Repairing. It’s something our grandparents definitely did, but something we are doing less and less. In today’s society repaired objects are often perceived as being of less value. Object Therapy was a project that challenged this preconception, celebrating repair as a creative process that can add value. Object Therapy was a research and making project that culminated in a public exhibition that encouraged us to rethink our consumption patterns and re-evaluate the broken objects that surround us. It explored the almost forgotten role of repair in our society and its possibilities. The project was developed in collaboration with the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and the Australian National University (ANU) and through a research-based approach it was an investigation into the culture of ‘transformative’ repair as practiced by local, interstate and international artists and designers.
Object Therapy Australian Tour, Object Therapy, 2017
Object Therapy is a research project and exhibition that explores creative1Creativity is a phenomenon whereby something new and valuable is formed, such as an idea, a scientific theory, an invention, a literary work, a painting, a musical composition, a system, a joke, etc. It is the process of producing something that is both original and worthwhile, It can come in many forms and can be applied to all areas of life and work. transformation and the value of repair. It is a project by Hotel Hotel developed in collaboration with UNSW Art & Design and ANU School of Art and Design. You can read all about it in the Object Therapy project listing.
Object Therapy is currently touring regional galleries around Australia as a part of ‘ADC On Tour’, the Australian Design Centre‘s national touring program. ADC is partnering with Hotel Hotel for the first time to develop and deliver an eight-venue national tour supported by the Australian Government’s, Visions of Australia (Visions) program.
Australian Design Centre – 6 April to 7 June 2017
Noosa Regional Gallery – 30 November 2017 to 22 January 2018
South Australian School of Art – 13 February to 17 March 2018
Alcoa Mandurah Art Gallery – 4 May to 23 June 2018
Design Tasmania – 7 July to 10 October 2018
Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery – 26 October to 2 December 2018
Lismore Regional Gallery – 13 July to 8 September 2019
Tamworth Regional Gallery – 21 September to 27 October 2019
Object Therapy, Object Therapy, 2016
The Object Therapy exhibition installed on the Grand Stair at Hotel Hotel from 14 October – 31 October 2016 featured 30 broken or damaged objects that had been ‘transformatively’ repaired by a designer or artist.
The broken objects were collected through a call for submissions. Members of the public submitted all kinds of broken and damaged objects for possible repair. From the 70 submissions, we chose 30 objects for repair including furniture items, ceramics, household appliances, textiles, sentimental objects and, unexpectedly, one human.
At the point of drop-off the object owners were video interviewed by a team of researchers. They were asked a series of questions including how they came to acquire the object, how it broke and how they would like to see it repaired. In many cases these simple, straightforward questions drew out personal stories highlighting the power that objects have to connect us to people, places and the past. The video interviews also uncovered some attitudes towards repair and perceptions on waste.
The object owners were then asked to ‘let go’ of their items and the objects were handed over to a designer or artist to repair. Designers and artists had six weeks to repair the object. When the object and their owners participants were video interviewed again.
The Object Therapy exhibition included the repaired objects along with links to excerpts of the video interviews to form a practical study of repair and its possibilities – building a new body of knowledge around repair and the design process, and objects and their meaning.
Exhibition opened by Stuart Walker.
Panel at ANU, Canberra, Object Therapy, 2016
Convened by Genevieve Jacobs and ANU’s Niklavs Rubenis, this panel invited a selection of Canberra-based Object Therapy contributors to discuss their repair works, including gold and silversmith Alison Jackson, and craftsman, academic and curator Rohan Nicol. The panel explores the viability of transformative repair as a response to problems of obsolescence and waste in product design, and its potential as a service for users and consumers in need of options for fixing their broken goods.
Panel at UNSW, Sydney, Object Therapy, 2016
Convened by UNSW’s Guy Keulemans, this panel invited a selection of Sydney Object Therapy contributors to discuss their repair works, including product designer and conceptual designer Trent Jansen, social entrepreneur Andy Marks, ceramicist Naomi Taplin and paper artist Benja Harney. The panel explored the viability of transformative repair as a response to problems of obsolescence and waste in product design and its potential as a service for users and consumers in need of options for fixing their broken goods.