what I'm doing, what I'm seeing, what I'm thinking

17/09/2013

Secret Society Banquet at Designers Guild

I was delighted when Designers Guild suggested that they would like to host my Secret Society Banquet at their Kings Road showroom during the London Design Festival. I had been very keen to find a contemporary setting for the Banquet in total contrast to the 18th century Pitzhanger Manor where the Secret Society last appeared.


Designers Guild have been wonderful supporters of my work for a number of years and it's been fantastic to have my sculpture connected with such a cool, iconic company.


Although my sculpture is always monochrome, I love colour and here was a chance to see how the busts look surrounded by the juicy contemporary colours of the current season - I love it!






This was also the first time I ever got to see how the banquet looks from above. Complicated!






We also did a window display using as plinths Tricia Guild's new book - Colour Deconstructed - launched this week. Love the lime green spines!







For the exhibition I made lots of extra plaster bouquets. My 'vases' are just cardboard packaging and corrugated card coated in plaster and the flowers start life as pound shop fakes but I think that in the transformation they become quite beautiful and very sculptural. They are a million times more tricky to make than I ever imagined!  All the bouquets and some of the other banquet objects are for sale during the exhibition.
See more plaster bouquets here

Mamselle Chateau - watching the cool dudes of Chelsea stroll past














Turquoise is my all time favourite colour and luckily there's lots of it in the Autumn Collection 




There are an awful lot of objects to arrange in my banquets and it's hard to know where to start - and finish. So I was especially pleased to have the help of Anna, one of Designers Guild's top stylists - she has a brilliant eye and came up with some great juxtapositions of colour and texture in the various displays.

Turquoise velvet - what else could you want??












A very big thank you to Tricia Guild and the whole team at Designers Guild for hosting my Secret Society banquet in your mouth-watering showroom!

The Banquet will be on display at Kings Road until 6th October

If you'd like to read about the development of the Plaster Bust Collection and the Secret Society Banquet, scroll down to the bottom.

NEW FILM !
On the subject of my plaster busts, recently I had another brilliant invitation - from the talented creative team Home Movi who've just launched an innovative new blog which they describe  as 'A self-generated film blog about objects, people and spaces. 
I was flattered to be one of their launch subjects along with Philip Treacy (I know, hats!! my zone !!)

Photographer - and now film-maker - Kevin Davies made the film and I was intrigued to see what he would come up with.  I really liked it, the simplicity and juxtaposition of images and it was interesting that he chose monochrome. The soundtrack is bizarre and perfect - don't miss it. 


The team behind Home Movi are 
Photographer and videographer Kevin Davies
Art Director & photographer Grant Turner  &
Interiors stylist  Melinda Ashton Turner



About the Plaster Bust Collection + Secret Society Banquet 

21st century re-interpretations of the historical portrait bust.

The collection is a contemporary response to the traditionally sculpted figurative statues and busts of the 18th and 19th centuries but rather than sculpting in clay or stone, the busts are made by direct casting from real things.

To construct the original sculpture from which the plaster casts are taken, I first ‘collage’ together all kinds of materials and found objects – fabrics, haberdashery, model buildings and vehicles, plastic packaging, corrugated card, paper, electrical and plumbing parts and much else.  The plaster casts made from these originals pick up an amazing amount of texture and detail giving the sculptures a strange air of realism.

The idea of placing architectural monuments, iconic landmarks and random objects on the headdresses and costumes was inspired by the intriguing 18th century fad of decorating hats with very large scale, incongruous objects - famously Marie Antoinette adorned a hat with a huge ship in full sail.

The references in terms of imagery are quite diverse but all are linked through my perception of certain objects or forms as being very sculptural in nature  - whether a piece of architecture, a  bulldozer, a jet fighter or a book or the extreme three-dimensional headgear and costumes designed by the likes of Junya Watanabe or Alexander McQueen.  Unexpected juxtapositions of theme and scale are also an important element of the sculptures.

The Secret Society Sculptural Banquet

The installation at Designers Guild is a re-creation of Baroque-style banquet I was commissioned to make at Pitzhanger Manor, Ealing - the country retreat of 18th century architect Sir John Soane.
Making the banquet was a way of creating a ‘live’ event for the busts.  Although at a glance seemingly glamorous and luxurious, in fact all the banquet objects are cheap, every-day items like plastic flowers, fruit and cutlery, beer cans, paper plates, charity shop glasses and discarded packaging such as take-away cups, chocolate boxes and cigarette packets. Coating these disparate items in plaster gives them not only uniformity but also an air of sophistication.
But in fact this is a kind of ‘anti-luxe’ and this has become a key concept as the busts collection has developed.


3 comments:

  1. The sculptures look stunning in a contemporary setting! I am totally familiar with Designers Guild and Tricia Guild's work; I have learned a lot from studying the images in her books. Congratulations

    ReplyDelete
  2. Its really nice Banquets halls everyone will attract to see this.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great place i would like to visit there.

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