Australia’s top creative powerhouses have joined forces with the NGV Women’s Association to create The Art of Dining’s spectacular, 44 high-concept table settings, open for public viewing from today until tomorrow, May 2-3.
On the menu at the biannual fundraiser: a leading collection of Australian artists, designers, florists, stylists and creatives. Starting with interior designer Adelaide Bragg who wowed with a pale Schumacher print within a tented area in striped fabric, skirted slipper chairs, stone fruits, amethyst goblets, and metal wall sconces – singling her out as one of the country’s top designers to patronise right now. Read more, ‘Inside a Gorgeously Restful Victorian Country House.’
Thomas Hamel reworked a lavish print from de Gournay in vibrant pinks and palm fronds. Broached Commissions is channeling ancient Egypt with an archeologically inspired, interactive piece, Rigg Prize-winner Hecker Guthrie is drawing upon the Japanese art of Kintsugi.
Coote & Co grabbed attention with a towering centrepiece of maple leaves, hydrangeas, moss and lemons, all from her landmark Mt Macedon garden, surrounded by Gothic-style green chairs.
Cameron Kimber adhered strictly to the night’s theme – based on Giambattista Tiepolo’s banquet of Cleopatra with Venetian tapestry as a tablecloth, red tulips, and huge lantern. Special mention goes to White Home and Justin Bishop’s tables, too – for their amazing attention to detail.
Also names such as Flowers Vassette, Royal Copenhagen, Brownlow Interior Design, David Hicks, Martyn Thompson Studio, Fenton & Fenton, and many more.
What’s interesting is this country is in the midst of a table setting revolution.
Over the past several years, table settings and flower arrangements have become bigger, wilder, looser and more fluid, incorporating all manner of seasonal flora plucked from the woods, the garden, and the vegetable patch. Coote & Co’s was a great example of this.
You are now more likely to see a table with a bouquet laden with towering branches of foliage, arching vines of clematis, and exploding piles of lemons than just a polite cluster or roses or calla lilies.
From giant Chinoiserie lanterns, to massive branches of maple leaves, massed red tulips, and stone fruit piles into jumbo stands, the NGV has never looked so lush.
On the level of style, these table arrangements highlight the beauty of their individual elements – the crucial difference? Instagram, the Gutenberg of visual imagery – especially FOMO-inducing lifestyle pictures has raised the bar – everything from Thomas Hamel’s peony rose-infused seats to Adelaide Bragg’s hugely desirable pale cream, beige and plum dining scheme tap into our longing for beauty – and are spreading a sophisticated aesthetic in the hearts and minds of a devoted and ever-exploding audience. And can create a frenzy for a palette to a print, especially among meaning-searching millennials who love beauty. If you are in Melbourne, this is a must-visit.
One of the best exhibitions on the annual design scene.
Last night’s masked ball for 450 people was $750 a head to raise money for the NGV Women’s Association, but the good news is it is open to the public today and tomorrow.
You’d be mad to miss it…go and check it out!
The event is a great example of the best Australian designers and creatives around.
Tables will be on view in the NGV Great Hall – Thu 2 May and Fri 3 May, 10am-5pm & Thu 2 May 6-9pm, www.ngv.vic.gov.au