In some ways RAW Artist Showcase Gold Coast 2016 seems like an eternity ago, but in others ways it was just yesterday… That was where I discovered the extraordinary talents of Damian Berrili and realised it was time to start collaborating again. In amongst the buzz, the fun, the love and all round goodness of RAW, there was one person’s work that really stood out. Mesmerising timber forms melting into pewter. A divine vision of fluidity turned solid, and an unparalleled sense of balance. Not only that – but sublime craftsmanship thrown into the mix!!

Naturally this photo really doesn’t do justice to what drew me in, but it’s the only record I have of this ‘ah ha’ moment. This magical work compelled me to do the impossible and climb out of my cocoon for once and make contact. Was Damian interested in a few collaborations? Could he see himself working with a crazy mirror and glass artist? To give you an idea of just how awkward I generally am – here’s me in my natural habitat enjoying the blissful aroma of automotive acrylic

Many moons ago I completed a Bachelor in Industrial Design, and the pleasure I derived from designing and creating in multiple dimensions has never abandoned me. Trapped by the necessities of economics, I’d been making do by pushing pixels (graphic design) for assorted clients and finding it a little empty in some ways. There was a part of my grey matter that was feeling neglected and unloved). It was only when I saw Damain’s work that an urgent desire to return to my first passion and work in as many dimensions as possible came cascading back. With Damian’s genius for form and technical expertise, the pair of us could bring our shared experiences together to create something completely unique.

Much to my relief Damian jumped at the idea, and Décor Fusion was born.

In the 12 months since we started collaborating, we’ve been bouncing ideas off each other at a phenomenal rate – from unusual mirrors incorporating sandblasting, camphor laurel and enamel artwork, to table designs and concrete creations that push our understanding of materials to new levels, we are only on the cusp of our potential. We have a commission in progress that we aren’t able to display yet, but needless to say, it sends an electric thrill through our collective spines every time we plan the next stage. With my demented imagination and Damian’s sense of form we believe we can take timber, metal, glass, concrete and as yet untapped mediums into the next dimension. Whether they be functional like gorgeous glass and timber tables, or purely aesthetic like magnificent concrete artworks, endless opportunities unfurl before us. We are building a maelstrom of creativity from which we may never escape! In honour of this concept I have dubbed my recently expanded workshop ‘The Vortex’ – a space that sucks me in and rarely lets me escape.

Below are some photos from the RAW Artist Showcase we did in Brisbane recently. I’d like to think that when the next showcase comes around we will take on a completely different direction again!

Ilia Chidzey