23 Aug 2018


Two years of intensive design and fabrication come to a close for SHAD with the launch of the newly refurbished Forum Theatre in Melbourne. Commissioned by the Marriner Group and Jackson Interiors, the brief was to update this distinctive venue, while respecting it’s unique style and history. 

SHAD studio worked on the re-modelling of three new bar areas in the main performance space. We designed a series of illuminated panels that ‘concertina’ across the front of each in different configurations. SHAD also designed an illuminated artwork for new banquettes, which feature an emblematic ‘gryphon’ and custom font to identify each booth and table number.

In addition, we designed and made a rechargeable custom table lamp, which can be programmed by house lighting for special events and functions. The small lamp has an iconic shape, which is both contemporary and suggestive of earlier styles. The special SHAD-OCTO cut-out pattern used on inset folds of the bar-fronts was reworked for the double-sided shade of the lamp. The same pattern was used as a motif on feature display-shelf units for the new bars positioned strategically around the venue.

25 Jan 2016


It's been several months since they were installed but we're still pondering the complex geometry and detailed assembly of the SHADLIGHT-OVAL Chandeliers ©. Four large-scale asymmetrical chandeliers were orientated to the corners of the room and set in sculpted coffers. A detailed non-repeating pattern of large 'dots' and 'dashes' (octagons and baguettes) play across two curtains of crystal that appear to crossover, dip and drape. Custom suspended lanterns, strategically placed, added greater illumination and created beautiful lighting effects. At 2000mm long x 1200mm wide with a drop of 950mm, they're impressive and substantial and yet still delicate and fresh. 

SHADLIGHT - OVAL Chandelier © 2015 - installation image

14 May 2015

SHAD unearthed

A large-scale mural I painted in 1987 for Cafe Maximus in St Kilda has been uncovered and returned to prominence by the restaurant's new owners. Approximately 12.5 metres long x 1.5 metres high, the mural was one of two commissioned for the restaurant by Alan Powell Architects. The other was by Roger Maloney. Running the length of the building they were a strong part of the restaurant's design. A tiled façade included sculptures by Peter D. Cole. I also designed two large sculptural lamps for the bar area. 

A young artist at the time, the mural was a late iteration of works started in 1982. I wanted to amalgamate my interest in the anatomical works of Vesalius with the dramatic silhouette studies in photographs and charcoal drawings I made while living in St Kilda. The fibrous trunks and bending branches of the trees were like the stripped cut-away bodies found in Renaissance woodcuts; the implicit humanism of the anatomical works became stylised and abstracted by 1986. Several of large-scale drawings made at this time were acquired by the National Gallery of Victoria and Monash University.

The mural for Cafe Maximus obviously took a different approach but the strong broad sweep of branch-like limbs are in this work too. What you get are not representations of St Kilda palm trees but four or five big intersecting curves which structure the composition of the mural. The leaping rhythms and stretched perspective of the Maximus mural suggest muscularity and life force overtaking any literal locality or landscape elements. The mural was designed to be dramatic and organic; a beautiful struggle of forceful elements. It is good to see it 'active' again!
The Maximus lights (no longer at the restaurant) were the first lights that I designed and made. I have since gone on to work at a much larger scale but the combination of art and design in the Café Maximus project continues to be a major characteristic of my practice.  

          Lona Pinxtos Bar, St Kilda.  Image courtesy of HotHouse Media & Lona Pinxtos Bar.

4 Feb 2015


A major design project, completed by SHAD in 2014, for the lobby of the new Crown Towers Hotel, City of Dreams, Manila was officially launched on 2nd February 2015. We designed two distinct chandelier types - one large central chandelier and four satellite chandeliers. The large timber sculptural forms work as signature pieces in the lobby space, providing indirect criss-crossing accents of light.

Project architects: Michael Fiebrich Design, Singapore

Image Courtesy of Michael Fiebrich Design

Image from CBN News

Special thanks to Aglo Systems. 

28 Jan 2015


The first SHAD ‘no-gami’ light sculpture was installed by the team late last year. One of several custom lightfittings designed for a partial refurbishment of the Melbourne offices of Clemenger BBDO by Powell Glenn Architects, the large white metal light-sculpture is suspended in the Atrium area from a black framework truss designed by the architects.  

The series plays with materials, scale, orientation and intrigue from all angles. Derived from experiments with cardboard models the no-gami light-sculptures play with solid planes and open space but instead of origami folds there are openings and lightly touching contact points.

Project architect: Powell & Glenn Architects

Stephen Hennessy Art & Design © 2015

27 Jan 2015


... are a suite of six sconces, each with a different detailed pattern.  

Approximately 35cm in diameter, the base of each sconce is made from a subtly contoured and asymmetrical form, over this we applied by hand a range of materials to make unique sculptural pieces. Interesting surface effects developed with the individual patterns we made, the choice of materials and some impasto medium. Custom made wall-brackets were designed to effectively position the sconce, provide maximum glow and a sculptural side view.  

We wanted to create something that could just as easily been formed or aged by nature - part fossil, part found object, part sculpture. Well received by both architect and client, they were beautiful and satisfying objects to make.

Project architect: Powell & Glenn Architects


Completed October 2014... a copper light sculpture (approximately 2700mm long x 900mm wide) for the new Gradi Pizzeria on Southbank. 

Forty eight handmade copper elements are suspended from mirror-finish stainless steel panels which reflect the hanging pieces and restaurant surroundings. Central lighting and secondary lighting accents are incorporated into a pattern of bowl and half-bowl copper shapes. Over time these elements will darken and become richer like antique implements. Positioned over a marble 'chef's table' the effect is formal yet dense, warm and playful; a mirror and copper mash up! 

Stephen Hennessy Art & Design Pty Ltd ©

Stephen Hennessy Art & Design Pty Ltd ©

19 Sep 2014


I visited Launceston for the first time recently to meet with a metal fabricator and was struck by the light and architecture. 
It held a denser atmosphere; golden, crisp and melancholy. Without looking too hard, blind windows, lateral reflections and refractions were everywhere. Tasmanian Victorian in sharp relief to the here and now.

Stephen Hennessy ©
Stephen Hennessy ©
Stephen Hennessy ©
Stephen Hennessy ©

29 Apr 2014


Recent SHAD project...

Completed March 2014, a large-scale glass window (approx 2400mm x 2400mm) for the Multi-Faith Room of the newly developed Carlton Wellbeing Precinct, Rathdowne Street, Carlton. The Precinct aims to combine aged care facilities with independent retirement living and greater community sociability. 

Project architects: Jackson Architecture.

Stephen Hennessy Art & Design ©
Stephen Hennessy Art & Design ©

13 Feb 2014


A recent project...

Striding Tigers is a relief sculpture which runs both sides of the Victoria Street, Richmond railway bridge. The large-scale sculpture of two dynamic tigers stepping through bamboo is part of the Yarra City Council's Victoria Street Gateway Project, which is officially launched in March. At approximately 22m x 2.3m per side, with over one thousand custom-made components, the project has been a major undertaking for Stephen Hennessy Art & Design occupying most of 2013.  

Project architects: Gregory Burgess Architects.

Special thanks to: Glass Metal Industries, McKinna Sheetmetal, D & M Auto Industrial Spray Painting.

Stephen Hennessy Art & Design ©
Stephen Hennessy Art & Design ©
Stephen Hennessy Art & Design ©
Stephen Hennessy Art & Design ©
Stephen Hennessy Art & Design ©
Stephen Hennessy Art & Design ©