Heide Museum of Modern Art

Design for Life: Grant and Mary Featherston

This landmark exhibition explores the iconic work of two of Australia’s most influential designers, Grant and Mary Featherston, whose innovative designs brought modernism into the everyday.

The exhibition explores the career of Grant Featherston, arguably Australia’s most significant modernist designer, and his partnership with Mary Featherston, who is renowned for her design for children. Beginning with the question of what stimulated a country boy to become a designer in the late 1930s, it charts Featherston’s rise to celebrity status in the 1950s and how his work captured the imagination of ordinary Australians in their quest to be modern. Tracing his explorations of new materials and technologies and production of innovative furniture throughout the 1960s and 70s, the exhibition and accompanying publication highlight the holistic nature of his practice, which included interiors, exhibitions, photography, glass, sculpture and promotional design.

An unapologetic idealist, Grant Featherston believed design should benefit all and campaigned for professional, aesthetic and environmental standards. He shared this vision of design for life and social responsibility with his partner Mary, with whom he established Featherston Design in 1965. Beginning with the Montreal 1967 Expo Chair they focused on culturally and socially significant projects, and experimented with the potential of plastics to produce beautiful, affordable design for all.

As guest curator Denise Whitehouse says:
“Featherston’s designs exemplified a new, cosmopolitan mode of living for Australia’s post-war generation, and today his chairs are actively sought after by their grandchildren, showing their enduring influence and appeal.”

Mary Featherston explains:
“Grant and I shared the belief that the role of design is to enrich everyone’s everyday life.”

“I’m delighted that our work continues to speak to new generations of Australians and I look forward to this exhibition, which brings together objects and archival material to tell the story of our careers more fully than has been done in the past.”

The exhibition showcases more than 120 objects including the iconic Contour range, as well as rare designs and previously unseen material from the Featherston Archive.

For more information visit heide.com.au


Event starts
Saturday 30 June, 2018
Event Ends
Sunday 7 October, 2018
Heide Museum of Modern Art
Venue Address
7 Templestowe Road

Victoria, Bulleen

Heide Museum of Modern Art (opens in new window)