Join leading Australian designers in discussion of their work in SAM’s Everyday Australian Design exhibition and their experiences of the industry. In conversation with SAM Curator, Jessica O’Farrell designers Visnja Brdar, Georgia Chapman and Jenny Morgan will talk to their designed objects and speak more broadly on their triumphs and challenges of their respective careers.
Geelong born Visnja Brdar launched her Creative Studio, BRDAR in Melbourne at the age of 21. Australia’s celebrated names would soon become her clients, including The Sydney Opera House, Marc Newson, Chris Connell, Neometro and Jill Dupleix. She moved to New York in 1999 to work with Fabien Baron as art director for Michael Kors, Jil Sander, Armani and Nars Cosmetics. Career highlights include working with Richard Avedon and Tibor Kalman. She re-established BRDAR in New York in 2003, doing projects with Estee Lauder, Issey Miyake, Van Cleef & Arpels and New York’s top real estate developers. Brdar also designs jewellery for her own line, VISNJA JEWELS.
After completing a BA degree in Textile Design at RMIT, Georgia co –founded the fashion and homewares label Vixen Australia in1993, quickly developing a signature of original textile designs, hand printed in her Melbourne studio. For over 20 years Vixen was sold through retail outlets across Australia, Asia, and in London. In 2014 Georgia launched her Georgia Chapman label, opening an online store and began focusing on textile collaborations with like-minded companies.
Georgia has designed fabric for fashion labels such as Collette Dinnigan and Scanlan and Theodore, and interior collections for Safari Living, and Designer Rugs. Georgia maintains a strong professional profile as a textile artist, and works as a sessional lecturer at RMIT. She has exhibited her work widely, and her works are held in the collections of the NGV and Powerhouse museums. Her exhibition profile includes the Seppelt Contemporary Art Award (1999 MCA Sydney); Repetition (2000, Craft Victoria); Foundations of Gold (2001, international touring exhibition); Australian Fashion and Textile exhibition (2002 , Korea); Sourcing the Muse (2002, Powerhouse Museum).
Her work is currently touring Australia as part of the Tamworth Textile triennial
Georgia was awarded the 1998 Textile Design Award (Victorian Design Awards); the 1999 Seppelt Contemporary Art Award (object category), MCA; and was an exhibiting finalist in the 2003 Cicely and Colin Rigg Contemporary Design Award, NGV.
Jenny Morgan worked for GM Australia Design (GM Holden Design) as Design Manager and Chief Designer for over twenty years, designing the colours, materials and surface finishes for Holden’s iconic Commodore, Monaro, Statesman, Caprice, ute and wagon vehicles. Also contributing to many global GM brands, including Cadillac, Buick, Chevrolet and Opel production and concept vehicles. Passionate about innovation, customer behaviour and advanced technologies, Jenny also initiated and developed long-term design strategies and material portfolios.
Studied at RMIT, BA Textile Design, and commenced her design career at BTR Nylex, Films and Fabrics Division.
Jessica is a curator and arts manager with a strong interest in supporting the professional development of emerging and early career artists through artwork commissions, exhibitions and associated programs.
Jessica has over ten years’ experience working for non-profit and commercial galleries in Australia and the UK with positions held in Brisbane at the Institute of Modern Art, UQ Art Museum, QUT Art Museum and Fireworks Gallery; and in London at Pilar Corrias Gallery, Cubitt Gallery and the David Roberts Art Foundation. She holds an MFA Curating from Goldsmiths University of London.