TDF’s Top 7 Picks For Melbourne Design Week 2023!

Gallery Sally Dan-Cuthbert, Melbourne Design Fair 2022. Photo – Courtesy Melbourne Design Fair

Melbourne Design Fair
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
May 1821

If you’re a budding collector or just love discovering new creatives, the Melbourne Design Fair is the perfect place to see and shop design pieces from Australia and around the world.

More than 150 designers will take over the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, bringing together furniture, objects, lighting, ceramics, textiles, and contemporary jewellery under one roof!

Find one-of-a-kind pieces from South Australia’s JamFactory, Canberra Glassworks, Sophie Gannon Gallery and many more, alongside the dedicated DISCOVERY section shining a spotlight on emerging makers such as LLh Studio’s vibrant furniture practice. It’s all been curated by the NGV and delivered in collaboration with the Melbourne Art Foundation, so trust us, you don’t want to miss out on tickets!

Find out more and buy tickets here.

Left: O Vessel, bluestone. Photo – Lillie Thompson. Left: O vessel and U Vessel, ceramic sink sludge, recycled glass, slate, granite and bluestone. Photo – Lillie Thompson

Brunswick Street Gallery
May 18–28

Former chef turned ceramicist Claire Ellis has joined forces with award-winning Melbourne sommelier, Dom Robinson for a range of sculptural wine decanters you never knew you needed.

Exploring the ‘elemental’ similarities between wine and ceramics, each piece is made from recycled ceramics and finished with experimental glazes developed using by-products from the local rock industry, in addition to restaurant and studio waste. See the pieces in an exhibition at Brunswick Street Gallery, and foodies can book in for the one-off launch dinner at Bar Romantica!

Find out more here.

Her: A Celebration of Women, presented by Elena Strohfeldt. Photo – Jess Brohier. Art Direction – Sarah Forgie. Lighting Assist – Matthew Stott

Photo – Jess Brohier. Art Direction – Sarah Forgie. Lighting Assist – Matthew Stott

Brunswick Street Gallery
May 18–28

Another local female creative who we’re excited to support this MDW is up-and-coming ceramicist Elena Strohfeldt. Her is a timely exhibition that celebrates ‘women, their strength, and their ability to make choices about their own bodies’

Using traditional hand-building techniques, Elena has created a new collection of organic clay pieces that channel the female form, complete with textures, imperfections, and fluid shapes. Love!

Find out more here.

Kate Jones in studio presented as part of the exhibition Jugs 2023 at Craft Victoria. Photo – Henry Trumble

Jugs 2023 at Craft Victoria. Photo – Henry Trumble

Alfred Lowe in studio presented as part of the exhibition Jugs 2023 at Craft Victoria, courtesy APY Gallery Adelaide. Image – Henry Trumble

Leon Zhan in studio presented as part of the exhibition Jugs 2023 at Craft Victoria. Image – Henry Trumble

Craft Victoria
May 18–28

Presented by Craft Victoria, Jugs traces the layered history of vessels and vases. From ancient iterations used for trade to contemporary accessories, these objects are filled with human stories, which is why 20 ceramic artists have been invited to reinterpret the classic vessel for this special exhibition!

Their new creations will speak to the ideas and practices of our time – and with artists like Alfred Lowe, Danielle Thiris, Yoko Ozawa taking part, we can’t wait to see what they come up with.

Find out more here.

A sneak peek of Ella Reweti and Tantri Mustika’s works ahead of their exhibition. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli

Making Space
The Design Files Gallery
May 18–24

Melbourne-based ceramic artists Ella Reweti and Tantri Mustika have been hard at work on a collaborative exhibition, and we’re excited to be hosting it right here in the TDF Gallery!

Familiar with the pressure of today’s hustle culture, the duo is exploring what it means to ‘make space’ for expression and experimentation before production in their practices. Making Space is the inspiring showcase of everything they’ve come up with, merging old ideas with new techniques – but keep your eyes peeled for more on this soon!

Find out more here.

Left: Ghost nets in the Numbulwar Numburundi Arts. Photo – Courtesy of Numbulwar Numburundi Arts. Right: Photo – Courtesy of Numbulwar Numburundi Arts.

Numbulwar Pop-up Studio and Exhibition – A Collaboration Between Tait, Agency and Numbulwar Numburindi Arts
Tait Showroom
May 18–28

Themes of sustainability and First Nations enduring culture come together in this unique exhibition of woven furniture, bringing the work of art collective Numbulwar Numburindi Arts to Tait’s Fitzroy showroom.

Based in in the Gulf of Carpentaria, master weavers Joy and Rose Wilfred have reimagined Tait’s Tidal chair, using discarded ghost fishing nets that wash up on the shores of their remote Numbulwar community. Visit the space to shop a selection of small fibre artworks and see the artists at work to learn about how this creative project doubles as a meaningful act of caring for Country.

Find out more here.

Melbourne Art Book Fair. Photo – Tobias Titz.

Melbourne Art Book Fair
May 19–21 at NGV
May 18–28 across Victoria

Whether you just love books or dream of working in publishing, the Melbourne Art Book Fair is an undeniable fan favourite of MDW. From May 19 to May 21, head to NGV’s magnificent Great Hall to spend a day browsing stalls from over 80 publishers with books, magazines, zines, art prints and more!

There’s also a full schedule of talks in the dedicated Melbourne Art Book Fair conversation space that you can plan your visit around. And, if you’re not in Melbourne, you can still get in on the action with the check out the larger events program taking place across regional Victoria.

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