Don Cameron’s architectural pictures evokes furnishings design in Sydney exhibition

Don Cameron is an artist whose work defies simple categorisation. He studied design at Central Saint Martins in London, had a profession as a profitable music video director working with Blur, Rubbish and The Pet Store Boys, then went house to Australia and started to work on an architectural scale, creating interiors for Lodge Lodge in Canberra and the Fratelli Paradiso restaurant in Sydney amongst different locations.

Alongside all that, he has devoted 20 years to creating a group of photographic pictures that discover a number of the darker moments of Europe’s current previous. They kind three associated sequence. One is in regards to the huge concrete fortifications of the Atlantic Wall, constructed utilizing slave labour by the Germans throughout the Second World Conflict. One other reveals the stays of the exceptional sequence of monuments constructed between 1960 and 1980 in what was then Yugoslavia. The third appears on the pessimistic sculptural structure of the Nineteen Sixties, which is usually misleadingly lumped collectively as brutalism. Cameron is especially within the work of Claude Mother or father and Paul Virilio, whose structure, the product of a interval when the worry of nuclear annihilation was at its peak, explicitly referenced the concrete ruins of the Atlantic Wall.

Don Cameron, ‘Nevers Stool’, 2022, in walnut with a picture of its inspiration, Claude Mother or father’s church in Burgundy, Nevers, 2020. Picture courtesy the artist (Picture credit score: Don Cameron)

Now Cameron has used these pictures as the purpose of departure to design a limited-edition furnishings assortment for Gallery Sally Dan-Cuthbert in Sydney. Cameron’s furnishings features a desk, a espresso desk and a stool made in strong timber, a modular couch, and a sequence of flooring lamps fabricated from metal. He calls the gathering ‘Translations’, and each bit makes an overt reference to one of many topics of his pictures.

He appears for methods to realize the floor patinas and kinds that he present in his pictures, and to maneuver them from one class to a different. A constructing is translated into {a photograph}, which in flip turns into the place to begin for an object. Design, structure and sculpture merge imperceptibly into each other.

Don Cameron, ‘Bloc Ground Lamp 01 / Polished’, 2022, with a picture of its inspiration, Fritz Wotruba’s church in Vienna, Vienna, 2020. Picture courtesy the artist (Picture credit score: Don Cameron)

Whereas he cites the distressed concrete of a ruined statement put up in Alderney because the visible supply for his desk with a drawer, this can be a piece of achieved and refined furnishings. His monolithic stool refers back to the huge construction of Claude Mother or father’s church in Nevers, Burgundy, in its monolithic weight, however it’s put collectively from rigorously labored black American walnut, moderately than concrete with a tough board-marked floor that reveals the timber moulds by which it was solid.

He makes use of the stacked types of Fritz Wotruba’s church in Vienna as the idea for the extruded rectangular types of his flooring lamps, that are created from patinated sheet metal. His modular couch has a metal construction to assist its sheet metal surfaces, within the method of the Yugoslav memorials.

‘Bloc Couch Ingredient’, 2022. ‘Alderney Desk’, 2022, alongside a picture of its inspiration, a ruined statement put up, Alderney, 2020. ‘Nevers Stool in Ebonized Walnut’, 2022. Picture courtesy the artist (Picture credit score: Don Cameron)

Cameron just isn’t a maker himself, however in his shut collaboration with expert wooden and steel employees and upholsterers, he turns into a participant within the artistic course of, moderately than the silent observer he was as a photographer. The person elements for the desk, the stool and the espresso desk are minimize and formed utilizing a milling machine, programmed with a digital translation of Cameron’s personal freehand sketches. They’re then completed by hand, in certainly one of Sydney’s few workshops to mix conventional woodworking expertise with automated machine instruments, operated with pc numerical management.

The concept totally different types of visible creativity can carry the identical sensibility just isn’t new. A Mondrian canvas, and a Rietveld chair are clearly associated, with out the one trying to be a illustration of the opposite. Importantly, Cameron’s lengthy expertise accumulating the work of a number of the most distinguished furnishings designers of the Fifties and Nineteen Sixties ensures that his furnishings just isn’t overwhelmed by the load of content material that it’s carrying.


‘Don Cameron: Translations’, 2 September – 2 October 2022 at Gallery Sally Dan-Cuthbert, Sydney,