Whenever I see beautiful patterns like the ones above I feel quite nostalgic for times gone by. It’s strange really, I didn’t grow up in England (William Morris was born in England in the 1830’s) but nonetheless I think it is because there is a warm and cosy feeling that goes with intricate illustrations similar ot those you may have seen in fabrics, carpets and tapestries in your grandparents house as a child.
Many of these illustrations document life in an earlier, simpler time. We refer to these patterns as ‘folklore’ and they are the expression of a culture shared by a specific group of people. I suppose, growing up in Australia, that Australian Aboriginal art would have been the folklore that I would have been familiar with. I remember saying when I was younger that ‘when I grow up I will own a piece of Aboriginal art’ simply because I loved the designs so much- however the big ones these days they seem to fetch $20,000 or more! I may have to wait a little longer that I had originally hoped…
William Morris was the textile designer that everyone associates with the Arts and Crafts movement between 1880-1920. Some may have once thought the patterns were a little stuffy but with the vivid colours and bright accent colours I certainly wouldn’t refer to it in that way. House of Hackney have an amazing collection of fabrics and wallpapers using William Morris’ designs and they are completely contemporary. Then there is Klaus Haapaniemi – a London-based Finnish brand and their designs come from a rich selection of cultural references and Finnish story-telling.
Lastly, artist Nadia Hernandez created a series of collages that explore Venezuelan folklore. Nadia learned to reconnect with her culture and heritage through her art. I absolutely love Nadia’s collection!
All in all I think what I am trying to say is that in a world on minimalism it’s ok to use pattern to the max!
1. Acanthus pattern wallpaper and fabric, House of Hackney | 2. Reverdecer collage by Nadia Hernandez at It’s Nice That | 3. Pure Acorn Wallpaper by Pure Wallpapers at Style Library | 4. ‘Ode to the Ash’ block print, Cameron Short at The New Craftsmen | 5. Duke cocktail chair, Swoon Editions | 6. Twelve Days of Christmas book by Liz Catchpole and William Morris, V&A Shop | 7. Blackthorn pattern wallpaper and fabric, William Morris x HOH, House of Hackney | 8. Taansi Wall Plate, Klaus Haapaniemi for Iittala | 9. Running Hare silk pillow, Klaus Haapaniemi | 10. Brooch from Folklore at Wild and Wolf.