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Decorex 2015 – My Personal Favourites

This year I took my little assistant designer Sebastian to Decorex, the international interiors show at Syon Park, Middlesex. He enjoyed running around the stands and would lead the way most of the time. With a rich heritage of 38 years the show is synonymous with luxury and is internationally renowned for being THE event to discover the very best in interior design.


My Little Assistant Designer Sebastian. Photo Designer’s Atelier

The first stand that really caught my attention was an award winning, avant-garde textiles label BeatWoven® which pioneers globally in pattern exploration with its couture fabrics for the prestige interior design market. It uses its skilfully coded audio technology as an instrument to translate and reveal the geometric patterns created by the beats and sounds in music. Simply by playing songs and sounds it visualises and orchestrates pattern formations that fuse harmoniously with textiles, particularly with the traditional craft technique of weaving. Through innovation, woven pattern and form is reinvented, fabric aesthetic is challenged and music, fashion and lifestyle are linked. Each couture fabric creates a conversational art piece ready to contribute to an interior landscape of curiosity and emotional connection.


DreaMelody Beatwoven

It was back in 2008 that founder Nadia-Anne Ricketts discovered an interesting arithmetic connection between the architecture of music and the architecture of woven cloth. A professional dancer and weaver Nadia rapidly saw the exciting potential of fusing patterns found in the universal language of music, with the global patterned realm of textiles. To fabricate our lifestyles with exquisite designs translated from music would mean innovative design that expands on personal music experiences and connections. The exploration of how to capture the invisible patterns in an aesthetically beautiful way evolved with the development of its first software programme in 2009, leading to the worlds first Fabrics of Sound.


Handel BeatWoven

The other stand that I spent some time exploring was innovative craft work by 21 talented makers called Future Heritage which focuses on ceramics, glass, textiles, wood, plastic, silver and furniture. What unites this band of very diverse makers is their ability to propel traditional craft disciplines into exciting new areas. “All the craftspeople I’ve selected make beautiful, interesting, intelligent pieces and push the boundaries of techniques and making,” says curator Corinne Julius, a freelance journalist and broadcaster with a deep-seated passion for contemporary craft. “These pieces reflect the spirit of the age we’re living in, yet can still sit well in traditional, as well as contemporary, interiors.”


Poison Pen Katharine Morling Photo Credit Stephen Brayne

I really loved Katharine Morling‘s ceramic pieces. An award winning artist describes her work as 3 dimensional drawings, in the medium of ceramics. Each piece, on the surface, an inanimate object, has been given layers of emotion and embedded with stories, which are open for interpretation in the viewer’s mind. When put together, the pieces combine to make a tableau staging the still lives of everyday objects. The life size pieces and the unexpectedness of the scale create a slightly surreal experience as you walk through this strange environment.


Katharine Morling Undercurrent

Katharine works very instinctively, one piece leads to the next, she tries not to pin down what she’s doing or even why. Her searching is never complete; each piece is a journey for answers that are only hinted at, with more questions.”


Beetle Shelf, Aliens from the Undergrowth, Chenbo Shi

‘Aliens from the Undergrowth” is a collection of papier mâché furniture by Chinese designer Chenbo Shi. Inspired by the morphology and construction of different insects, these distinctive furniture pieces create a cultural identity for nature, intended for contemporary urban interiors and social spaces.


Centre Table, Aliens from the Undergrowth, collection of papier mâché furniture by Chinese designer Chenbo Shi

‘Do you remember, when your home was surrounded by butterflies, beetles and even wasps? Now for many of us they are so rare that we have even lost our curiosity to look at these small yet fascinating creatures in the undergrowth.’ Fascinated with insects and nature, Shi explores new ways to recognize and celebrate the beauty of insects. He became interested in the morphology and structure of insects and how paper wasps make paper-like material to build their nests. Drawing upon the ancient history of papier mâché furniture to create lightweight cupboards, tables and shelves, the furniture pieces are made with structures and forms drawn from insects.

Shi pushes the boundary from furniture to sculpture, from design to art. The centre table unites the structural strength with handmade paper decorated with brush and ink drawing traditions to provide delicate unusual surfaces. While the shelf is completely constructed on the wall like beetles do. Organic, subtle and lightweight, they may give you the creeps but somehow feel rather familiar at the same time.


Marcin Rusak Lamp

And the third artist multidisciplinary designer that deserves attention is Marcin Rusak who is  interested in ideas of value, ephemerality and aesthetics. Specializing in storytelling, process and material investigation his work often incorporates research, object and installation as well as visual creations to explore overlooked details of our lives which recreated and reimagined are shown again in a different light.


Marcin Rusak Flower Monster

As the son and grandson of flower growers he has long been fascinated by these natural sources of inspiration and decoration. Engaging them
in his creative process began by reusing waste to investigate new decorative elements within every day objects and led to a rich body of work ranging from research and storytelling to cultural criticism around consumption and future scenarios.

Unrestrained by a specific medium, and consistently inspired by the beauty and subtlety of the natural world Marcin embodies the philosophies of Art Nouveau in a contemporary context. Through research, craft, the utilization of cutting edge technology and a strong personal aesthetic he embraces a total approach to art in order to reevaluate objects and their significance to us while celebrating the organic outcome of natural materials and processes.

I remember spotting Blackpop‘s collection at last year’s Decorex for the first time. Maxine Hall’s new 


Blackpop’s abstract wallpaper and fabric design deconstructs paintings of Henry VIII, Mary I; Elizabeth I

Many of the images were taken as a part of the National Portrait Gallery’s Making Art in Tudor Britain research project, which has deepened understanding the Gallery’s collection  of 16th century portraits through close examination of the paintings using imagining techniques such as photo microscopy, x-radiography  and infrared reftectography.


Henry Wallpaper, Blackpop


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