Home' Scoop Homes and Art : Insite 23 Summer 2009 Contents INSITE SUMMER 101
• Excellence in Furniture using Western
Australian Native Timber
• Best of the Best, WA
• Excellence in Furniture using Australian
• Best of the Best, Australia
• Excellence in Dining Furniture, WA
JahRoc took the lion's share from this
year's furniture industry awards, crowned
Best of the Best both state and nation-wide
for their stunning West Kimberley range.
The popping of the cork comes after an
eight-month development period, which
saw designer Gary Bennett and his wife
Lara travel across the West Kimberley
coastline for inspiration.
"It was actually a collaborative project
with local artist Larry Mitchell," Gary
explains. "Basically, we each took a two-
week trip up there and documented what
we saw through sketches and photos. Then
we came back, shared our experiences,
bounced ideas around and went our own
ways -- he painted, I made furniture."
Five hundred travel photos adorned the
workshop walls while Gary and business
partner David Paris created the nine-
"The most challenging piece for me
was the grandfather clock," Gary says.
"I'd never made one before. And I nearly
took to it with an axe. I'm not really a
fiddly person but my father-in-law's a
clockmaker so he helped me through the
process. Apart from that, it was pretty
Each piece captures a specific aspect of
the West Kimberley, from the cliff faces and
river systems to crocodiles and waterfalls.
e Montgomery Bar, for example, was
inspired by Montgomery Reef, an enormous
platform that protrudes from the seabed
when tides are low.
e judges praised the West Kimberley
project for pushing the boundaries of all
criteria and making a significant contribution
to Australian design and culture.
"It's about being brave," Gary says.
"Not following overseas trends and giving it
a crack yourself. We don't need to be led by
other countries' designers. I think that's
one of the great things about Australia -- we
have the opportunity to do our own thing."
JahRoc Gallery, 83 Bussell Highway, Margaret
River, (08) 9758 7200, jahroc.com.au.
• Winner - Excellence in Furniture using
Driving along the freeway is a vexing task
for most people, hampered by peak hour
traffic and over-enthusiastic lane-changers.
But it was amidst this urban nightmare
that Peter Hutchison of Obelli Designs dreamt
up his latest award-winning leather sofa.
"I got the idea from a young guy in a
hotrod who I saw scooting along with these
lights flashing under his car," he explains.
"I thought we could do that with a
e elaborate four-seater couch Peter
designed sits on stainless steel feet with
lights underneath creating a futuristic,
"At night when you walk in, the glow
allows you to see where you're going," Peter
says. "But it also adds an ambience to the
room and you change the colour at the press
of a button."
SOLID WORK: Left, "River Flows Through"
dining table/desk; this picture, JahRoc team
David Paris and Gary Bennett in their Margaret
River showroom; right, Peter Hutchinson of
Obelli Designs and his award-winning sofa below.
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