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True Self: Exhibition Design

To account for varied presentation spaces, SWA’s exhibition design carefully employs materials and objects to create a threshold between the gallery space and the work.

  • Shortlist – Small Project Category

    Victorian Architecture Awards 2014

    Client Brief

    Our design provides a material and spatial response to the spaces and environments within David Rosetzky’s work itself, to “clear the world away from the work”, as requested by Naomi Cass, the co-curator of the exhibition and director of the Centre for Contemporary Photography.

    Design Response

    True Self: David Rosetzky Selected Works the first major survey of this leading Australian artist. It draws on fifteen years of practice, featuring a selection of early portrait and longer duration videos, photographs, photo-collages and sculpture, and will travel throughout Australia from 2013 – 15. Our design primarily provides frames to conceal the technology and monitors for the various screen works, plinths for sculptural works and loose furniture. A key consideration was the durability of the exhibition elements, ease of transportation and reinstallation.

    This design intent was to find, from within the work, the best way to support the presentation of these carefully crafted works across the multiple, highly different venues in which they would be shown. This was a task we felt was of utmost sensitivity, to avoid inserting a new dialogue or architectural summation of David’s art: to echo rather than engage.

    The work Think of Yourself as Plural was the point of connection between the works and the design concepts. Colours and fabrics in this work provided a basis for the material and colour palette, junctions of textured and abstract, natural and artificial character – plywood, paint, linoleum.

    The visual craft of David’s work, his careful selection and composition of the everyday, transforms the objects and things within the works; all seem to be embedded within the work, with a purpose beyond their inherent functions. These ‘props’ become a way in thinking about how we could design the elements within the exhibition, in particular the seating.  Rather then design a new thing, we transformed – sort of petrified – something ordinary, in this case camp seating.

  • True Self: Exhibition Design Characteristics

    Key values

    • Restricted palette of materials and colours
    • Simple fabrication methods
    • Robust materials
    • Simple, logical installation procedure
    • Subtle and sensitive response to exhibited work

    Key materials

    • Duroloid Furniture Linoleum
    • Hoop Pine Plywood with Resene ‘Whitewash’
    • Steel Frame
    • CNC Routed MDF
  • True Self: Exhibition Design Specifications

    Core deliverables

    • Wall mounted and free-standing frames for screen works
    • Plinths
    • Signage Panels
    • Seating

    Services Provided

    • Concept design
    • Construction documentation
    • Fabrication
    • Installation assistance


    Workshop Architecture


    Project Director: Simon Whibley
    Project Team: Simon Whibley, Aaron Robinson
    Fabricators: Richard Giblett, Aaron Robinson, SWA
    Technology: Prodigious Concepts

    Images are of initial Exhibition install at the Center For Contemporary Photography by Sean Godsell Architects.  Install photography by Tim Gresham, images of opening by J. Forsyth


    Centre for Contemporary Photography, NETS Victoria

    Date completed


  • True Self: Testimonials

    SWA has created an elegant and effective solution to the problem of exhibiting many moving image works within what is in fact, one sonic space.

    Sensitive to the work of David Rosetzky and the viewers experience, the architect has created a cleverly pragmatic system for touring the work.

    Simon’s collaborative process has been exemplary, enabling input from with many different interests, all within the constraints of budgets and imperfect exhibition environments

    Naomi Cass, Director CCP, Melbourne

  • True Self: Downloads

    True Self Press Information PDF

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