When it comes to Australian post-war furniture design Fred Ward is perhaps
one of the most iconic designers of the period. With a career spanning 60 years,
Ward was at the forefront of modernist design trends, designing furniture for the
Myer Heritage range, Fler and countless large scale commissions for public
institutions. Fred Ward: A Life in Design is considered to be the most
comprehensive survey of Ward’s prolific design career and features a substantial
collection of furniture designed by Ward, as well as original drawings and photographs.
Ward’s designs are often simple, but it is this simplicity that makes his work
stand out amongst so many other designers of the period. A highlight for me
was a chance to see some of his rare and early designs from the 1930’s, such
as a beautiful modernist chest of drawers and a lovely lounge chair (pictured).
Many of the pieces on display were accompanied by Ward’s original design
drawings which really helps the visitor to get a better understanding of the
design process, but also the man behind the designs. I highly recommend
checking out this important exhibition. This is serious eye candy for those
who value craftsmanship and beautiful furniture.
Fred Ward: A Life in Design is a FREE exhibition showing at the
Gallery of Australian Design in Canberra from 30 May, 2013 — 27 Jul, 2013.
The exhibition coincides with the release of a new biography on Fred Ward,
written by designer Derek Wrigley, who had collaborated with Ward in his
later years in Canberra.
You can hear an interview with Derek Wrigley recorded in August 2013 for the ‘By Design’ program on ABC Radio National. For more information on Fred Ward check out the Fred Ward Archive Collection on the Powerhouse Museum website.