I have always had a love of craft and purchased it for my home. As an interior stylist I have always drawn to beautiful handmade, handcrafted items and used them in my shoots. They add personality and soul to a photograph and to a home. I discovered Flow Gallery around 15 years ago and it is one of the galleries I have always bought from and borrowed their exquisite pieces and got to know the owner, Yvonna Demczynska, over the years. Yvonne had one of my postcards – a photo from one of my for Elle Decoration stories – displayed on her pinboard for years and at a couple of charity evenings at the gallery, she told me her plans about redeveloping the gallery into an exciting new live/work gallery space and asked me if I would like to curate an exhibition for when the new gallery opened. I was thrilled.
Line Up is an exhibition of contemporary craft that examines shape, pattern and texture within a monochrome palette. The shapes of the handmade objects are graphic and bold with expressive mark making. Compositions of objects are explored, and still lives created that could be displayed in any home. The ceramics selected have a graphic, handmade quality, strong shapes, with some pieces decorated with expressive markings. All pieces are for sale and prices start from £45.00.
The makers selected are a mixture of artists, some I have longstanding relationships with, some are well-known designers I have not yet worked with before but admired, and some are new ceramists who graduated last Summer. Artists include: Akiko Hirai, Astrid Keller, Bettina Dittlmann, Derek Wilson, Dr Tim Willey, Hyu Jin Jo, Kaori Tatebayashi, Nicola Tassie, Jochem de Wit, Silvia K, Theo Adamson and Akiko Hirai.
One inspiration for styling the show was Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge, which had a lasting impression on me since my first visit in my teens. It is a magical place, the home where Jim Ede, a former curator at the Tate, avid art collector and promoter of the contemporary artists of his day, pioneered art and craft in a domestic context. The idea for the show was to display items as still lives that could be lifted and placed on a mantlepiece or shelf in any home and it fitted perfectly with Yvonna’s new live/work gallery space.
As I wanted to incorporate the Kettle’s Yard influence of craft and art, I have also created a series of paintings especially for the show. They began as textured backgrounds to add to the composition and as a styling tool to frame the ceramics, but also as artworks that could stand alone. They are abstracts on canvas of fleeting views through train windows, florals, sea and landscapes and mainly inspired by nature. A love of painting was reignited at the Slade School of Art where my painted work became about horizons and strong ‘line’ visual which sits with the exhibition theme.
I have also included vintage chairs from Béton Brut to add an additional domestic feel to the gallery space.
The exhibition is showing until 15th May 2015 so if you are in West London then do stop by at:
1-5 Needham Road
Opening times: Mon and Tuesday 2pm – 6pm, Wednesday to Saturday 11am – 6pm. Closed Sunday.
All of the items on display are able to be purchased from Flow Gallery and prices range from £45 to £1000.
I took a few quick snaps just before the guests arrived for the packed private view! I also want to say a very big thank you to Yvonna for giving me this opportunity and to the Flow team for a fantastic private view.
The exhibition runs until 15th May so please do visit, I hope you enjoy it.
You can also see more photos from my shoot with Beth Evans here.
Sania Pell is a freelance interior stylist, creative director and consultant based in London. She is a contributing stylist at Elle Decoration magazine, with whom she has worked for 16 years, and is known for bringing a unique aspect to photographic shoots for national publications, leading brands and retailers as well as style consultancy for top architecture practices and property development companies. She is the author of best-selling book The Homemade Home and The Homemade Home for Children. A trained, former textile designer, Sania is also involved in many multi-disciplinary creative projects.
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