Tony Docherty grew up in rural Western Australia in the 60’s/70’s. He now lives and works as a professional designer maker in Denmark, south coast of Western Australia. He creates one off furniture pieces via commissions or for exhibitions and develops homewares for his brand DOCO. He is represented in WA and NSW galleries and has exhibited overseas. Recently he has returned his focus to sculpture – a long term passion – and is currently developing new series of works.
His active association with the ‘DesignXchange’ group – a group set up with the support of Form to support designers in the Great Southern Region – has been instrumental in Tony’s ongoing development of new work. In 2004 in conjunction with Curtin University’s design faculty Tony developed new work which gained him an invitation to exhibit at the Tokyo Design Week. Two years on Tony was invited by FORM to travel to the ‘Milan Furniture Fair’ in Italy to exhibit.
DesignXchange group, Great Southern Region, WA.
FORM, Centre for Contemporary Craft and Design, Perth, WA
Denmark Arts, Denmark WA
Joint Art Exhibitions
2010 “North of Us”; Lake Grace, Denmark, and Vancouver Arts Centre
2010 “Coastal” Southern Art Trail, CSL gallery, Denmark.
2009 “East of us” shown in Ravensthorpe and Denmark
2001 “Wood from the South Coast”, Fremantle Centrepiece Gallery, WA
2000 “From the Forest”, Fremantle Centrepiece Gallery, WA
1999 “Inside Out” Moores Building, Fremantle, WA
Joint Furniture Exhibitions
2006 “Salone Satellite” Milan furniture fair Italy
Mallees are dwarf eucalypts varying between 2m-10m in height, and found in the inland regions of NSW, SA and WA. Mallee roots are the remaining lignotubers of these hardy, multi-trunked, trees which were cleared by the millions of acres to establish what is known as the Wheatbelt.
Mallee roots were often cursed by farmers for their toughness and their ability to puncture tractor tires and destroy farm machinery. The only worth given to Mallee roots then was the warmth they generated in farmhouse fires. Today, despite being extremely hard and difficult to work, they are prized for their stability and their beautiful marbled grain which takes a superb finish.
Tony Docherty has a long and varied affinity with these roots. Growing up in the northern wheatbelt farming community of Mullewa, he spent many weekends with his family ‘root picking’ for their winter fires. Now as a sculptor he is selecting root specimens from what remains of a once vast resource, and developing a new sculpture series. Through carving and sanding into the roots’ structures he exposes the inherent beauty of the underlying wood and creates a new personal interpretation of the root. By leaving remnants of the gnarled and weathered exterior he creates an ongoing reference to the mallee-root’s age and its historical stories.