Object Therapy Talk at ANU

(Panel) Thu 27 Oct 2016
DATEThu 27 Oct 2016
PLACEANU, Sir Roland Wilson Building, Level 2 (ground floor) Theatre; 120 McCoy Circuit, Acton ACT 2601

Object Therapy is a research and design project created to help us rethink our consumption patterns and reevaluate the broken objects that surround us. The project is an investigation into the culture of ‘transformative’ repair as practiced by local, interstate and international artists and designers. 

For Object Therapy 31 broken objects have been collected from members of the public. The objects were handed over to a designer to fix or transform. The project is a practical study of repair and its possibilities – building a new body of knowledge around repair and the design process, and objects and their meaning.

Convened by Genevieve Jacobs and ANU’s Niklavs Rubenis, this panel invites a selection of local contributors to discuss their repair works, including gold and silversmith Alison Jackson, and craftsman, academic and curator Rohan Nicol. The panel will discuss their individual contributions and the viability of transformative repair as a response to problems of obsolescence and waste in product design, and its potential as a service for users and consumers in need of options for repair.

The panel is part of Fix and Make’s Object Therapy series and accompanies the exhibition running at Hotel Hotel until October 30

Co-presented by by Art Forum @ the ANU School of Art



Genevieve Jacobs

Genevieve Jacobs has been a prize-winning newspaper journalist as well as a freelance writer for gardening and fine arts magazines, covering topics principally on history and design. Among Genevieve’s interests are the arts, gardens, the environment, history and politics. She loves hearing people’s stories, and since 2006 she has presented a daily morning show on 666 ABC Canberra examining local news and issues, and talking with everyday people about issues currently affecting them. Genevieve was a co-ordinator for Australia’s Open Garden scheme for several years and has also lectured widely on artists and their gardens, exploring the links between a strong visual aesthetic and surrounding landscape.

Niklavs Rubenis

Niklavs Rubenis is an Object Therapy design repairer and investigator.

Canberra based, he is a lecturer at the School of Art, Australian National University, and has been professionally employed across many aspects of the furniture and design sectors. This has included high scale manufacture; computer aided design and computer aided manufacture; computer numeric control and laser technology; commercial cabinetry; production and furniture making; shop fit-out; exhibition design; project and design management; public art; urban design; musical instrument making and teaching at community, trade and university levels. Rubenis also maintains an active and varied studio practice comprising of national and international exhibitions, and private and commercial commissions including furniture and objects, lighting installations, window displays, design-construct shop fit-outs, signage and interpretive design.

Susannah Bourke

Susannah Bourke is a design repairer for Object Therapy.

She is an interdisciplinary designer working across a diversity of mediums. Her practice is research led, looking to the edges of material culture to work with assumptions about undesirable places. These investigations take a critical approach to the ways which value, production and history are perpetuated. The results become functional objects, books, mud and occasionally performances.

Rohan Nicol

Rohan Nicol is a design repairer for Object Therapy.

Canberra based, he is the Head of Gold and Silversmithing and convener of the Design Arts Degree program at the Australian National University, School of Art. He is an active craftsman, academic and curator. His recent work has ties domesticity and domestic consumption to global experience and the various challenges and crises we face globally. He has also identified the value of intellectual property generated by the creative sector, to the Australian innovation system. He regularly exhibits and presents at major venues and events in Australia and internationally. His work is held in many collections including the Powerhouse Museum and the National Gallery of Australia.

Monique van Nieuwland

Monique van Nieuwland is a designer repairer for Object Therapy.

Monique van Nieuwland (Master of Philosophy-Visual Arts at the ANU – 2004) is a weaver and an Accredited Professional Member of CraftACT. In her practice she uses contemporary techniques and materials (incl. recycled), keeping loom weaving vibrant and relevant as an innovative form of expression.

Monique exhibits her work nationally and internationally. In 2016 she represents Australia at the 15th International Triennial of Tapestry in Lodz, Poland and her work has been selected for the Tamworth Contemporary Textiles Exhibition (1988, 2004, 2014). Van Nieuwland has worked on many commissions for private and public places, including on the film ‘Gods of Egypt’ (Alex Proyas), producing shawls as well as cloth for cloaks and tunics for characters played by Brenton Thwaites and Geoffrey Rush.

Monique van Nieuwland teaches weaving at tertiary level at ANU but also enjoys teaching in the community.

Alison Jackson

Alison Jackson is an Object Therapy design repairer.

She is a Canberra-based gold and silversmith who designs and hand crafts distinctive, pared back tableware and jewellery. Elegant and refined, Alison’s work draws inspiration from the clean lines of geometric shapes, paired against soft satin finishes. Inspired by a love of traditional silversmithing, many of Alison’s tableware pieces retain the mark of the hammer. Alison has won multiple awards for her work and has exhibited nationally and in Germany. Alison has recently completed a large body of work for her first solo exhibition, ‘Table Tools’, which incorporates 48 functional and timeless tableware pieces.



Eventbrite - Fix and Make – Object Therapy TALK at ANU