Australia may have once had a reputation for being an isolated, cultural backwater and while in some respects this is difficult to dispute, in others it has been misleading. The country has been home to architects and designers of international standing, from the (Austrian) Harry Seidler, Robin Boyd, Glenn Murcutt and through to Marc Newson.
Lesser known outside of the country is the designer Grant Featherston, whose reputation rests on his furniture designs from the late 1940’s to the 1970’s. The pieces he designed had great character and presence, showing the influence of international design developments to which he was clearly exposed: the light touch of Scandinavian modernism in his early products, to the influence of Pop later in his career, from Jens Risom, to Bruno Mathsson and hints of Finn Juhl. His furniture also reflected changes in technology and production methods: hand-made in timber and webbing in the early years, metal and moulded plastics in the later.
Whilst originals now change hands for substantial amounts of money, in 2016 Gordon Mather Industries, with the agreement of Featherston’s wife Mary and in collaboration with Grazia & Co., brought a number of pieces back into production.
SHH celebrates a team made up of many different nationalities. In this series we looks at lesser known designers from around the globe, this week focusing on Australia.