Designing, building and living in the most spectacular and distinctively Australian homes of the past 60 years – an insider’s look with Karen McCartney. Iconic Australian Houses: an exhibition by Karen McCartney, is on display at Grafton Regional Gallery from May 30, and offers a behind-the-scenes exploration of 29 of the most important Australian homes of the past 60 years. It starts in the 1950s with the works of a new breed of Australian architects, and culminating in key works from some of Australia’s contemporary masters. Sydney Living Museums in partnership with Architecture Foundation Australia is delighted to present this important exhibition that looks beyond the physical structures to shine a light on the stories of the architects and clients. The result is an intimate portrait of the design, building and lived experience of that most elusive of creations – the iconic house. Exhibition curator, Karen McCartney, said the houses were chosen because of their innovation, design and response to climate and place. “They are the best representation of the extraordinary calibre of architects and thinking that Australia has produced over the past six decades,” she said. “The pioneering architects of the 50s, 60s and 70s took international design influences and reinterpreted them to suit the Australian landscape and climate. Since that time, architectural expression has really flourished in this country. It is something that we do really well.” Using material drawn from her best-selling books 50/60/70 Iconic Australian Houses and 70/80/90 Iconic Australian Houses; the houses featured are brought to life through vivid photography, rich illustrations, 3D models and filmed interviews with the architects who designed the homes and the people who commissioned and live in them. Sydney Living Museums assistant director, Dr Caroline Butler-Bowdon, said they were bold houses. “Karen’s great quality, and the reason that we are so thrilled to be working with her, is her special talent for taking these innovative, sometimes monumental homes and revealing the intimate inner-life of these structures, the fascinating detail,” she said.