Artists design luxury products based on iconic items in Hampshire museum collections
Hampshire Cultural Trust has launched a new initiative whereby artists take inspiration from historic collections and use these to create artworks with a modern twist.
The Creative Commercial Collections scheme was piloted in partnership with the National Motor Museum Trust and supported by Jane Austen House Museum and 'a space' arts. The trust challenged artists from the Sorting Office, Eastleigh, to design luxury contemporary products inspired by one of three iconic items from the museums' collections:
Jane Austen's Pelisse Coat
The 1929 Golden Arrow - a world’s land speed record breaking car and Napier Lion Aero engine
The garden at Jane Austen's House Museum
The trust asked the artists to design a commercially viable item or product range to a theme of 'quintessential Englishness or Hampshire'. To be considered, the design had to be contemporary, fun and subversive. Artists that made it to the shortlisted stage also had to present their designs to judges on the panel partnership team.
The quality of the designs was so high that Hampshire Cultural Trust has chosen to commission three of the artists' products and will help them turn the designs into verifiable prototypes.
As an illustrator and a passionate gardener, Denise Hughes was inspired by the garden at Jane Austen's House Museum and wanted to communicate the garden's links to history alongside a modern illustrative surface design. She has designed a small and collectible range of luxury ceramic vases, based on the flowers in the garden.
Mariska Parent, a print designer and illustrator who incorporates hand-drawn imagery with a surreal and playful twist in her commercial interior projects, based her design on the 1929 Golden Arrow. Her unique hand tufted rug has a retro-futurism feel and the colour scheme is influenced by how the paintwork of the car and the museum lighting play together.
The third winning artist, Karen Head, was moved by Jane Austen's Pelisse Coat to design a luxurious wool and silk scarf that follows the colour palette of the coat and references its oak-leaf motif as a crocheted acorn border. Karen’s scarf is handcrafted using the “nuno-felt” technique, pressing silk chiffon between the softest merino wool and lustrous mulberry silk fibres to create a fine felted fabric with sheen.
Janet Owen, chief executive officer of Hampshire Cultural Trust, said: "The aim of this initiative is to provide a design platform for artists to create a modern collectible with a connection to historic collections in the county. Artists are inspired by all kinds of sources and we, along with the National Motor Museum Trust, Jane Austen's House Museum and 'a space' arts believe that there are iconic items that are the perfect creativity springboard for contemporary designers. We’ve been delighted by the imagination demonstrated by the artists and we look forward to seeing their creations once finished."
Over the next eight weeks the three artists will transform their designs into prototypes to be translated into commercial products, for sale across the global market.
Janet continued: "We were impressed by the calibre of designs produced by Karen, Denise and Mariska and believe they have every chance of commercial success. We can't wait to see the finished products."