The Bodhi Bears are here!

I am interested in the concept of using handmade sculptural objects to spark memories of our traditional ‘Do-It-Yourself’ heritage – advocating its reappearance in our consumer society and emphasising its value in design. As such the dichotomy between handcrafts and mass produced goods is a key area of my practice.

As an Indie Designer, my practice resides in the spaces where art and design intersect. The idea for these characters evolved from my research of designing talisman-like objects. Alongside this, the work reflects my concern with the metaphysical concept of the seven Chakras examined in the writings of psychologist Carl Jung. I explore notions of warmth and whimsicality in this work, and ways to elicit emotion and nostalgia for childhood.

With a priority on the process, these works have undertaken deep experimentation; hand-dying, pattern construction, textile printing and extensive idea development that began with explorations featured in my previous post.

An Artful Life: Hanna Werning

Born in Sweden in 1973, Hanna Werning is an inspiring and extremely accomplished artist and designer. This London trained graphic designer, independently designs and manufactures products and art works for her own company Spring Street Studio in Stockholm, and also creates commissioned works for many leading companies such as IKEA, Eastpak, Stussy, Anna Sui and House of Dagmar. Her disciplines include communication design, graphic design, product design, visual arts and illustration.  Werning exhibits in many cities and countries including Berlin, Tokyo, Brooklyn, Italy, London, and her hometown Stockholm. Werning’s designs are seen globally on textiles, greeting cards, wallpapers, logos and company identity graphics, stationary, dinnerware, mugs, home furnishings and décor.

In addition to pattern, the constant source of inspiration for Werning is obviously nature: landscape, fauna and flora, animals and insects alike are depicted on her textile prints and wallpaper designs in unexpected juxtapositions. Having grown up in the forest she believes that motifs featuring nature will always be a design trend.

The work of Werning is incredibly broad and throughout researching her work, I have observed an obvious fascination for pattern, nature inspired images with a bold use of colour.  The result of which tends to a natural flair for designing prints and ornamentation on a wide range of products including fashion and home decor, inspiring me to look towards a possible similar vision in my work in the future.  Werning also features her work in sculpture, installation art and performance, making her a well-rounded and very capable practitioner in many realms of art and design. Such success is admirable and inspiring.

What further resonates with me is Werning’s philosophy behind her designs and how the world that she lives in, reflect them.  She says…

To me, the world is like a big patchwork of different cultures, and sometimes I see my own work as a big visual collage or like the sound of a DJ sampling her own rhythms with others’. (Quinn, 2009).p.92.

I admire artists and designers who have a deep connection to them-selves and the world around them. It touches my needs as a humanitarian and philosopher. When connecting this research to the current project I am developing, I am mindful that a motivating force driving me in my idea is my enquiring mind. Not only to consider the cause of nature’s patterns for myself, but to also provoke those thoughts in others.

References

Dwell. (2004-2013). Dwell: People: Hanna Werning. Retrieved May 27, 2013, from Dwell: At Home in the Modern World: http://www.dwell.com/people/hanna-werning

Quinn, B. (2009). Textile Designers: At the Cutting Edge. London, UK: Lawrence King Publishing.

Werning, H. (2001-2013). Work by Hanna Werning. Retrieved May 19, 2013, from Work by Hanna Werning: http://www.byhanna.com