Post Industrial Design

'I dig art in a cemetery'


Last week was the official launch of Jos Van Hulsen's sculpture and I just can't help but skite a little. Well it's not really skiting on my behalf . . . . it was Jos's work after all, and me being his biggest fan, makes it ok - no?

The launch was held at Fawkner Cemetery where the work is now permanently housed. It was purchased by Greater Metropolitan Cemetery Trust and is now the gateway sculptural piece for the cemetery.

For years I have had a little love affair with cemeteries. And I can't think of a more fitting home for Jos's work. Chrysalis is about the process of metamorphosis, change and rebirth. It is a work concerned with transformation and the need to care and guard what is precious until it is fully formed.

Cemeteries, to me, are exquisite spaces! I think I first fully fell in love with them in my early 20's. Living in Prahran, with a bunch of Muso's, who practiced ALL THE TIME (yes - you know who you are!) To find quiet, I would sneak over to the Prahran cemetery, armed with a book. Often I would ditch the book and wander the cemetery marveling at the beautiful old headstones and imagining who these people were and the lives they lived. This for me was a place of tranquility. A snapshot. A historical document marking the passing of time.

But this is not about ME. Chrysalis is now in the public realm. A sculpture for people to enjoy, love, hate or show indifference.  We would like to think that if you do visit the cemetery, you will get a little joy from the work, but at the end of the day it is all subjective.

To end on a great quote by US author Jarod Kintz . . . “I dig art. With a shovel. In the cemetery.”

Dianne Rule (Chair) and Catherine Brown (former Chair) of GMCT, unveiling the plaque

Chrysalis by Jos Van Hulsen at Montalto Winery 2015

Jos Van Hulsen's Reading Chair unveiled

We couldn’t have wished for nicer weather  for the closing ceremony of the Maribyrnong Library Literary Festival. It was also the unveiling of Jos Van Hulsen's ‘reading chair’. Which, without sounding too biased, looks pretty goddam amazing! The afternoon ‘Myths Woven by Us’ was a fun day for family and friends. The afternoon included a free BBQ, storytelling, face painting, balloon artistry and special guest David Greagg, our very own Wizard of Footscray! I did not know until recently that we have our OWN Wizard, but indeed we do . . . and may I say delightfully charming and interesting he is too. I couldn’t have thought of a nicer day to laze down the river at the Footscray Community Arts Center. Parents (ME) lounged on the grass while ignoring the kids (them) as they romped around throwing stones in the river, gorging themselves on sausages, all while getting their face painted . . . . .  And did I say it was SUNNY! I could not help but to expel a sigh of relief to think the chair has finally found its permanent home. The relief was not so much about no longer having it around Jos’s studio, but more the fact that it weighs a bloody ton and this was the last time we had to move it!!! If you do get a chance to go down to the river, perhaps grab a coffee from Happy River Café, stroll down towards the Amphitheatre and take some time to sit on the Reading Chair. While you are sipping on your coffee and taking in the beautiful view, just give some thought to my back . . . because at the end of the day, Jos may have made and designed the chair, but really, it is all about MEEEEEE!!! 

Coat racks by Jos Van Hulsen

For some reason it is Jos's work that I always to neglect to get up on our website?? Sorry Jos! By far our most popular product has been his bicycle coat rack’s. Each one is hand made from steel and recycled timbers, which are now available to purchase on our online store. Jos recently was commissioned to do a number of these racks for Kathmandu stores in New Zealand and more recently in Melbourne. I will post some pics of them as soon the new Kathmandu fit outs are completed. Included in the range of photos is a picture of Jos in our backyard (gardening is not my strong point) as well as jos working on some of the coat racks in the studio. 

Steampunk exhibition

What a great night and amazing turnout for the Steamscape Exhibition.  The exhibition is on for a couple of weeks, so if you came on friday night and couldn't get through the crowd, drop by again or if you missed the opening we are sure you will love what is on display.  Around 500 people turned up to see the Clockwork Butterfly fashion parade, the exhibition of Steampunk art and design, live music from the Dreadful Penny's and the voice of our own Katie Houghton. The exhibition showed the steampunk movement through fashion, design, sculpture, painting and more. The crowd spilled out into the streets and into the half demolished Victorian house next door. A night highlighted by fashion, and not just the fashion by Clockwork Butterfly.... most of the crowd were dressed in a staggering variety of eclectic Victorian futuristic gear, a fantastic result and it looked amazing. The rooms inside were dark, warm and gloomy with a hint of brass and cast iron here and there surrounded by top hats, lace and animal skins. Exquisite bespoke wallpapers and the unique hand painted finishes of Art and Interiors provided a beautiful backdrop for the styled rooms. All the locals were there along with the die-hards of the Steampunk movement. Amazing scenes as the circus act played out on the lawn in front of the old house next door with a crowd of a hundred or so watching on lit almost entirely by the fire eaters flaming torch. The crowd had been treated to the fabulous Food by Miranda catering and complimentary wine through the generous support of Longview Winery. “Steamscape” forms part of the Loreal Fashion week Cultural Program

