Craft ACT: Craft + Design Centre is thrilled to announce acclaimed Canberra contemporary jeweller, Phoebe Porter, has been selected as the 2019 DESIGN Canberra designer-in-residence.

Phoebe was commissioned to create the 2019 signature artwork which will feature in a Craft ACT exhibition and throughout the festival’s visual communications. The work has been created in response to the 2019 festival theme of utopia and the festival’s celebration of the Bauhaus 100th anniversary.

“We are delighted to welcome Phoebe Porter as DESIGN Canberra’s 2019 designer-in-residence. Her stunning new work is contemporary, thought-provoking, beautiful, intelligent, world-class and grounded in authentic, quality local design. Phoebe is a celebrated and respected member of Canberra’s contemporary craft and design community and her signature artwork expresses everything we hope to achieve for this year’s DESIGN Canberra festival,” said CEO/Artistic Director Rachael Coghlan.

Referencing the form of the crane (familiar in Canberra skylines today), Phoebe’s new work, Elements of Balance, is deceptively simple. Two contrasting elements of equal weight balance each other perfectly. Five grams of gold (a highly valued traditional material) is balanced against five grams of aluminium (an industrial material, representing progress and contemporary mass-produced objects of desire).

Phoebe explains: “To me, utopia is a vision of the ideal way to live in an ideal environment. But there is a central tension embodied in that concept: striving to achieve a state of utopia requires the careful balance of competing values to attain a harmonious society and life.” 

“On a personal level, many of us struggle to balance our passions, commitments and responsibilities in a way that feels satisfying and sustainable for a meaningful life. This same tension underpins broader systems such as city planning whether it be the tension between providing enough housing while retaining green and open spaces, or between providing fast transport solutions while retaining a beautiful civic centre,” said Phoebe.

Phoebe was selected as the 2019 designer-in-residence for the quality of her work, the rigour of her practice and the symmetry of her work to the 2019 festival theme.

DESIGN Canberra celebrated the unveiling of Phoebe's signature artwork with an intimate preview event for festival sponsors in Phoebe's studio.