Bench, prototype, Australian blackwood / jarrah, designed and made by Leon Sadubin, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1987
Leon Sadubin (born 1948) is an important Australian furniture maker who has carved a significant career as both designer and maker over several decades. He was a founding member of the Woodworkers' Group of New South Wales in 1978 and remains an active committee member today. From 1977 Sadubin operated a highly successful woodworking practice in Thornleigh, Sydney and since about 2000 has lived and worked from a house and studio he built near Berry in the Southern Highlands. He was the recipient of a Churchill Fellowship in 1982 to study cabinetmaking in Denmark and Germany and has completed many commissions for private and corporate clients, including the Powerhouse in 1988.
Influenced by Danish design and traditional Danish and German furniture-making techniques, Sadubin's work embodies both high level design skill and technical know-how as well as a deep knowledge of and passion for Australian timbers. The best of his furniture, including the writing desk commissioned by the Powerhouse in 1988, major pieces for the Jeandare house, Sydney (2000-2004) and the Parliament House benches reflect the work of an experienced master craftsman, one of Australia's most skilled contemporary furniture makers.
This acquisition includes a silky oak bench, full-size blackwood prototype bench and 1:10 scale model completed as part of the large commission to design and make 93 benches for public and administrative spaces in new Parliament House, Canberra, 1986-88. The project was commissioned by the architects Mitchell, Giurgola, Thorp and was completed by Sadubin, with the help of assistants, by the opening of the building in May 1988. The benches are still in use. The acquisition is accompanied by correspondence and drawings documenting the commissioning process and the evolution of the design.
Made by Leon Sadubin at his Thornleigh, Sydney workshop c.1987 as a full size prototype.
Made as a full-size prototype by Leon Sadubin for the commission to design and make 93 benches for the new Parliament House building designed by Mitchell, Giurgola, Thorp, Canberra, 1988. This example retained by Sadubin.