furniture

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Art Illustration

Quaint and Deceptive Hand-Drawn Installations Question the Concept of Home and Belonging

September 19, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Anastasia Parmson, shared with permission

Our understandings of home are fundamentally personal, determined by an evolving mélange of factors like location, culture, and the people in our lives. Born in Estonia to a Siberian family and later educated in France, artist Anastasia Parmson has long considered this idea and what it means to feel at ease within a space. “I feel like my concept of home is always evolving alongside my practice and my personal experiences,” she tells Colossal. “I do still see drawing as a form of home that I create for myself—a little space where I feel like I truly belong.”

Now living and working in Sydney, Parmson continues to question what creates that sense of comfort and connection by envisioning living areas and bedrooms as a sort of blank canvas. She paints walls, furniture sourced from resale shops or trash bins, and domestic objects like coffee mugs and potted monsteras in white and then draws details in black. Custom vinyl flooring with hand-rendered wood grain and wall panels line the perimeters, and the life-sized works often feature quaint, cozy details like patterned rugs and billowing drapes, in addition to pop culture references through books and framed artworks.

 

Falling at the intersection of two and three dimensions, the immersive installations are minimal in execution—based on the humble line drawn in a monochromatic palette—in an effort to define the contours of the concept while leaving the specifics open for interpretation and evolution. She explains:

What if home is not defined by an address, a space, or a geographical location? What if, instead, it is defined by the people in our lives? Maybe home is not a place, but a person. That feeling of being truly seen and understood by someone. That feeling of timelessness and ease when you reconnect with an old friend after many long years and realise that you can pick up the conversation as if no time has gone by at all. Maybe home is inter-personal connections and a sense of togetherness.

Parmson’s works are on view in several group exhibitions this fall, including through October 30 at Bendigo Art Gallery, through December 11 at Grafton Regional Gallery, and from October 12 to November 20 at Woollahra Gallery. She will also host a studio sale of smaller pieces in the coming months, so keep an eye on her Instagram for updates.

 

Anastasia Parmson. Photo by Maja Baska

 

 



Design

Industrial Fire Hoses and Bricks Are Upcycled into a Minimal Outdoor Furniture Set

August 25, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Local Works Studio, shared with permission

Loretta Bosence and Ben Bosence are behind the East Sussex-based Local Works Studio, which recently completed a furniture collection focused on revitalizing what’s been discarded or cast aside. Designed for Maggie’s Southampton cancer center, the functional goods are made almost entirely of upcycled goods sourced nearby. “People who sit in the chairs and touch the surfaces can ‘read’ the story of the furniture and understand where the materials came from. This connection to place and the playful character of the furniture is a powerful antidote to the usual impersonal, sterile environment of a hospital,” the studio said to dezeen.

For the long dining table, designers crushed gravel from the site, which was also combined with damaged and leftover terracotta bricks from the center’s facade to create a terrazzo-style surface for benches and smaller tables. Ground granulated blast-furnace slag, a byproduct of steel, serves as the main binding agent, with only a bit of carbon-dependent concrete added. The studio also shaped leftover material into pavers for seating areas.

Hoses decommissioned by the local Hampshire Fire Service Headquarters—the entity is required to replace its equipment every ten years, meaning the red, water-resistant tubes are abundant in supply—were woven into the backs and seats for dining chairs, loungers, and one-armed models. The textile-like components were then wrapped around steel frames made by the charity Making it Out, which supports people who were formerly incarcerated.

For more sustainable, community-focused designs from Local Works Studio, visit its site and Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

Through Organic Sculptural Furniture, Artist Nacho Carbonell Channels the Sensual Details of the Mediterranean

June 29, 2022

Grace Ebert

“One-Seater Concrete Tree” (2022), metal mesh, cork, steel, concrete, light fittings, 139 3/4 x 74 3/4 x 112 1/4 inches. All images courtesy of Carpenters Workshop Gallery, shared with permission

Evoking the textures and colors of his native Valencia, the sculptural furniture pieces by Spanish artist Nacho Carbonell are sensual interpretations of life in the Mediterranean. A bulbous, metal mesh canopy sprouts from a rugged pink seat, small wooden sticks comprise the sinuous patterns on a buffet, and a vibrant mosaic takes the form of a headphone-shaped lamp. Tactile and potentially functional, the objects reference the natural, sun-soaked environment of Carbonell’s childhood, in addition to art historical traditions like those of 15th Century painter Hieronymus Bosch and 20th Century Austrian sculptor Franz West.

Constructed from a wide array of recycled and industrial materials like glass bottles and concrete, the works are largely organic and archaeological, rooted in personal memories the artist likens to fossils. He tells designboom:

I learned that when you build something, nature can take over. Here, in this context is where I learned it. But this is not unique in the world, it is happening everywhere. So I just take [the natural elements] and I appropriate them because they are part of me… I feel entitled to say ‘Because we grew together, I can use you in my work to create this narrative for others, to let them know that you exist here.’

Carbonell’s works are on view through September 9 at the new Carpenters Workshop Gallery in Los Angeles, and you can find more from the artist, who is currently based in Eindhoven, on his site.

