Thursday, April 23, 2015

{ This Week in the Office }

We organised a day out of the office last week to immerse ourselves in inspiration for our next winter collection. We all gathered at Holly's lovely home and watched movies, ate food from our chosen country, read books and looked through an assortment of images that Imogen had collected to inspire us. It was great being away from the distractions of the office and we all came away feeling excited about the next collection. We can't wait to get stuck in!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

{ Out & About }

Last year, as a side project here at work, I created a small range of exclusive designed product for the National Gallery of Australia, to be sold in the gift shop associated with their exhibition of American artist James Turrell. Last week I was lucky to be able to make a short trip to Canberra, to visit the show and also have a squizz at my products in the gift shop!

I found the show itself to be wonderful and immersive, with its mind-bending themes of light, space, reflection and shifting perception. I basically just wandered around allowing my senses to be taken over. Some of the spaces Turrell creates are devoid of image, object or focus, and instead are filled with light and shifting colours. There is a palpable presence to be felt, and Turrell asks us to notice this, and simply be in that space. He talks about how this draws the participant into a state of 'joyous wordlessness'. It was right up my alley.

Creating designed product based on this kind of work isn't easy, as most of it is about light! But the selection of products in the gift shop were cleverly chosen and created a riot of colour, reflective surfaces, neon edges and holographic dazzle. It was exciting to see my designs nestled amongst it all. In the images above you can see our Reflection silver cups, printed T-shirts, Day Glo neon umbrellas, Roden Crater plates, Dusk Cycle tea towels, and No Object tea towel (framed on wall). 

If anyone is near Canberra I highly recommend a visit – but check first with booking as I heard that one special part of it is booked out until the end of the show! 

For more on the artist James Turrell, do visit his website. It's beautiful and fascinating, profound work. And to see our previous visit to the gallery, when we were working with the exuberant designs of Toulouse-Lautrec, see this post from 2013.

~ Amy

Monday, April 20, 2015

{ Snapshot }

I celebrated my daughter's first birthday in the weekend, and thought the mess left behind on the kids' table was so beautiful... our Finch dinner plate is nestled under a half-eaten platter of fruit, discarded flowers and rumpled paper napkins.

This beautifully styled image was created by a handful of one year olds. I wonder what would happen if we let them loose on the set of our seasonal catalogue shoot...

Carina x

Friday, April 17, 2015

{ Inspired by }

Our final Parisian muse is a location in Art Deco Paris, (rather than a person), that inspired us - St Germain des Pres

St Germain is situated on the left bank of Paris, and has been a mecca for artists, writers and intellectuals since the 17th century. In the 20's and 30's it was full of interesting cafes and restaurants, but more interesting were the people who frequented them, and the discussions they were having! Cafe de Flore, and Les Deux Magots were two of the most well-known cafes of the time and they become rivals in the 1920's and 30's, when the intellectuals, writers and artists of the period became loyal to one or the other. Apparently Jean Paul Sartre and his partner Simone de Beauvoir discussed existentialism at Cafe de Flore, while Ernest Hemingway and Pablo Picasso preferred Les Deux Magots.

Parisian cafes are more than just a place to have a rushed morning coffee. They are a gathering place for friends, a meeting place for colleagues, and a home away from home for locals to sit and mull over the newspaper, or contemplate the day. The outside tables are filled with patrons that sit facing the boulevard, drinking espresso or sipping wine (and smoking!), and watching the world go by.

Image of St Germain des Pres found here

Friday, April 10, 2015

{ Inspired by }

The fifth muse we were inspired by for our winter photoshoot was Pablo Picasso. Picasso was one of the most significant artists of the 20th century, and was the pioneer of art movements such as cubism and collage, and had major contributions towards symbolism and surrealism. To put this another way: most artists just make art – they don’t form movements, and especially more than one!

Picasso was actually born in Spain but spent much of his life in France. By the age of 19 he had gravitated to the mecca of all artists at this time: Montmartre, in Paris.  His real name was Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso – in short, Pablo Picasso.

He was a famously charismatic personality in his time, and he certainly wasn’t short on ego, although he was rather short in height – he was only 5' 4”. He had many relationships with often much younger women, famously saying “Love is the greatest refreshment in life”. His love affairs not only filtered into his art but also possibly directed its course.

He was quoted as saying:

“When I was a child my mother said to me…
If you become a soldier, you’ll become a great general.
If you become a monk, you’ll end up as the pope. 
Instead I was a painter, and became Picasso.”

He also said:

“I paint objects as I think them, not as I see them” 
“There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality.”

And one of our favourites,

“Everything you can imagine is real.”

Picasso’s iconic striped shirt, was no ordinary shirt – it is a Breton striped shirt, originally worn as the official uniform of the French seamen in Brittany in 1858. The navy and white knit top has 21 horizontal stripes to represent each of Napoleon's victories. This style of top is still fashionable today.

And one final piece of trivia:

More of Picasso’s paintings have been stolen than those of any other artist!

Below is the hero shot used in our Winter 2015 campaign, that was inspired by Picasso: