Sometimes a project comes along that you have dreamt about for all of your creative career. The Barbican is one of my favourite spaces in the world. I love it's Brutal architecture but beyond that I love the social melting pot of its communal spaces, the hidden corners, the water, the residents, the experiment, the textures, the fact that every time I visit I find another bit that I haven't been in.
So when the Barbican team asked me to design a collection inspired by the space I was beyond excited!
First stop, a whole day of exploring the vast Barbican estate, sketching, taking photos, finding shapes, colours, textures and layer upon layer of form and structure.
Back in the studio the brief was pretty wide open. We were to create a series of pieces which might include jewellery, print, stationery, textiles and ceramics. Starting with the development of an A3 print, I wanted to look at a style that was less structured than our usual work; slightly awkward, hand-drawn lines and waves combined with sharper layered angles and forms. I also wanted to move away from the feeling of grey Brutalist concrete and to celebrate the other colours I'd found on the estate - khaki green, muted beige, deep orange, and strong yellow.
The ceramic and textile pieces reflect the original print, playing with scale and recurrent motifs like the wave and grid. And as we developed the jewellery collection these same shapes and patterns could be used to create bold graphic pieces in enamelled brass.
We hope that the Surface collection feels like a celebration of all things Barbican - perhaps it's not for the Brutal purist but we think its a pretty joyful take on this amazing space and we feel super lucky to have worked on this collaboration.
The collection is available exclusively at The Barbican and Barbican online. To shop just click here.