We are interested in people. Being interested in people means we are also interested in the objects people make and use. Throughout the ground floor of Hotel Hotel we had several glass cabinets that we used as small exhibition spaces. They were curated by invited curators, artists and designers. The cabinets were a study of human and natural life – artefacts that document our existence and tell a story about who ‘we’ are and what is important to us.
Rainbow's End, Cabinets, 2017
‘Rainbow’s End’: a collection of artefacts from a possible future curated by Heath Killen for our Cabinets on the ground floor
The year is 2060. A series of catastrophes have decimated the earth’s population. Global communications have been destroyed. We are alone. Here in Australia, those of us who have survived have formed tribes, living in small pockets of the country that are still habitable. We are scattered across the land: the mountains, rivers, deserts, and forests. We create communities in response to our new homes. We use the materials available to us – either found in nature or scavenged from the ruins of nearby cities and towns. Rather than rebuild the civilisation that we lost, we try to forge a new future that will set us on a different path than the one that brought us here.
With works by Dale Hardiman, Dave Teer, Heath Killen, Helle Jorgensen, James Walsh, Kate Rohde, Kevina Jo Smith, Michael Gray, Peachey & Mosig, Tracey Deep and Valerie Restarick.
Not Wow, Cabinets, 2017
Paper can be folded. Clay can be squished. Wood can be sawn. Metal can be bent. It’s pretty obvious and unremarkable but pretty amazing at the same time. On visiting sacred spaces in Australia and Japan, it was the material of the object that really made an impression on Kirsten Perry.
For ‘Not Wow’, an exhibition curated by Mr Kitly for our Cabinets on the ground floor, Perry used these materials to create a series of totems of moments that hold personal significance – a joke, a tea break chat, a good memory. The objects alluded to folk craftsmanship and subconscious spiritual rituals.
Bread + Honey, Cabinets, 2016
Bread + Honey was an exhibition of twelve sculptural works made in collaboration between Italian artist Giorgia Mocilnik, natural beekeeper Honey Fingers and the European honeybee (Apis Mellifera). The works were made from bread and honeycomb. Bees build comb on and make nests in lots of unexpected places: wall cavities in houses; compost bins; service pits in footpaths; and apparently on baguettes, pretzels and dinner rolls.
With these twelve objects the artists have gently, but deliberately, tested the adaptability of these animal architects by placing bread in the hives for the bees to attach their comb to. The works highlight the intelligence of bees as architects; and the connection between bees and the food1Our interest in food manifests theoretically and practically. As well as working with producers we’ve become producers ourselves: the NewActon garden supplies A. Baker fresh produce and we collect honey from our East Lake Foreshore for Monster kitchen and bar. we eat. Wild and domestic honey bees carry out up to 80% of all pollination worldwide. Greenpeace USA estimates this as being one in every three bites of food we eat.
For School, Cabinets, 2015
Curated by Bree Claffey (Mr Kitly) and Sarah K (the Other Hemisphere / supercyclers), ‘for school’ was an exhibition of objects for use at school created by an invited group of Australian designers and makers. This project bucked retail production conventions. All items were be made to order based on demand, producing only what is necessary–shifting away from an industrialised model of creating objects on masse. Emphasis was placed on carefully crafted, handmade works with minimal environmental impact and each designer was intricately involved in the making of their objects. Encouraging full appreciation, price points reflected each object’s real value; the time, skill, care and cleverness that has gone into the making.