An exhibition and celebration of chess held on Wurundjeri) and Boon Wurrung peoples of the eastern Kulin Nations land.

Working with the wonderful team at Museums Victoria I transformed part of Melbourne's iconic Immigration Museum grounds into chess-themed spaces, along with an exciting schedule of curated events. It was an invitation to chess lovers, whether seasoned players or beginners, to test their skills, participate in simuls and learn about chess history and design inspirations.

I am grateful to the wonderful team who worked with me to deliver a wonderful coming together of the chess community.

ATAB presents some of our favourite moments from Chess Without Borders
exhibition that was curated across three spaces.
PLAY Chess competition space for simul and tournaments

MAKE ATAB Dhurrie Chess Sets and custom curated work by A.Kid for the exhibition

LEARN Discovery Centre transformed into an ATAB Chess Library with books, chess sets, records and African masks telling a story of India, history and design inspiration

Chess and Masquerade
Symbolic Transformation: Momentary Play or Performance: Masquerades provide a temporary escape from reality, allowing people to assume different roles and engage in playful or performative acts by symbolically transforming the wearer into a different persona or character.

Similarly, a game of chess is a temporary realm of play where the players immerse themselves in the strategic challenges and decisions presented by the game. During the course of the game, embody take on specific roles and identities. They step into the shoes of their chess pieces and embody their characteristics and strategic abilities. Each piece, such as the king, queen, rook, bishop, knight, and pawn, has its own unique role and moves on the chessboard.

Artefacts displayed
The Flash of the Spirit - Robert Anton Farris.
BLACK AFRICA (Masks, Sculpture Jewelry) - Laure Mayer
The Imagery of Chess Revisited - Larry List
Pwo or Mwana Pwo Mask - Chokwe tribe Angola (Wood, vegetable fiber, glass beads, metal)
Kple Kple Mask - Baule tribe Ivory Coast (wood, pigment)
Vuvi Mask - Baule tribe Gabon Coast (wood, pigment)
The Bhagavad Gita
Open The Door To Your Heart - J.O.B Orquestra (vinyl)
The MUSIC of COSMOS - the score of the PBS television series COSMOS by Carl Sagan (vinyl)

E2-E4 - Manuel Göttsching (vinyl)
An improvised, one-track album that foresaw the coming of minimal techno as early as 1981 The piece itself (a single, continual track, 58:40 long) was recorded almost three years before its release at the end of a long tour, in one hour-long sitting with three humble intentions, none of them related to releasing music: practice, placating the post-tour comedown of no longer performing every night, and to give Göttsching something to listen to on an upcoming trip.

The story goes that, having played a solo concert for only himself, completely on the fly, on listening back, Göttsching discovered that he had accidentally made the perfect record. The music flowed in total balance and even once he had played it over and over he couldn’t pick out any errors – even the levels were all they should be without his trying. The album artwork also replicated a chess board that can actually be used.

BAUHAUS x Josef Hartwig
Hartwig's work was characterized by the fact that he tried to simplify the game of chess and bring it into a minimalist form. His design was based on the idea that each piece had a specific geometric shape and size to make its movements on the chessboard more intuitive and reduce the complexity of the game.

Hartwig's Bauhaus Chess is a perfect example of the Bauhaus philosophy of simplicity, functionality, and innovative aesthetics. The set is a timeless combination of art and design and represents a masterpiece of modern chess-playing art.


Maleik & Amin
A game in the iconic Long Room of the Immigration Museum photo by Sarah Pannell


ATAB Dhurrie Chess Set
Dhurrie chess set in the grand hall of the Long Room photo by Sarah Pannell


Chess Without Borders
Kple Kple Mask - Baule tribe Ivory Coast (wood, pigment).
My grandmothers photograph.


Chess Without Borders
AFRICA roots and constant source of inspiration


Chess Without Borders
AFRICA roots and constant source of inspiration


Chess Without Borders
Josef Hartwig chess pieces
E2-E4 - Manuel Göttsching (vinyl)
BAUHAUS 1919-198 - MOMA


Chess Without Borders
Design influence, from BAUHAUS to Keith Haring
Michael Graves (Architect) Travel Chess Set
Keith Haring Chess Set - Vilac


Chess Without Borders
Design influence, from BAUHAUS to Keith Haring
Keith Haring Chess Set - Vilac
BAUHAUS 1919-198 - MOMA. BAUHAUS TOYS - State of Play

The Imagery of Chess.
On December 12, 1944, The Imagery of Chess opened at the Julien Levy Gallery in New York City on the 4th floor of a townhouse at 42 East 57th Street. Conceived by the Dadaist and chess master Marcel Duchamp, gallery owner Julien Levy, and Dadaist and Surrealist Max Ernst, the exhibition brought together a group of artists who were challenged with designing chessmen that differed from the traditional sets used in everyday chess and tournament play.

My design journey has more so been an invitation to continue the legacy of "The Imagery of Chess". Applying the same attitudes in order to both experience, understand and share my love of Chess.