Meet Adelaide based designer Mandi King, ceramicist Eija Murch-Lempinen, and illustrator Jillian Packer of “A Simple Ride” opening August 7th at Bike SA.
Can you talk a little about your approach to the subject of bikes and riding in your work for this exhibition?
Jillian: I’m currently in the middle of a 365-day challenge to ride my bicycle as part of my every day experience. My observations within the local environment are combined together within my imagination to create pen and ink illustrations and prints. Intimate memories are shared, celebrating what is possible on a bicycle. A simple bike ride together with the act of drawing are both physically and mentally therapeutic in nature and are part of a greater search of finding a sense of belonging and connection to place.
Eija: My work has been inspired by the ‘mondayness’ of the bicycle. Yet, this seemingly simple object can provide so many things in our everyday lives: transport, freedom from timetables and fees, ability to exercise, push your body and keep healthy. Having used a bicycle for my daily commute for the last 5 years, I grew to really love my silent but, mostly, trusty companion to steer through rain and shine. My work is a musing about the way I, and others, use bikes to achieve more than just a commute – more of an adventure.
Mandi: For the last five years I have been working with remote indigenous youth program Bikes Palya, spending hundreds of hours putting together bikes from parts stripped at the rubbish tip. As a trained designer and craft maker, I’ve thought a lot about the beauty of their symmetry and modularity, as well as their higher purpose of working together to create a balanced, sustainable system. I find both building and riding bikes to be simultaneously meditative and creative, and I’ve used that inspiration to explore forms in which parts are mechanically reconfigured to celebrate that spirit.