ABOUT

Helen Punton is a design-led creative and project manager behind some of the most recognisable environmental and graphic design in Australia. Her portfolio includes the strategy and implementation of the branding and signage system of Melbourne’s public transport network through to interpretive exhibit design for Zoos Victoria.

Her speciality is initiating and managing complex and highly detailed creative projects involving the development of communication strategies and the management and curation of artists and diverse contributors.

Helen was one of the founders of Zaishu, launched at ACCA in 2004, a sustainable seat/table design. It involved the commissioning of local and international artists, designers and community groups to create participatory art projects and exhibitions spanning the globe in cities including Amsterdam, Bangkok, Buenos Aires,

Berlin, Los Angeles, Milan, Mumbai New York, Paris, Seoul, Stockholm, Tokyo, Vienna and Zurich.

The results exhibited in international galleries including Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum which holds several in its permanent collection. Awarded Home Beautiful Magazine’s product of the year, Zaishu was also rated by Vogue Living editor, David Clark, as one of the 20 triumphs of Australian design from the past 20 years.

Helen’s other projects include the conception and project management of the 40° Contemporary Australian Design exhibition, which showcased 24 product designers at Stilwerk Berlin in conjunction with the city’s design festival Design Mai. She also curated the Sharpies documentary photographic exhibition held at the Australian Embassy in Germany and most recently the TEDxStKilda conferences in Melbourne.

Contact: +61 (0)451 874 500

 

 

Awards

2008 Zaishu – Top 20 Australian Products in the Last 20 Years,
The Australian Newspaper, David Clark Vogue Living Editor
2007 Zaishu – Sydney Powerhouse Design Museum, Permanent  CollectionMelbourne Zoo ‘Orang-utan Sanctuary’
Excellence in Interpretive Practice Award Winner
2006 Zaishu – Home Beautiful design product of the yearWerribee Open Range Zoo ‘Kubu Camp’
Exhibition Award Winner
Australasian Regional Association of Zoological Parks and Aquaria
Silver Award Winner Interpretation Australia Association
2005 Metlink – Best Signage / Environmental Design
Melbourne Art Directors Club Award Winner
1998 Cowan Christmas Wine
Best Packaging Design, Melbourne Art Directors Club Award Winner

 

Exhibition: Project Management

2010 SustainAbility Jacob Javits Center, New York, USA
Objet de Winter Gillian Grant Gallery, Melbourne, Australia
State of Design Festival Abbotsford Convent, Melbourne, Australia
Pin Up Your Doodle Australian Center for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, Australia
2009 Americas Mart High Design, Atlanta, USA
MACEF Fiera Milano, Italy
Maison and Objet Paris-Nord Villepinte, Paris, France
Reach for the Stars Potencialidades, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Falacosagiusta Sustainable Living, Fiera Milano, Italy
Blickfang Kultur und Kongresszentrum, Stuttgart, Germany.
Footprints MCA Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia
Footprints, Blank Space, Sydney, Australia
The REAL Affordable Art Fair Streetlab, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
DesignEX Melbourne Exhibition Centre, Australia
Flora Noosa Regional Gallery, Noosa Heads, Australia
2008 Zaishu India Powerhouse Design Museum, Sydney, Australia
Tribe Wanted Fiji Project Reform School, Los Angeles, USA
New York Fashion Week Sun Studios, New York, USA
Design Australia Bangkok Design Festival, Siam Discovery Center, Thailand
Is This Seat Taken? Winkel Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Utopia Radial System, Berlin, Germany
Snort Collaboration with Angus McDonald, Tim Olsen Gallery, Sydney, Australia
2007 India Project Day on Earth, Brisbane, Australia
Extraordinary Carnegie Gallery, Hobart, Australia
Potencialidades Casa Foa, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Blickfang Kongresshaus, Zurich, Switzerland
Play Doltone House, Jones Bay Warf, Sydney, Australia
2006 Botanica,Artisan Gallery, Brisbane, Australia
30 days of Sustainability Robson Square, Vancouver, Canada
Commonwealth Games Cultural Festival Artspace, Bendigo, Australia
3rd Day Hope Street Gallery, Stockholm, Sweden
Design Mai Urban Bi Product, Berlin, Germany
Earth Dialogues World Forum Brisbane City Hall, Australia
National Design Festival Spacecraft, Melbourne, Australia
Sydney Esquisse Design Festival Customs House, Sydney, Australia
Home Beautiful Product of the Year Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, Australia
Gallery Uli Lang Biberach, Germany
Jan Murphy Gallery collaboration with David Bromley & David Band, Brisbane, Australia
State of Design Festival Melbourne GPO, Australia
Creative Madness Orson and Blake, Sydney, Australia
Cherish Artisan Gallery, Brisbane, Australia
2005 Sydney Esquisse Design Festival Bourke St, Surry Hills, Sydney
Any Time Soon Galleria 1000Eventi, Milan, Italy
Long Weekend David Hart Gallery, Noosa Heads, Australia
Milan Art Fair Milan, Italy
Launchpad Icon Gallery, Redfern, Sydney
Space Odyssey Space Gallery, Sydney, Australia
Australian Style Vibes Kulturhuset, Stockholm, Sweden
Material Language QUT Art Museum, Brisbane, Australia
Future Design Days Kulturhuset, Stockholm, Sweden
Vogue Living Australian Design Now, Object Gallery, Sydney
2004 Sensoria  Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, Australia
Container World Tokyo Docklands, Japan
Tyranny of Distance Gallery Piazza, Harajuku, Tokyo, Japan
Tyranny of Distance Seoul Design Museum, South Korea