Steampunk goes west

We are excited to announce that we are hosting “Steamscape” in collaboration with Clockwork Butterfly on March 2nd, 2012. “Steamscape” will be a Steampunk exhibition as part of the Loreal Fashion week Cultural Program. Alexandra Chambers is the creative behind Clockwork Butterfly and was the artistic adviser for the recent Circus Oz production Steampowered, she has a substantial body of work behind her and I am very excited to be able to collaborate with such a talented designer. Steampunk is a movement that is best described as ”Victorian Science Fiction”. A rebellion against the mass production found in today’s consumer goods, it concentrates on individually crafted items that reflect the classical aesthetics of the late 19th Century, with a twist of dynamic industrial influences and an often whimsical sense of fun. The exhibition will feature the exquisite, timeless clothing creations of Clockwork Butterfly partnered with Jos Van Hulsen’s fantastical sculptural creations. Other artists and designers will contribute pieces that are exemplary of the Steampunk movement. The exhibition opening will include performances from some of Melbourne’s finest musicians and circus performers.

Industrial lamps

Jos has locked himself in the studio and madly making a new series of lamps . . . who said he’s obsessive?? “I loved working on this series – I got to use up some scrap pieces I have carted over the county side. There is always satisfaction using pieces I have collected over the years – its like I have finally found them a home.” Each of Jos’s lamps is different and takes on a character all of there own. The shades are made from upcycled insulators from the SEC and the body and base constructed from recycled steel and wood. Jos is also able to make up custom pieces – we have a number of people who bring in old tools or items of sentimental value, which Jos can then work into a design.

Niches @ City Library

Jos Van Hulsens work is now on display at the City Library in Flinders lane until August 30. The work is part of the Niches @ City Library initiative. The program will showcase a different artists work each month. Artworks will be displayed in glass cases throughout the library. Jos's work explores the spiritual connection to land, which is examined through found materials including, bones, leaves and suburban refuge. The City Library is located at 253 Flinders Lane, Melbourne. Opening hours are Monday to Thursday 8am – 8pm, Friday 8am – 6pm, Saturday 10 – 5pm and Sunday 12 - 5pm. [gallery link="file"]  

Between Earth and Sky

EXHIBITION 26 August - 5 September 2010 Between Earth and Sky is an exhibition put together by three artist; Sarah Watt, Jos Van Hulsen and Jacqueline Flintcroft. As well as sharing a creative vision and a wine or two on the weekends, the three artists reside in the same suburban street in West Footscray. What makes this exhibition unique is that all three have interpreted this theme from a very intuitive place and all take their audiences between the cracks of reality to a profound place of feeling. In this exhibition Jos Van Hulsen is concerned with that something in between. The moment of metamorphous and birth of something new. Flight is explored through moths, aeroplanes and ethereal winged creatures that deliver the audience to a moment of transcendence. Van Hulsens work is very organic and fluid. Spiritual themes are explored through found materials including, bones, leaves and suburban refuge, that are worked in to pieces that somehow bring together the masculine and feminine into perfect harmony. Sarah Watt, Better known for her award winning film, Look Both Ways and more recently My Year without Sex, has once again managed to transcribe her suburban landscapes with something deep and spiritual. Watt’s work successfully manages to capture that moment we all have when we glimpse that shadow in the corner of our eye. Dr Who fans would relate to the analogy that Watt has somehow found that crack in the universe and allows us to see two worlds momentarily collide. An avid pilot and flight enthusiast, Jaqueline Flintcroft allows her viewers a glimpse of her world in the air. Aerial landscapes are meticulously rendered through three-dimensional boxes placed together like a jigsaw. The effect is a beautiful rendering of the landscape through abstract objects. The use of colours and subtle tones conjure a deep connection with the Australian landscape. For art enthusiasts who are content just to feel and experience I suggest this is a show for you. None of the artists here are concerned with intellectual or moral rhetoric; all are just content for audiences to view the work from a personal place. Between Earth and Sky runs from the 27th of August to the 5th of September at Brightspace Gallery, 8 Martin St, St Kilda. Gallery hours are Wednesday to Sat 12 – 6pm and Sunday 1-5pm. [gallery link="file"]