While everyone pays attention to the opening of a new gallery or the private view of a new museum exhibition, not many people know when new art & craft trends are released. Yet I would say that ‘institutional’ and applied art deserve equal attention, as they are two sides of the same coin.
On Thursday 3rd November, Crown Paints presented its Spring/Summer 2017 edition of Colour Influences at Rook and Raven Gallery (London). Colour Influences is, in a nutshell, a celebration of colour by people who are deeply in love with colour. The three trends showcased were Free Spirit, Stillness, and Fusion, presented by enthusiastic Colour Consultants Neville Knott and Judy Smith.
Free Sprit is a quirky and playful colour set. Featuring hues such as orange, turquoise, bright red, and light grey, the palette speaks of easiness, freedom, and glam. Stillness, by contrast, transports us into a world of calm and tranquillity. I was originally sceptical about the choice of yellow for peacefulness, as yellow is renowned for its stimulating properties. However, presented in a gentle graduation from white, evoking a hazy sunrise, it actually conveyed a convincing sense of serenity. Last came Fusion (my personal favourite), whose vibrant and ethnic nature suits the tastes of the more colour-bold. Tones include fuchsia, yellow, mauve, and clay white, and were displayed in large horizontal stripes, with a patterned row in the middle, while the catalogue showcased the amazing potential of the palette when using stencils.
Free Spirit (image from the catalogue) © Crown Paints
Stillness (image from the catalogue) © Crown Paints
Fusion (image from the catalogue) © Crown Paints
As well as these creative trends, the press view showcased products by Crown Paints’ other brands, such as Sadolin and Sandtex. Vibrant and wonderfully colourful paints are combined with durability and practicality, which makes it easy to get creative with colour outdoors as well as in one’s own house. With the right paint for every surface and use, Crown Paints’ impressive variety of products suits all DYI enthusiasts.
Hot Mustard, Gentle Blue, Collector’s White (image from the catalogue) © Sandtex and Sadolin
On top of the inherent strength of Crown Paints’ trends and products, there were additional touches that enhanced the colour display. First of all, the samples for each palette were presented on actual objects, whether giant metal leaves, ceramic plates, or mandala-like patterned wooden shapes; this turned something practical into objects of décor and ornament, which I found exquisitely beautiful.
Fusion, Palette Shot (image from the catalogue) © Crown Paints
Moreover, the three corners of the gallery were furnished with in-keeping design pieces: a gorgeous golden armchair made of metal threads for Free Spirit, plants and wooden columns in Stillness, and a couch with bright cushions for Fusion. The whole arrangement gave the impression that every single item had been carefully placed were it was, making the ensemble elegant and harmonious.
Stillness (image from the press view)
The venue could not have been more appropriate too. Rook and Raven Gallery acted as the perfect intersection between the lofty world of art galleries and that of applied art. The gallery space allowed to apply vast areas of colour on the walls, thus exploiting the tones’ full potential. The walls became almost works of art in their own right, and indeed a pleasure to admire. Arguably, the gallery let colour to shine at its best, and claim the attention it deserves.
Inspiration for the three trends came from a variety of sources, from architecture to fashion, to modern concepts. All this was visible in the actual display. The playfulness of Free Spirit, for instance, was exemplified by a flamingo, an animal that populates window displays of countless London shops. Exemplars have been spotted at River Island, Carpisa, and even The Body Shop. It was inspiring to see how art and beauty permeate so many different areas of life. The exhibition made me realise that the same fascination with colour and creativity, and the positive vibes deriving from them, are shared by any form of art, whether institutional or made for personal consumption. Crown Paints new Spring/Summer trends give the chance to everybody to express their personal style and make their homes more aesthetically pleasing, as well as more’theirs’.
Free Spirit (image from the press view)