Thursday, July 2, 2009

Savoir Faire From All Angles

Growing up in Australia in the mid 1970’s one could not help but notice the amount of artwork that proliferated schools. Schools were invariably the recipients of prints of art works by famous artists that took pride of place in classrooms, usually above the blackboard. One Australian artist who had this unlikely honour, not only in schools but other public spaces was Sir Sidney Nolan. Nolan was one of Australia’s premier artists, with his most famous works being the highly stylised series based on the Australian Bushranger Ned Kelly, created in 1946-1947. These are instantly recognisable for the depiction of Kelly and his famous iron mask and body armour, as a black silhouetted figure.

Fast forward to 2003, where Sydney furniture designer, Johnny Charmaki, has used this series of paintings as inspiration to design a chair! This is art evolving and changing as how art should. Take something or an image that we are all familiar with and turn it into something else, while maintaining the original focus of the original work. Look at paintings and chair individually and that is what they are painting and chair, however put both together, and we have an evolving piece of work that spans 60 years. The parts of the chair carefully relate to Nolan’s paintings and Kelly’s gun battle scenes. For example there are three holes in the seat that relate to bullet holes in Kelly’s armour. The arms represent guns ready to fire.
True to the savoir faire style, I will have one please!


  1. Oh, I love both the chair and the painting.

  2. He did a series of paintings, but not sure how many, easily over 20.


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