Creative Industries


13 May 2013

QUT Interior Design students are collaborating with international stylist and designer Sibella Court to create a 'Cabinet of Curiosity' as part of the Queensland Museum's latest exhibition, Curators of Cool.

Ms Court is one of five guest curators invited to choose special artifacts or specimens that epitomise 'cool' in their eyes, making their selections from more than 1.2 million treasures in the State Collection.

The project has been developed to recast the role of a museum in modern society as a place that can talk about contemporary social trends and engage with new audiences.

Curators of Cool was launched in May with Ms Court preparing a micro-exhibition on the "beauty and expression" of the natural world.

"As a lover of vaults of museums, this is right up my alley and I believe getting someone like me who does not have a museum background brings a complete new perspective," Ms Court said.

The professional designer has chosen artefacts that she deems 'cool' and wants to include in her micro-exhibit.

"The theme I am working with is Cabinets of Curiosity, from the 1800s," Ms Court said.

"I have a bird fascination at the moment so I am currently working with choosing materials along those lines to include."

QUT graduate Ben Hamley is the manager of audience research, strategy and advocacy for the Queensland Museum and has been leading Curators of Cool.

"The Queensland Museum is the ideal place to explore all sorts of interesting things that shape our time and our place, so what better way to do that than to ask someone, 'What do you think is cool?" Mr Hamley said.

"And in doing so we hope to retell the collections in a new way that is going to engage people and make them feel that the museum is a place that deals with big dangerous ideas."

With big ideas in mind and limited time in the archives, Ms Court focused on exploring specific collection aisles, selecting feathers and eggs while putting all her energy into her selections and sketching the installation that will accompany them.

Working alongside her in the archives and on the installation were fourth year QUT interior design students Simone Lockley and Rebecca Shaw.

Ms Court was impressed with their work ethic and abilities.

"They were just professional, very professional even beyond me. Their layout and presentations in the design process have been really wonderful," she said.

They along with four other final year interior design students (Rachael Gwaro, Tamara Eade, Louise Willey and Hayley Fitzgerald) are now working on constructing an installation area to exhibit Ms Court's chosen pieces.

The students have been given a brief and will be designing the line designs on the back wall drawing from interesting shapes from the archives that they can use to create a visual.

"Sibella wants it to be really cluttered and slightly chaotic, so she wants a big crocodile skull next to a tiny little bird, so she does not want order with it but just really interesting shapes," Ms Lockley said.

"Though this may not be what we do when we graduate it is exciting to make connections with the industry and be creative," Ms Shaw said.

QUT Lecturer in interior design, Natalie Wright has been delighted with the students willingness to collaborate with the Queensland Museum on this project on top of their final year workload.

"They have demonstrated that they are ready to operate as professional designers and actively participate in Queensland's cultural fabric," Ms Wright said.

Over the next year the project will involve another five teams of QUT third and fourth year interiors students designing and constructing installations for a range of renowned creatives who define what is cool.

QUT Interior Design
Natalie Wright
07 3138 7786

'Curator of Cool' Sibella Court (centre) with QUT Interior Design students Rebecca Shaw and Simone Lockley at the Queensland Museum.

QUT Interior Design students Rebecca Shaw and Simone Lockley at the Queensland Museum.


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