Decorex International is set to showcase emerging British makers and craftspeople during this year’s exhibition in October. Through its Future Heritage platform, the event will offer its community the opportunity to discover and support collectible artists and designers.
This year, applied arts and design critic and curator, Corinne Julius, will make her selection of designer-makers, who work across a range of media – from metal and glass to ceramics and digital: “Through the new works commissioned for Future Heritage, the makers are able to showcase their impressive capabilities and develop their practice,” she explains. “I work closely with the designers at the beginning of the process, encouraging them to explore new possibilities and scales with both commercial and private interior design projects in mind.
“Our aim is to communicate to the Decorex audience how working collaboratively with any of these makers is not only possible, but will enhance their own projects considerably, creating unique pieces that can be site specific. By now we have a really good track record.”
Exhibitors this year include ceramicist, Alice Walton, silversmith Hazel Thorn and glass artist Celia Dawson, with many more names to be announced. Working with coloured clay, Walton creates sculptural and abstract forms with complex and intense textures, often with repetitive patterns. Her latest ceramic work is marked by her fascination for noticing mundane street objects such as concrete bollards, brickwork and pipework. She investigates how they can transcend into unusual objects, which form a new abstract landscape – a process assisted by photographic collages and drawings she makes.
Her installation for Future Heritage will take inspiration from the roof of Olympia London, Decorex’s new location. It will consist of elongated and extruded wall tiles in various shapes, hung together in order to create larger converging half-pipe structures that will snake around the walls in ambiguous ways. Each tile will be enveloped with hand-crafted porcelain strips in a variety of difference colours and hues.
Meanwhile, Hazel Thorn will create new sculptural objects made in Britannia silver and gilding-metal, in this case a high-copper brass. For the first time, she is making wall pieces approximately 100cm high by 60cm wide. Thorn has developed her own patination process that creates a different effect on each type of metal she uses, giving the pattern more distinction. Silver stays white, gilding-metal turns black, and the areas where these two metals have alloyed during the fusing process become a blue-green shade.
The contrast of its apparent delicacy and great endurance, its boundless possibilities of form, pattern, texture and colour and its intriguing deceptions, mimicking other materials, form the basis for Hazel’s interest in metal work.
Glass artist Celia Dowson will show pieces from Rhossili, a body of work developed through observing the changing colour and light in landscape. The objects, made of glass, are not traditionally functional but rather invite the viewer to reflect on the fluidity of the natural world and qualities of atmosphere and place. Each form is designed with precision; different thicknesses of cast glass show the tonal depths of colour and, depending on the light, can shift from blues to greens, purples to greys. The qualities of polished and satin surfaces reflect and refracts light, creating a subtle ambiguity of inside and outside.
Past exhibitors of the Future Heritage programme have included Kaori Tatebayashi, Eleanor Laklin, Tord Boontje, Marcin Rusak and Sebastian Cox, spanning cutting-edge design and craft.