This shoot was influenced by my love of Japan and experiences on a recent family holiday there. It was photographed by the talented Ben Anders.
I have always admired the way the Japanese use space, embrace texture and use dark shadows and this shoot explores those elements, showing that even when there is empty space, an image can feel complete.
A recent book I read, a gift from a friend, entitled In The Praise Of Shadows is an essay on Japanese aesthetics by author and novelist Jun’ichirō Tanizaki. It explores architecture and a sense of the use of space in buildings. This magical book also includes descriptions of lacquerware under candlelight and illustrates beauty in the imperfect.
I painted the backdrops and surfaces to give texure and interest to calm areas in the shots. The foliage was selected for the natural imperfections. The shot above was influenced by temple moss gardens, small internal courtyard gardens and miniature planting.
Many props were brought back from Japan from visits to flea markets, stationers, calligraphy stores and ceramics galleries. Other props were from home made by Japanese ceramicists and bought from Flow Gallery.
Photography Ben Anders, styling Sania Pell.
July 18, 2016 in interior styling
These images are from my styling story entitled ‘Scandenese’ that was published in the April issue of Elle Decoration UK and photographed by the talented Heidi Lerkenfeldt. The concept was based around my observation of the similarities between Scandinavian and Japanese design, two of my favourite styles.
It illustrates how both cultures celebrate purity and paired back living. The shoot is about clean lines, natural materials and elements of nature which the talented Simone Gooch from Fjura provided with the flowers.
July 10, 2016 in food styling
This story is a play on the classic still life oil painting style of the Dutch masters in the 17th century. A table top shoot with fresh fruit and vegetables and classic props – styled simply and graphically, with minimal items and using empty space to make them look modern in contrast to the often visually-busy Golden Age still life paintings. Photography by the talented Beth Evans.
After the success of the Line Up show at Flow Gallery in London last year, we were asked by Devon Guild of Craftsmen to expand the original show with additional works and fill their large exhibition space in Bovey Tracey. The exhibition ran in Devon from 16 January until 6 March 2016.
Line Up was an exhibition of contemporary craft, this exhibition explores the relationship between objects; how they combine and interact in styled groups. Read more here.
The artists include a mixture of established designer-makers alongside emerging new talents: Another Country, Theo Adamson, Kyra Crane, Jason Collingwood, Bettina Dittlman, Akiko Hirai, Hyu-jin Jo, Silvia K, Astrid Keller, Sue Lawty, Liz Nilsson, Brook Sigal, Kaori Tatebayashi, Nicola Tassie, Dr Tim Willey, and Derek Wilson alongside my own paintings.
Following my trip to Devon to style the show I took these photos, just before everyone arrived for the private view.
A ‘Guild’ is traditionally a community of tradespeople offering mutual support and networking. The Devon Guild of Craftsmen was founded in 1955 by local furniture-maker Edward Baly and a group of artisans who wanted to share skills and support eachother in their craftmaking. They set up an annual summer exhibition which was held at various locations until Riverside Mill became the HQ.
From an original membership of just 18 the Devon Guild has grown to its current membership of around 240 makers from South West England.
Devon Guild of Craftsmen is a charity and Membership organisation which aims to create as many opportunities as possible for people to enjoy and learn about contemporary craft.
They hold exhibitions at their Riverside Mill galleries, where this is also a cafe and large craft shop, as well as touring shows throughout the country, providing education projects and partnering in the Contemporary Craft Festival – they are dedicated to one mission: inspiring creative excellence through contemporary craft.
Visit their website here.
Many thanks to Devon Guild of Craftsmen for hosting the show.
For general enquiries about Line Up and the works included please contact Flow Gallery.
May 21, 2016 in interior styling
The stories showcased paint colours and wallpaper for Spring in two interior environments, one with a fashion bias for Elle, featuring Tracey Neuls shoes, the other with a pure interior base for Elle Decoration.
May 20, 2016 in food styling
Dog gone: Theo Randall’s final meal
What would your last meal be?
Each week in ‘Cook’ The Guardian newspaper’s food supplement, a different top chef is interviewed in a lighthearted look at how they would spend their last meal, what it would be and why…
For these images I selected props and styled to help visualise the last bites of Padma Lakshmi, Arthur Jeffes, Pierre Koffman, Dan Doherty, Tom Kerridge, Theo Randall, Kelis and Tim Hayward.
The animated cinemagraphs are by photographer Emma Lee.
‘The story of the dream changes with each retelling’: Arthur Jeffes’ final meal
French leave: Pierre Koffmann’s final meal
‘I’ve hunted and gathered things from everywhere’: Padma Lakshmi’s final meal
‘By the time I’m done cooking, I just want to order pizza’: Kelis’s final meal
“I’d want someone to make a spiralised courgette salad and then pour it down the waste disposal”: Tim Hayward’s final meal
Seaside send-off: Tom Kerridge’s final meal
Homecoming: Dan Doherty’s final meal
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.
To enquire about commissioning Sania for commercial or editorial projects, please use the contact form.