Event Details


Modernist Art + Architecture – On site and out of site, Author and Designer talksBerman_House-Gollings_eveningBerman House, courtesy John Gollings, 2006

A resurgence of interest in all things modern makes it the perfect time to explore how the original notion of modern living has impacted current aesthetics and how the modernist spirit may benefit our lives today.

Come join author and filmmaker Professor Helen Grace, MC, Artist Bronwyn Berman, Luke Johnson, Architectus Principal, and Interior Designer Annalisa Capurro for the sharing of ideas around how a modernist perspective continues to inspire the art of architecture and contemporary living today.

Interior designer, teacher at Sydney Institute of Design Centre and writer Annalisa Capurro, currently living in a Russell Jack House, will share her beliefs that modernist houses can teach us valuable lessons about living smaller and living smarter. The Jack Wahroonga home won the prestigious Sir John Sulman Medal for domestic architecture in 1957, and was described as: “… in the best tradition of architecture, but essentially of today, exploiting admirably its hilly site, and the spirit, material and techniques of our people, and a worthy contribution to our domestic architecture.” Today the home is a valuable example of a mid-century design excellence and while it may be “a small house by today’s standards, it’s big in character and soul, so apart from the joy of living here, there’s a lot to learn from it”. Annalisa Capurro, mid-century design aficionado.

Architectus is Executive Architect to SANAA for the AGNSW Expansion Project – Sydney Modern. Luke will be giving an update on the Sydney Modern Project and then introduce a topic for reflection / discussion on the hierarchical system of architectural tutorship that characterises Japanese architectural practice and which links contemporary practices such as SANAA to a Modernist legacy.

Artist Bronwyn Berman will reveal her personal story of living where modernism meets the Australian bush in the late great Harry Seidler designed Southern Highland’s Berman house, described by Seidleras a partnership with nature’.  Seidler, an icon of Australian architecture, is often credited with bringing modernism to Australia almost immediately influencing the shape of local architecture.  Seidler believed architecture was an art form; art that flows out of simple yet functional design. He was committed to making a better physical world, wherein architecture is modern, socially aware and ecologically sound.  His work is considered ground-breaking for its design and advanced construction techniques.

2-4pm
Sunday
22 October
Free, Places Limited
Bookings essential, call 4735 1100 or email gallery@penrithcity.nsw.gov.au

ABOUT THE SPEAKERS

Professor Helen Grace
Academic, Curator, Artist, Filmmaker

Helen Grace

Helen Grace’s career as academic, author, artist, curator and filmmaker has placed her at the forefront of Australian contemporary art, theory and new media, where her work has influenced a generation of student creatives and practitioners.

Helen Grace taught at the University of Western Sydney and UTS before moving to East Asia in 2006 where she was the founding Director of the MA Program in Visual Cultures at the University of Hong Kong. Helen continues a teaching association at universities in both Hong Kong and Taiwan. She is currently Professor and Associate, in the Department of Gender and Cultural Studies, University of Sydney.

With artist Narelle Jubelin, Helen is currently co-curating Perpetual Life,  an exhibition project in consideration of two modernist houses, ‘Seidler House’ in Killara and Casa Huarte in Madrid.  This exhibition will feature in Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers’ Bequest 2019 Exhibition program, before touring nationally.

 

Annalisa Capurro

Interior Designer, Design Educator, Midcentury modern specialist, architectural photographer and owner of the iconic 1957 Jack House

CapurroInterior designer, design educator at Design Centre Enmore, writer and photographer Annalisa Capurro, owner of iconic Jack House designed by Russell Jack, will share her beliefs that modernist houses can teach us valuable lessons about living smaller and living smarter. The Jack House won the prestigious Sir John Sulman Medal for domestic architecture in 1957, and was described as: “… in the best tradition of architecture, but essentially of today, exploiting admirably its hilly site, and the spirit, material and techniques of our people, and a worthy contribution to our domestic architecture.” Today the house is a valuable and significant example of mid-century design excellence and while it may be “a small house by today’s standards, it’s big in character and soul, so apart from the joy of living here, there’s a lot to learn from it”. Annalisa Capurro, mid-century design specialist.

Bronwyn Berman

Artist/ Sculptor

Bronwyn Berman_galleryBronwyn Berman is an artist sculptor who has lived and worked in the Penrith LGA since 2009. After graduating from the College of Fine Art, UNSW in 1999, Bronwyn has developed a practice in environmental and public art, centred upon landscape and natural systems.  Her studio practice, explores environmental systems through archetypal forms of geometry, and enquires into the mysteries that form the foundation of our human experience. She is currently undertaking a PhD at the University of Western Sydney in new urban environments, art and sustainability.

Designed by Harry Seidler, the Berman House on the western fringe of the Southern Highlands was commissioned as a weekend retreat in 1994 by Peter and Bronwyn Berman.  The house was completed in 1999. From 1999 to 2008 the house was Bronwyn’s primary residence.

Situated on a dramatic wilderness escarpment, the house itself was conceived of as an artwork and built with that sentiment.  Over the time, Bronwyn and Peter developed a deep friendship with the Seidler’s and a deep respect for their work and the affection was reciprocated with Harry showing a keen interest in Bronwyn’s career as an artist. Living as a recent graduate in a masterwork of a master architect in an isolated wilderness shaped the early years of Bronwyn’s art practice.  The events that unfolded during the first decade of this century led to her eventual eviction from the house and to her becoming a full time practicing artist.

Luke Johnson
Principal, Architectus, Sydney

Luke Johnson portrait 2017_squareLuke is a highly skilled designer who has worked throughout Australia and Europe. He is guided by the concept of ‘place’ and the value of ‘belonging’ and strives to incoporate the physical environment  and social context within his work. As a Design Principal, jointly responsible for the high quality of design achieved throughout the Architectus Group,  Luke will discuss and provide insights into the role of Architectus, Executive Architects to SANAA for the AGNSW Expansion Project – Sydney Modern. Together, we will consider what kind of spaces most effectively display contemporary art And, how a collaborative design relationship is creating a building of global cultural significance?

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Gerald Lewers working on reclining figureFrank Hinder, Farley and Lewers - Emu Plains 1944