Archives for posts with tag: Design Academy Eindhoven

Skin deliberately denuded of hair meant to be there is eery. (And no, your scribe does not mean the prosaic human routine of daily depilation.) Transmogrified skin is even more eery. Hairy, hairless, sleek or scaly, flayed skin used for purposes other than intended has an unsettling but often magnetic quality, like this 3rd century AD crocodile-skin Roman suit of armour. Or if you prefer a contemporary reference, artist Patricia Piccinini’s deft manipulation of silicone to create what might be meant to represent pools of skin.

Gallery Libby Sellers’ current London exhibition Craftica adds to the discussion of skin as an artistic and design medium. A collaboration between Design Academy Eindhoven graduates Simone Farresin and Andrea Trimarchi, the designers behind Formafantasma cite themselves as the “bridge between craft, industry, object and user”. The 3D works in the Gallery’s show range from Wolffish-Pig Stool (2012) to Perch Fish Hot Water Bottle (2012), and represent a point on the continuum of “design art”. DJ

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(Detail) Perch stool: Vegetal tanned perch skin, lime wood, brass label. Formafantasma at Gallery Libby Sellers, London. Image courtesy Gallery Libby Sellers. Photograph copyright Luisa Zanzani

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Perch stool: Vegetal tanned perch skin, lime wood, brass label. Perch fish hot water bottle: Vegetal tanned perch skin, glass, brass. Formafantasma at Gallery Libby Sellers, London. Image courtesy Gallery Libby Sellers. Photograph copyright Luisa Zanzani

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Designed for her 2012 Degree Show at Design Academy Eindhoven, Lio de Bruin’s covetable handmade leather needlework rug collection will be exhibited next month at OBJECT Rotterdam.

Leather Needlework Colour Block Rug by Lio de Bruin. Image courtesy of Lio de Bruin.

Leather Needlework Colour Block Rug by Lio de Bruin. Photograph by Brit van Nerven and Titia Dane. Image courtesy of Lio de Bruin.

Bruin’s inspiration was a “big needlework encyclopedia”, a charmingly redundant phrase to describe the book she sourced from the shelves of the Academy’s library. “De nieuwe handwerk encyclopedie” is the Dutch translation of “The Good Housekeeping Step-by-Step Encyclopedia of Needlecraft” by Judy Brittain (1979). What intrigues your scribe is the revelation that the Design Academy – the crucible for global “design art” talent like Studio Job and Kiki van Eijk – has a Good Housekeeping “how to” book on its shelves. Published since 1885 as a “service magazine”, Good Housekeeping’s books are basic hands-on and how-to; a polar end from the reputation of the Design Academy as anything but basic.

The Good Housekeeping Book of

The Good Housekeeping Step-by-Step Encyclopedia of Needlecraft

But don’t mistake your scribe’s Good Housekeeping comment as snobbery. Your scribe has bookshelves devoted to this genre and consults them often. Rather it’s cheering to discover the Academy is ecumenical in its library selections. De Bruin’s idea book for the leather rugs collection is on her website. Image-led and without text, she juxtaposes inspirations with her interpretations. “The simplicity and richness of ethnic pieces” inspires her she says. One in particular caught your scribe’s eye, a woven pandanus or perhaps tapa cloth garment juxtaposed with her rug interpretation. DJ

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