An aperture slices through dark green walls to reveal an opulent ochre-hued linen curtain. As it weaves through the space, the curtain drapes in small pools on pale wide floorboards of Douglas Fir. A soft spotlight falls onto a rough-hewn block of solid stone. The light catches the polished surface where the stone has been carved away to form a bowl-shaped vessel. Behind this piece is a more refined structure. The same stone has been worked to a smooth finish, its edges mitered, almost precise. A surface of brass reflects the form of a black crystal sculpture sitting quietly and powerfully on top…

This vignette is the first imagery visitors see when they visit our 2018 Rigg Design Prize exhibition piece. Arent&Pyke is delighted to have been invited by the NGV to take part in the triennial design prize this year, where we eagerly explored and celebrated the theme of Domestic Living.

Our installation, entitled ‘Home: Feast, Bathe, Rest’ explores what we consider to be the essential functions of a contemporary domestic interior. To replenish (feast); restore (bathe); and retreat (rest). Our response is a conceptual interior where the focus is on conjuring the emotions of these spaces.

As populations grow and cities engineer themselves upwards and outwards, we find ourselves searching for more restorative spaces to call home. In our design, deep thresholds emphasise the separation of the chaotic exterior and the calm interior. Dark walls and intentionally positioned light and shadow create mood and spatial poetry. Smaller details highlight the innate beauty of craftsmanship, paying homage to Australian aesthetics and design.

Each of the three spaces within are defined by a bespoke furniture piece. Designed by Arent&Pyke each piece is a testament to the skills of the local makers we rely on to bring our visions to life. A contemporary Australian artwork also resides within each space and creates a dialogue with the bespoke furniture piece, one informs the other. It is through this dialogue that each space’s unique and intuitively recognisable energy is apparent.  We are reminded that home is a place in which we should find comfort in familiarity, and inspiration and delight in beauty.

Photography by Felix Forest and Shannon McGrath