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Series 1 by The Turner Collective

Michael Turner of The Turner Collective speaks to Ola Bednarczuk about his minimalist object Series 1.


February 17th, 2011

“I feel really liberated today,” says a relaxed Michael Turner of The Turner Collective, post-opening night of his exhibition Series 1 / Issue A.


“Tara [Welsh] and I have been working on the show for 2 years. It’s always been our plan to launch these pieces in a gallery because I really feel that’s the best way to see them.”

Series 1 is a collection of 4 chairs built around minimalist principles and arising from Turner “experimenting, understanding and reinterpreting some pretty solid theories.”


“When I was at university in Queensland [studying architecture] we really didn’t study the past,” Turner recalls.

“We studied now – which was the 80s. It was all very deconstructivist; we didn’t even look at postmodernism. Since I’ve got older, I’ve gone back and discovered architects.”

The work of Rudolph Schindler resonated particularly with Turner and influenced Series 1.

“Using that as a starting point, I reduced it even further and brought in a constructivist element, an exploration of materials and shapes. I really can’t reduce these any less, and that was the goal.” 


The construction process of Series 1 took Turner on a journey in which he discovered patterns in unexpected places.

Each of the 4 pieces is accompanied by a mathematical equation that tells the story of the chair and acts almost as a recipe for how to build it.

“I’m a big believer in the journey,” Turner says. “It’s such a cliché – but if I hadn’t sketched the first chair, I wouldn’t have got the next one, and the next. I wouldn’t have got the mathematical equations and learnt all about the materials.”


The journey will continue as Turner is set to release Series 1B – a Mondrian-esque painted series, followed by 1C in solid colours and 1D, most likely in stainless steel… the scope is endless.

Series 2 is also in research and development, and Turner is dreaming up ideas for Series 3 – in between regular stints as a production designer for major Australian and Hollywood films.

“I never want to be one thing,” Turner says.

Series 1 / Issue A is on exhibit at The Depot Gallery, Danks Street until the afternoon of Saturday 19 February.

The Turner Collective

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