 

Participatory Art Projects & Events (with Zaishu Director Matthew Butler)

2010 Pin Up Your Doodle Australian Center for Contemporary Art, Melbourne
Producer: Simon Griffiths from Shebeen
Creative Director: Melissa Loughnan from Utopian Slumps.
Artists: Beci Orphin, Beck Wetzler, Karl Maier, Amber Wallis, Oslo Davis, Tai Snaith, Tin and Ed. Profits from sales went to support the Shebeen social enterprise bar.Leighton Project Brisbane, Australia
Artists: Staff and family from Leighton Engineers
20 Zaishu seats from this project are used in the new Leighton Headquarters.Watsons Bay Library Sydney, Australia
Producer: Jo Jensen from Woollahara Council
Artists: Students from Vaucluse Public School and local artists
The Zaishu seats are used in the reading room of the public library.
2009 Animal Noises Tarnagulla Primary School, Victoria, Australia
Creative Director: Kerry Punton
Artists: Children from the school in grades 1 to 3
Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia
Creative Director: Trent Jansen and the Oxfam Youth Engagement program
Various artists participated in a painting workshop on the front lawn of the gallery opposite the Sydney Opera House.Reach for the Stars Buenos Aires, Argentina
Creative Director: Mercedes Castro Corbat for Potencialidades
Artists: Children from the Potencialidades safe haven in impoverished community project. Profits from sales supported to Potencialidades project.
2008 Loddon Shire Rural Youth Project Victoria, Australia
Creative Director: Kerry Punton
Artists: The students of East Loddon College, year 10 and 12
The Zaishu seats are used in the school library.The Amsterdam Project, Wilhelmina Winkel Gallery, Amsterdam.
Creative Director: Jennette Snape from Dolly Rogers.
Artists: Evelien Klien Gebbink, Esther Mosselman, Marijn Wensveen, Dolly Rogers, Jaap Simonis, Naad, Weasel, Hollywood Mark, Marieke van den Boogaard, Laser 3.14, Thomas Reineke, Wobbe van der Meulen, Geert van Kerckhove, Jacob Plooig, Christopher CostunaNew York Fashion Week Sun Studios
We collaborated with Ben Harper and David Arquette to create Zaishu seats for the launch of their new eco fashion label Propr.Tribe Wanted Vorovoro Island, Fiji
Creative Director: Kaz Brecher for Tribe Wanted
Artists: Locals and schoolchildren from the village
These Zaishu seats were sold at Reform School Store in LA with profits supporting the local school on Vorovoro Island.Tin & Ed Project  Melbourne, Australia
Creative Director: Helen Punton
Collaborating with Graphic designers Tin and Ed to create 50 custom Zaishu seats for Mini International. Profits from sales went to Ripple Charity.
2007 Play Doltone House, Jones Bay Warf, Sydney, Australia
Creative Director: Russell Kerr for AGIDEAS International Design Conference
Artists: Students from University of Western Sydney and RMIT University, MelbournePotencialldades Casa Foa, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Creative Director: Mercedes Corbat Castro
Artists: Children of Potencialldades community program
All proceeds from sales support the Potencialldades community program.Extraordinary Carnegie Gallery, Hobart, Australia
Creative Director: Richard Skinner
Artists: Students from the Tasmanian School of ArtThe India Project Samparc Children’s Village, Lonavala, India
Creative Director: Matthew Butler Producer: Shalu Sood
Artists: school children, tribal artists, traditional signwriters,
Bollywood artists, Mehndi artists, Rangoli artists
All proceeds from sales support the children of Samparc village.
2006 Surfing the Coldstream Arts Festival Yamba, Australia
