The Artist’s Residence for Melbourne Design Week
Halcyon Lake, in collaboration with Fred International, proudly presented ‘The Artist’s Residence’ during Melbourne Design Week 2023. Situated in the iconic Foy and Gibson heritage precinct in Collingwood, the historic apartment and showroom space underwent a complete overhaul by emerging interior design practice Without Studios. Offering a captivating display of rugs from our Reuber Henning Collection with furniture, lighting and objects from Fred International as well as art from James Makin Gallery, the exhibition transported visitors into the world of an artisan collector. Through carefully selected items that appeared gathered over time, guests were invited to immerse themselves in the imaginative space of the chosen artist in residence, Melbourne based metalsmith V.Brokkr.
Entering the exhibition, visitors were greeted with a hall runner that continued to lead up the stairs. The striking duo tone hall runner and wall-to-wall carpet on the stairs were meticulously measured and custom-made to seamlessly blend with the exhibition’s paint scheme, resulting in a seamless split entrance.
Using our Swiss Valais carpet, we carefully matched the contrasting Jojoba and Rose Wood colourways with the selected paint swatches from Porters Paint Fitzroy. Painted with precision by David Passmore Painting, the outcome was a visually striking and welcoming space.
As visitors explored the various rooms of The Artist’s Residence, the ambiance was set by an eclectic mix of V.Brokkr’s architectural hardware and lights, ceramics by Ara Dolatian, sculptures by Dr Braddon Snape and paintings by Rebecca Wallis, all evoking the spirit of an artisan collector.
Berlin Designer Reuber Henning took centre stage with their numerous handmade designs showcased throughout the exhibition. This included a tapestry, floor rugs, and a unique hanging hammock rug. Inspired by the poignant narrative of Count Ladislaus von Fraunberg, a nobleman who faced the tragic loss of both his wives and passed away without leaving any heirs, the tapestry eloquently portrays the unwavering loyalty of a leopard, a cherished gift from his brother-in-law.
Since May 2022, the Ladislaus tapestry has been prominently exhibited in Austria at Schloss Hollenegg for Design as a part of the “East to West” exhibition curated by Alice Stori Liechtenstein. It finds itself in close proximity to the portrait of Ladislaus von Fraunberg, who in the portrait is still accompanied by the ever-loyal leopard.
This artwork, Hand-woven in pure new wool, is meticulously crafted and offered in a limited edition of 25 upon request.
For the floor of the living room Without Studio opted for the subtle yet alluring ‘Tiger Curtain’ rug. Part of Reuber Henning’s traditional collection, the design is inspired by traditional Tibetan Tiger rugs. Featured in the apartment in both grey and black the striking pattern is balanced by delicate colour variations and hints of silk, meticulously crafted using hand-knotting techniques with fine material.
Entering the downstairs bedroom, a strikingly deep red paint that seamlessly carries the rhythm from the hallway adorns the wall. The rich hue creates a restful ambiance, complemented by the new Duxiana range from Fred International. To complement this colour palette, the Reuber Henning Colour Field Light Blue rug, part of the “RagTime” collection, sat underneath the bed.
Blending Chinese silk and Tibetan highland wool, the collection conceptualises rhythm and a sweeping melody, paying homage to the early jazz era. The distinctive aesthetic and unconventional colour combinations pair the room to create a vibrant yet calming atmosphere.
Leaving the bedroom and following the duo tone Valais carpet up the stairs, a mezzanine landing looks down upon the living room. A pitched roof opens the space showing off the heritage architecture. Featuring objects and furniture curated by Without Studio the cosy landing created a warm and inviting space.
The Reuber Henning Kenia Acacia rug embellished the mezzanine floor, with shimmering gold details made from Tibetan wool and silk. Part of the “Made by Nature” collection, the design draws inspiration from the patterns found in animal furs, which have been simplified, modified, and reinterpreted with a graphic touch.
Reuber Henning’s conscious choice throughout the “made by Nature” collection was to maintain a balanced and harmonious aesthetic, avoiding excessive contrast and instead aiming for an organic and elegant appearance. Natural tones seamlessly blend with delicate pastels, and soft gradients coexist with unexpected bursts of colour.
“We have been collaborating with Reuber Henning for 10 years now and we felt it was time for their beautiful creations to be in the spotlight. The heritage architecture of the Foy and Gibson building was the perfect backdrop to showcase the timeless appeal and ancient craft of the rugs that Reuber Henning produces.”
– Amandine Ringot
Perhaps the most striking part of the exhibition sat behind the mezzanine, where Reuber Henning’s hammock rug hung, suspended in mid air as a floating piece of art. Originally designed by Reuber Henning, the Casablanca Flowers rug was reinterpreted by Bless Service for the Vitra Design Museum as part of the Exhibition BLESS N° 56 WORKERS’ DELIGHT.
With a deliberate intention to emphasize the essence of a handwoven carpet, Reuber Henning and Bless extended the fringes of the rug, highlighting the intricately knotted nature of the piece. By stripping away the original colours, the carpet takes on a silver hue, resulting in an ethereal and shimmering appearance as it gracefully suspends in mid-air.
We would like to express our appreciation to our esteemed sponsors, Bang & Olufson, Porters Paint, and David Passmore, for their invaluable support in bringing this exhibition to life.
Additionally, we extend our thanks to Unico Zelo and Lasirene Brewing, our sponsors on the opening night, for quenching our guests’ thirst.
Thank you to V.brokker, our artist in residence, for crafting remarkable bespoke pieces exclusively for the exhibition, and thank you to James Makin Gallery for embellishing the apartment with extraordinary works of art by Ara Dolatian, Braddon Snape, and Rebecca Wallis.