engagement with other creatives across public art, installation and exhibition design and deepen their growing connections with the local and international architecture community.
Sydney artist Amanda Williams works with analogue photographic techniques to examine connections between the history of photography and physical environments. She was the recipient of the 2018 Murray Art Museum Albury Art Foundation National Photography Prize, the oldest photographic prize in Australia. Her work is tied to documentation of natural and built spaces and imbued with a focus on research and material-based experimentation, with particular attention paid to the mechanics of the camera, and the alchemical processes of hand printing images in the darkroom. Williams will directly engage with the Powerhouse’s camera collection and archive through sustained research to develop her practice and create new work.
“The Creatives Residents at the Powerhouse possess a diversity of practice across a range of creative disciplines, reflecting the expansive Powerhouse Collection and program. We are thrilled to welcome Iordanes Spyridon Gogos and First Nations Fashion and Design, two innovative labels who are paving a new direction for Australian fashion today. We look forward to working alongside Studio KaaKi, an emerging practice founded by a highly experienced duo and the experimental photographer Amanda Williams, both at exciting and pivotal phases of their careers”, said Lisa Havilah, Chief Executive, Powerhouse Museum.
Ainslie Murray, Queer Screen, MAPA, Electronic Music Festival, Four Leg Media, Australian Graphic Design Association, Anna Tregloan, Counter Magazine, FBi Radio, First Nations Fashion and Design, Iordanes Spyridon Gogos, Amanda Williams and Studio KaaKi.
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