Dutch designers were certainly in evidence at London Design Festival this year, with the number of Dutch participants up by more than a third on previous editions of the event.
Studio Glithero are trusty stalwarts of the festival and this September Sarah van Gameren and Tim Simpson are showing with the East London Gallery Fumi, as part of its Studio Ware exhibition.
Subtitled ‘Articles made in the home for domestic use’, the exhibition also includes designers Max Lamb and Johannes Nagel. Studio Glithero is showing a series of mirrors in plaster that play on the traditional skill of architectural plaster work. It is, in a way, a smaller scale refinement of the Running Mould plaster bench made for gallery Z33 in Belgium. Perfectly circular or old-fashioned oval, the plaster frames come in a matte polyplaster in eau-de-nil green, graphite grey and a deep petrol green. The handwork of where the plaster ‘meets’ to join the ring is visible and resembles the rococo curl of an antique ormolu mirror.
Leaving Gallery Fumi, we popped in to see Studio Jo Meesters long pendulous hanging lamps exhibiting at beauty chain Aesop in nearby Redchurch Street. Part of his new collection Aurelia Eichhomia, the green knit-covered glass globules are inspired by waterlilies and jellyfish.
Further down Redchurch Street at the Aubin Gallery, we came across Tuttobene setting up its group exhibition that opens today, Thursday. We spoke with Tuttobene directors Victor le Noble and David Heldt and asked them why they decided to show in London for the first time?
“Next year there will be the Olympic Games in London and we believe designers can have good visibility within such a big international event. It’s good to start one year beforehand to let GB know who we are. LDF is a reasonably young fair with many young designers and with a huge local market. It is commercially interesting, but also inspiring.”
Designers on show with Tuttobene include Bam-doo, Studio Dave Keune, De Vorm, Doreen Westphal, Joine, Laurien Oversier, Royal Mosa, PeLi Design, Pou-Belle Design and YLdesign and more.
Over in London’s West End, Gallery Libby Sellers presents the Eindhoven-based Formafantasma, who are showcasing their DAE graduation project Moulding Tradition alongside a new piece created for the festival entitled Colony. In the same way as Moulding Tradition, this new piece harks back to Simone Farresin and Andrea Trimarchi’s Italian roots and the complex subject of the country’s ex-colonies in the 21st century. Consisting of a series of three cream and camel coloured mohair blankets, intricately jacquard woven – each blanket representing one of Italy’s former colonies – Libya, Eritrea and Ethiopia. Designed as an oversize postcard (over two metres high by one metre sixty), complete with intricately copied cotton-woven postage stamps, the style-refers back to the era just before the countries gained independence after the Second World War, with architectural styles borrowed from the Italian Futurism. Colony was created exclusively for Gallery Libby Sellers and made in collaboration with the Audax Textielmuseum, in Tilburg.
Moving over to the Brompton Design District in West London, Design.nl caught up with Henry van Nistelrooy, showing as part of the Ground Floor Arrangement Band in a tiny uninhabited apartment. Van Nistelrooy’s contribution is Revolver, a shelving system in powder coated sheet metal and Douglas fir the designer created for London specialist bicycle shop Velurution. Due to its cantilever mechanism, Revolver is able to switch easily between displaying objects or garments.
Around the corner at Methods of Imitation, we saw the work of Study O Portable, a duo composed of Bernadette Deddens and Japanese designer Tesuo Mukai. Their piece in the exhibition Quartz Mirror plays on the way quartz crystal is used in technological devices such as computers, telephones and radios and the pair have created small irregularly-shaped wall mirrors created from quartz that reflect in unexpected ways due to the way the pieces have been sliced, polished and silvered.
Close by is the well-known interiors store Mint, who this edition have an exhibition called Mint Explores that takes over the whole shop floor. Established designers are mixed with the up-and-coming for a delightful selection. From the Netherlands look out for Ambra Molly, a recent DAE graduate, with her Mitose collection of ceramic pieces, fellow DAE graduate Maaike Seegers and her Meltware range of wax-coloured tableware. Handmade ash-frame stools with shaggy woollen tops make up the Dread Stools by Jolanda van Goor and Mieke Meijertogether with Breg Hanssen showcase the Newspaper Wood cabinet.
Finally, over at Portobello Dock, we came across Moooi’s Mermaids by Marcel Wanders. The White Building, Moooi’s London showroom is featuring dramatic photography of mermaids swimming in and out of Moooi products and its gallery space has been transformed into a set from the bottom of the ocean featuring products such as the Mistral (lamp and ventilator) by Moooi Works, the Woood desk by Marcel Wanders, the Gothic Chair by Studio Job and the multitask Extension Chair by Sjoerd Vroonland.
Studio Glithero at Gallery Fumi, September 17 to November 30 2011
Jo Meesters at Aesop, September 17-25 2011
Tuttobene will be at the Aubin Gallery, September 22-25 2011
Henry van Nistelrooy at Ground Floor Arrangement Band, September 20-25 2011
Study O Portable at Methods of Imitation, September 17-25 2011
Mint Explores, September 17-30 2011
Mermaids by Marcel Wanders at Moooi, September 19-25 2011
Main image: Colony, Formafantasma courtesy of Gallery Libby Sellers Photography: Luisa Zanzani
Other images: 1. Colony 2. Jo Meesters 3. Mint 4. Studio Glithero 5. Tuttobene 6. Tuttobene 7. Jolanda van Goor 8.-9. Henry van Nistelrooy