Creative Director: Brendan Smith  Art Director: Emma Harrison
Artists: Students from Maclean High school and youth from YambaRed Bull Music Academy Richmond Australia
Art direction: Moth Design. Artists: various students from the academySydney Esquisse Design Festival Customs House, Sydney, Australia
Curator: Play. An interactive ‘drawing and weaving’ installation that evolved over time.Design City: Urban Bi Product Design Mai, Berlin, Germany
Creative Director: Helen Punton Artists: Bon Gout, Rainer Spehl3rd Day Hope Street Gallery, Stockholm, Sweden
Creative Director: Helen Punton Curator: Fred Ting
Artists: Andy Redman, Jesper Waldernsten, Bea Hellman, Matthew Horsnell, Hanna Werning, Lisa Green, Ulla Doyen
All proceeds from sales supported World Vision’s Invisible Children project in Uganda.Bendigo Youth Arts Project Commonwealth Games Festival, Artspace, Bendigo, Australia
Creative Director: Helen Punton Art direction: Kerry Punton
Artists: Youth from the Bendigo Youth Arts ProjectSwell 30 Days of Sustainability, Robson Square, Vancouver, Canada
Executive producer: Propeller design
An art exchange project between Australia and Canada.
2005 Sydney Esquisse Design Festival Sydney Australia.Anytime Soon Galleria 1000Eventi, Milan Italy (with Simone Le Amon and Marc Pascal)
Creative Director: Simone Le Amon
Artist curator: Abi Crompton at Third Drawer Down
Artists: Kat Macleod, Andrew Nicholls, Karla Pringle, Lori Jean Kirk, David Wlazlo, Chaco Kato, James Green and Florence Broadhurst prints by Signature prints.Space Odyssey Space Furniture, Sydney, Australia
Creative Director: Heidi Douklil Art direction: Mini Graff, Trent Jansen
Artists: clients from the Odyssey House drug rehabilitation art therapy program. All proceeds from sales supported this program.Anytime Soon Galleria 1000Eventi, Milan Italy (with Simone Le Amon and Marc Pascal)
Creative Director: Simone Le Amon
Artist curator: Abi Crompton at Third Drawer Down
Artists: Kat Macleod, Andrew Nicholls, Karla Pringle, Lori Jean Kirk, David Wlazlo, Chaco Kato, James Green and Florence Broadhurst prints by Signature prints.Material Language QUT Art Museum, Brisbane, Australia
Six week art / design workshop with Architecture and design students from QUT University
Investigating the properties of recycled materials for future design use.Dumbo Feather Magazine Art Event, Global Gallery, Sydney, Australia
Creative Director: Kate Bezar
Artists: Remo, Louise Olsen and many more.
All proceeds from sales supported the Traditional (Aboriginal) Knowledge Recording Project.Long Weekend David Hart Gallery, Noosa Heads, Australia
Executive producer: Jacqui Lewis. Art workshop with local artists in the gallery
2004 Sensoria ACCA, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, Australia
Painting event and interactive art / design installation
Curator: Christopher Kaltenbach. Artist curator: Andy Mac from CitylightsArtists: Amac, Blead, David Campbell, Dens, Dlux, E3, Micheal Fikaris, Tom Gerrard, Ha Ha, Ash Keating, LTMP, Kieran Mangan, Monkey, Aaron O’Donnell, Pandarosa, Phibs, Prism, Reach, Reks, Rone, SRX, Vexta. Interns: Jenny Ford, Kate Jackson.Zaishu Workshop. Federation Square, Melbourne, Australia.Interactive furniture making event, produced by Inside MagazineHome Project St Vincent de Paul and Space Furniture, Melbourne, Australia
Art workshop with 25 artists from SVDP youth project followed by interactive assembly event at Space Furniture Melbourne. Assistant producer: Adam DunnZaishu Workshop Federation Square, Melbourne, Australia
Interactive furniture making event, produced by Inside Magazine