The Art of Design – Gabriel Poole

Image source: Contributed

Noosa Regional Gallery Director Michael Brennan previews an upcoming exhibition that celebrates internationally recognised, award-winning Australian architect Gabriel Poole.

Many of us take architecture for granted.

There is, of course, the ‘wow’ factor of experiencing an exceptional space for the first time. However, when an environment is occupied regularly, our attention is often focused on the tasks at hand as opposed to the space they play out in. But perhaps this is when skillful architecture becomes even more important. It sets the stage for the theatre of our lives and while our attention might not always be trained in its direction, it frames our mood, shapes our experience, channels our movements and connects us to our world.

While I am certainly no authority on the practice, it would appear to me that the buildings designed by Gabriel Poole possess an honesty, connectedness and functional elegance which encourages an awareness of both the surrounding environment and the individual’s place within it. There is perhaps a heightened sense of living in the moment which comes with such an experience and that in itself has the power to pull the world into perspective.

Space in Which the Soul Can Play is an exhibition surveying Gabriel Poole’s practice across some five decades. While an event like Sunshine Coast Open House provides a rare opportunity to experience a host of spaces not often available to us to explore at our leisure, equally rare is the chance to cast an eye across half a century of practice by a celebrated architect – to see at scale in one public space juxtapositions of iconic buildings that speak of, as well as help define, a particular time and place; carefully curated select details capturing angles, light, materials and space that come together in unique combinations; snapshots, drawings, plan and press clippings that have largely been filed away in personal archives; and rolling slideshows of architectural brilliance and confidence in equal measure that chart the development of a creative practice that is today synonymous with the best architecture across this region.

Guided intimately by the eye of visual artist and Gabriel’s life partner, Elizabeth Poole, and multi award-winning architect, Tim Bennetton, Space in Which the Soul Can Play gives us pause to reflect on a life significantly defined by the pursuit of an authentic and responsive architectural voice, and one which treads lightly with a mindfulness for the environments in which is sits.

Space in Which the Soul Can Play
Noosa Regional Gallery
9 Pelican Street, Tewantin
10 September – 31 October, FREE entry.

About the Author /

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Director of Noosa Regional Gallery and described as an ‘accidental curator’ this prize-winning painter and sculptor has moved from creating works to curating them. It all began when he opened The Trocadero Art Space in Footscray in an effort to build an arts community in the area and 14 years later it is still standing we are lucky to have him taking the arts to a whole new level in our region.

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