 

“Contain Nature Cabinet” (2022), metal body, sand, paverpol, wooden sticks, metal mesh, spray varnish finish, 84 5/8 x 61 1/8 x 24 3/4 inches

“Candy Cotton Long Coccoon Chandelier” (2022), metal mesh with paverpol and pigments, metal welded branch, silicone cable, light fittings, 31 1/2 x 106 1/4 x 39 3/8 inches

Detail of “One-Seater Concrete Tree” (2022), metal mesh, cork, steel, concrete, light fittings, 139 3/4 x 74 3/4 x 112 1/4 inches

“Broken Glass Rainbow” (2022), broken blown glass bubbles, metal welded branch, stone base, silicone cable, light fittings, 37 3/4 x 35 3/8 x 15 3/8 inches

Detail of “Candy Cotton Long Coccoon Chandelier” (2022), metal mesh with paverpol and pigments, metal welded branch, silicone cable, light fittings, 31 1/2 x 106 1/4 x 39 3/8 inches

“Archaeological Folding Screen” (2022), metal structure and pink concrete, 76 3/4 x 89 3/8 x 11 3/4 inches

“Pink Wooden Stick Buffet” (2022), wood structure, sand, paverpol, wooden sticks, spray varnish finish, 31 7/8 x 104 3/4 x 20 7/8 inches

 

“Dried Cabinet” (2022), metal body, sand, paverpol, plaster, spray, varnish finish, 68 1/8 x 52 3/8 x 15 3/4 inches

“Colorful Rainbow” (2022), wood, colored marmol sand, paverpol, metal mesh, concrete, spray varnish finish, 31 1/8 x 72 1/2 x 31 1/8 inches

 

 



Design

These Wiggly ‘Nervous Chairs’ by Wilkinson & Rivera Channel Our Collective Anxiety

January 12, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images by Zelie Lockhart, courtesy of Wilkinson & Rivera, shared with permission

If home is a feeling, then the wriggling furniture collection by husband-and-wife Grant Wilkinson and Teresa Rivera are apt representatives of our collective anxieties. The design duo opts for squiggles rather than clean, straight lines in their collection of wooden pieces— the internet dubbed them “nervous chairs” —that appear to quake with uneasiness. Curved legs and arms offer base structure and coiled rungs back support in the ever-growing line of products by their eponymous brand, which is known for putting updated spins on classic pieces. Rivera shares:

Our tastes can be pretty contemporary but we’re fascinated by traditional techniques. We try to incorporate them in each piece: for the Windsor, it’s steam-bending the backrest. For La Silla, we weave the caned seats by hand. For our latest piece, the Welsh Stick Chairs, we included hand-carved barley twists.

Wilkinson and Rivera, who are based in Walthamstow, East London, will launch a few new designs in the next few months, which you can watch for on Instagram, and shop their current collection through The Future Perfect.

 

 

 



Art

In ‘Boogey Men,’ Monumental New Works by Hugh Hayden Reflect on American Culture and Politics

December 9, 2021

Grace Ebert

Al images courtesy of ICA Miami, by Zachary Balber, shared with permission

An exhibition now on view at ICA Miami samples the recurring themes and motifs that are central to artist Hugh Hayden’s body of work: twisting flames spout from a wooden Adirondack chair and spindly twigs envelop a massive skeleton carved from bald cypress trees, two works that evoke the Dallas native’s barbed furniture and embedded branch designs. In a suspended installation comprised of metallic instruments and pots, faces mimicking traditional African masks emerge from copper cookware similar to the cast iron skillets he presented last year.

The metaphorical new pieces comprise Boogey Men, Hayden’s solo show that responds to myriad social dynamics, cultural issues, and an increasingly tense political environment through imposing, anthropomorphic forms and more subtle works. At the center of the exhibition space is a hammered stainless steel car disguised by a sheet painted in white. Both cartoonish and sinister in its reference to hooded Klansmen, the titular sculpture is an effective indictment of police brutality. Hayden gives attention to the origins of facets of American culture in the pieces that surround that central work, alluding to jazz and culinary traditions.

Boogey Men is on view in Miami through April 17, 2022, before it travels to the Blaffer Art Museum for a stay from June 11 to August 21. You can find more of Hayden’s work and view the process behind many of the pieces shown here on his Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

Plants and Knotted Branches Sprout from Camille Kachani’s Impractical Household Objects

August 3, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Guilherme Gomes, shared with permission

Human progress and the insurmountable force of nature converge in Camille Kachani’s overgrown sculptures. The Lebanese-Brazilian artist (previously) is known for his furniture, tools, and other practical objects that are overrun with new plant growths and gnarly roots, rendering the seemingly functional items like stools, hammers, and books humorously impractical.

Whether a text bursting with vegetation or dresser drawers housing young sprigs, Kachani’s works highlight the futile attempts humans undertake to control the environment. This relationship has been central to his practice in recent years, and his goal is to showcase the conflicts that arise from their intersections especially in relation to life in Brazil—the South American country is more frequently experiencing the effects of the climate crisis like the worst drought its seen in decades and rampant deforestation that’s only intensifying the ongoing devastation—which he explains:

When we speak human and nature, we mean culture and nature, an (un)stable and unpredictable relation. We depend on nature but also see it as a major obstacle to our complete mastery of the planet. But in fact, it is impossible to talk about nature and culture as two distinct subjects, as they are so intertwined and contaminated from each other that I come to believe that everything is nature and culture at the same time.

Kachani is based in São Paulo and is preparing for a forthcoming book chronicling 20 years of his practice, which will be published in 2022. You can follow his work on Instagram.