Bethan Laura Wood announced for NGV MECCA 2023 Women in Design Commission

As part of the commission – announced to coincide with International Women’s Day – London-based designer Bethan Laura Wood will be invited to create new work for Melbourne's NGV, to be unveiled December 2023

 Image Caption Portrait of designer Bethan Laura Wood , recipient of the 2023 MECCA x NGV Women in Design Commission
Portrait of designer Bethan Laura Wood, recipient of the 2023 MECCA x NGV Women in Design Commission
(Image credit: Mark Cocksedge)

On International Women's Day 2023, Bethan Laura Wood was announced as the recipient of the 2023 Women in Design Commission from NGV and MECCA's M-Power initiative. The Melbourne Museum and Australian beauty brand have joined forces since 2016 on a series of projects that 'empower and engage female artists and designers. These include commissioning a creative for the MECCA annual holiday packaging, and collaborating on the M-Power grant programme, offering emerging female artists and designers a year-long mentoring support. 

This is the second Women in Design Commission, following Tatiana Bilbao in 2022, whose work at NGV drew attention to deep inequalities around domestic work in contemporary society. Over five years, new commissioned designers will be announced to coincide with International Women’s Day each March, while the final work will be presented by the end of the year. At the end of the five-year partnership, NGV will host an exhibition to showcase the five new works, also strengthening the presence of women creators within the NGV collection. 

Bethan Laura Wood, NGV and MECCA: Women in Design Commission 2023

Bethan Laura Wood chandelier

Bethan Laura Wood’s ‘Nilufar Wisteria Chandelier’, 2022 

(Image credit: Emanuele Tortora)

‘I am honoured to produce new works which will become a permanent addition to the NGV Collection,' comments Wood. 'This commission, supported by MECCA, will allow deeper exploration into my practice of material investigations and offers a unique opportunity to present my contemporary design pieces in conversation with historical works from the NGV Collection.’

Bethan Laura Wood colourful design

Bethan Laura Wood’s ‘Poltronova Superonda+Terrazzo’, 2022

(Image credit: Serena Elle)

Since starting her studio in 2009, Wood's maximalist, colourful work has explored materials and craft, spanning a range of media. There is seemingly no limit to what Wood can do: applying her optimistic style to rugs inspired by succulents or fruit salad, intricate Murano-glass creations, bug-inspired Boudour furniture and practical ceramics are just a few of her recent projects and collaborations, which also include meaningful endeavours with specialist artisans from Venice to Mexico.

Opening in December 2023 until April 2024, her installation for the Women in Design Commission will combine furniture, textiles and scenography, focused on a theme of the gendered history of education and learning.

Bethan Laura Wood and rug

Bethan Laura Wood in collaboration with Christopher Farr’s ‘Jelly Salad‘, 2022

(Image credit: Tom Mannion)

‘The enormous talent and contribution of designers like Bethan remind us how important it is to ensure that women are represented not just in design schools, but in studios, galleries and leadership positions in the design industry,' says Jo Horgan, founder and co-CEO, MECCA, and NGV Foundation board member. 'Bethan’s multidisciplinary approach also reminds us that creativity, diverse thinking and curiosity can achieve remarkable things, and help us to see the world in new ways. MECCA M-POWER is all about championing equality and opportunities for women and girls, and we’re so delighted to be able to help bring Bethan’s work to new audiences and inspire women and girls in Australia to dream big.'

Bethan Laura Wood

Bethan Laura Wood’s ‘Nilufar Meisen Caterpillar’, 2022

(Image credit: Emanuele Tortora)

Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.