Thinking into being
QUT Alumni Triennial Exhibition
I was invited to exhibit my work as part of Thinking Into Being – the QUT Alumni Triennial at QUT Art Museum – showcasing the work of 11 QUT graduates from the Schools of Architecture and Built Environment, Creative Practice, and Design who have become leading creative practitioners both nationally and internationally. The theme of the exhibition related to design process, and while I was initially hesitant to exhibit my work in this way – given that it is highly collaborative, messy and not what I would normally consider capital-A "Art" – it felt like an important opportunity to pen a visual love letter to the playful spirit of collaboration. The exhibition focuses on my contribution to healthcare over the last five years, showcasing artefacts from each stage of the collaborative process.
Note: The mysterious kiss was courtesy of a gallery guest!
Fancy photos: Louis Lim
The exhibition was launched at QUT Art Museum in 2021 and exhibited from October through to February 2022, exploring the often unseen creative processes that bring into being the objects, products and experiences of our culture. The exhibition revealed how these processes may bring about social, political, ecological, and economic change—now and into the future.
The exhibition showcases artefacts from the collaborative process, from workshop activities to silly hats, sketches, prototypes and final design solutions. Provocative and complex questions were also scattered throughout, representing the wicked problems that emerged through listening, questioning and immersing in each healthcare context.
Gaze - light pollution
phases of collaboration
To tie the artefacts to their place in the design process, I created a floor decal loosely inspired by a hopscotch with colours correlating to the backdrop on the wall. Visitors can step from the early sages of listening, questioning and immersing to creating space, dreaming, playing, then the clumsy process of making, testing and reflecting before finally making change towards a new reality. This allowed for the works on the wall to look like an exciting collection of ideas, with the additional process layer underneath. This process is, of course, extremely messy, and I was hesitant to express it in such a linear way. However, these phases are broad and leave room for all of the nuances of collaborative (and not-so-collaborative) design.
take a peek
While the majority of the exhibition is relatively static (which felt appropriate during the pandemic), a small interactive element was added – a viewmaster that gives a glimpse into the many humans whose hands touched the works on show. Despite the fact these collaborations are at the centre of my work, I didn't want to plaster their faces on a gallery wall – instead offering an intimate look into workshops, conversations and collaborative moments.
At the outset I was uncomfortable with the idea of displaying my work in any way that made it seem like "mine" – I wanted to subvert the notion of crediting the "artist". For each project on display, I designed a didactic that anonymously (for privacy) alluded to the many hands that touched each project – from clinicians to patients, families and policy-makers. Some of these labels became humorously long, representing hundreds of participants.
the making of
Exhibiting your work is always a somewhat challenging and reflective experience, and I went through multiple variations of the design until I settled on something that felt true to both the theme of the exhibition and my work, as well as being immediately engaging and sparking delight and curiosity.