CONCRETE: art design architecture explores innovative ways that concrete is being used by artists, designers and architects in Australia in the 21st century. Curated by JamFactory, Adelaide, the exhibition represents 21 artists, designers and architects from across Australia and brings together products, projects and works of art that reflect many of the current preoccupations with concrete within contemporary art, design and architecture in Australia.
With a history spanning more than 3,000 years, concrete was first used by Egyptians in the building of the pyramids before the Romans produced what today we call hydraulic cement-based concrete. With the fall of the Roman Empire the secrets of concrete were lost, and it was not until the early nineteenth century that, through the development of Portland Cement, England, modern concrete was born.
The exhibition presents a broad range of approaches to working with concrete, and the range of work extends from fine, hand-crafted jewellery to spectacular buildings. Exhibitors include Pritzker award winning architect Glenn Murcutt, and multiple award-winning architectural firm, Candalepas Associates, both of whom have used concrete to create beautiful places of worship. Celebrated designers Adam Goodrum and Alexander Lotersztain have separately designed striking concrete outdoor furniture, while leading visual artists Jamie North, Abdul-Rahman Abdullah and Megan Cope have produced thought-provoking sculptural works, and Inari Kiuru has used the intricate detail of concrete’s varied surface in her fine jewellery pieces.
This exhibition aims to question our preconceptions of concrete and to consider its functional as well as its expressive, poetic and aesthetic dimensions.
Image: Inari KIURU, Memory of the sea, interactive table sculpture, 2017, various arrangements of the nine parts. Photo: Inari Kiuru