Photographer Shannon McGrath talks about shooting a collection of 40 highly unusual table settings for the NGV fundraising event Best of the Best.
Recently I was approached by Clemence Harvey of Harvey Publicity to offer my photographic services to photograph some table settings.
I found this quite strange until I heard the concept. The National Gallery of Victoria Women’s Association have set up Best of the Best, an gala dinner and exhibition showcasing individual table settings by some of Australia’s top interior designers, landscape artists, culinary experts, retailers and couturiers.
The event, as highlighted by the NGV, is inspired by a similar event on the Upper East Side, New York – the annual “Lennox Hill Neighborhood House Spring Gala”. When I arrived at the offices of Hecker Guthrie, I certainly didn’t know quite what to expect.
There were three tables set up and instead of each designer decorating their own tables they had decided to make it a group collaboration between the creators. There was Hecker Guthrie, Fleur McHarg from Fleur, Julian Ronchi of Garden Design and interior designer Adelaide Bragg.
Together, they created an Alice In Wonderland theme including taxidermy pigs and a real fluffy white rabbit, a Hampton’s/ Palm Springs style theme along with a more medieval themed setting. It was a great shoot, really a lot of fun… Especially when Bergie, Hecker Guthrie’s office dog, tried to sniff out the rabbit. The rabbit was well protected by all on site, of course.
It was fantastic to see designers from different fields come together to create something wonderful for charity. With 40 unique table settings designed by 40 prominent creative Australian minds, the gala dinner is set to be one of the most unique dining settings Melbourne will ever see… The following day all settings will be on display for a one day exhibition.
Best of the Best
Gala dinner: Thursday 18th April, 7.30pm
Exhibition: Friday 19th April, 10am – 3pm
St Kilda Town Hall
99 Carlisle Street
By Shannon McGrath