New Acquisitions

John Goulder
Born 1970, Bowral, New South Wales

The Ol la la chair features a backing made from 12 plys of hand-glued wood bent into a ribbon-like shape. Lacquered into a fine black finish, it humbly hides the precision of the labour that brought it into being. The fluidity of this design feature lends the piece a grace and visual lightness that is mirrored in the way the back legs run slightly up into the air at the point at which they meet the front. The Amoré mio low chair also uses this motif, giving this chair an equally light feel despite its more relaxed and low-slung positioning. Made from maple, it emphasises the beauty of the wooden frame as a structure for a seated human. When in use both seats have a comfortable springiness and a perfectly stable connection to the ground.

The interplay of different materials evident in the chairs is made more apparent in the LD desk. For this attractive home-office table, Goulder has created a dialogue between the black lacquered ply and maple components. This produces a dynamic synergy that mirrors the one between the table and the sitter itself as the user tucks their legs underneath it and folds their body over it when writing or reading. Like the two chairs, the desk is a brilliant example of form not merely following function, but aesthetically framing and actively encouraging use.

Goulder’s respectful and sensitive use of natural materials resides within a context of Australian object design that works with, not against, the demands of its media. Makers as diverse as Clare Belfrage (glass), Jessica Loughlin (glass) David Walker (jewellery and small objects), Khai Liew (furniture), Stewart Scambler (ceramics) and Bronwyn Goss (jewellery), to name just a few, are peers and precursors whose work defines this contemporary tradition that Goulder’s finely-made furniture adds to.

These models for the Oh la la dining chair capture the development of this major work that is, along with Goulder’s Amore mio low chair and LD desk, included in the State Art Collection.  They illustrate both the incremental and major shifts in design as Goulder tackled the challenge of turning the idea of a chair with a delicate ribbon-like ply wood frame into a useable reality.  What looks simply elegant in the final version is now seen as being the result of hundreds of small and large decisions and a considerable amount of structural and material problem solving.   




John Goulder
Oh la la dining chair 1, 2, 3, 5 2009
1) plywood; 2) cardboard and plywood; 3) laminated wood; 5) steel, plywood and wood
77 x 57.5 x 60 cm, 85.5 x 61 x 67 cm, 78 x 61.5 x 63 cm, 83 x 65.5 x 63 cm
State Art Collection, Art Gallery of Western Australia
Purchased through the TomorrowFund, Art Gallery of Western Australia Foundation, 2011

Jon Goulder produced the below three works after re-locating to Western Australian from New South Wales. As well as moving states, he moved production paradigms. Taking on a position as a mentor and studio head at FORM’s Midland Atelier, time was set aside to concentrate on his own practice so he could lead by example. This situation freed him to push the hand-made aspects of his making that require significant time investment - investment that isn’t typically viable when designers need to focus on the exigencies of medium and large-scale production in order to make a living. In construction terms alone, the Ol-lal-la chair took 60 hours to make, the Amoré mio low chair took 65 hours (hand-carved frame only) and the LD desk took 80 hours[1].


  
Jon Goulder
LD desk 2010
American black walnut, press laminated desktop, back legs sprayed in black polyurethane finish and coloured Marblo dividers
80.0 x 146.0 x 80.0 cm
State Art Collection, Art Gallery of Western Australia
Purchased through the Peter Fogarty Design Fund - Art Gallery of Western Australia Foundation, 2010
© Jon Goulder 2010
Photographer: Bo Wong


Jon Goulder
Oh la la dining chair (first prototype) 2009
rock maple veneer, press-laminated plywood seat, back upholstered in Kvadrat Maharam fabric
84.0 x 56.0 x 56.0 cm
State Art Collection, Art Gallery of Western Australia
Purchased through the Peter Fogarty Design Fund - Art Gallery of Western Australia Foundation, 2010
© Jon Goulder 2009
Photographer: Bo Wong


Jon Goulder
Amore mio low chair 2009
American black walnut, press-laminated seat, upholstered back in Kvadrat Maharam teal fabric
54.0 x 67.0 x 74.0 cm
State Art Collection, Art Gallery of Western Australia
Purchased through the Peter Fogarty Design Fund - Art Gallery of Western Australia Foundation, 2010
© Jon Goulder 2009
Photographer: Bo Wong

 

 

Note:
[1] Buttler, Elisha (ed.) (2010). From the atelier: workshopping the value of creativity and design. FORM; Perth. pp 18-19.

 

 

 

 

 

Last reviewed 12 September 2011

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