If you have visited either one of our London Showrooms of late you will no doubt be familiar with the beautiful art work hanging from our brass picture rails, “Flora Chimera”, a series of painstakingly crafted collages by Paolo Giardi.
We talk to Paolo, a London based artist, and native of Florence, about this strikingly beautiful work which provides every onlooker a cheeky surprise! We’re also thrilled to be given a private preview of new works, a diorama series entitled ‘A Room With My View’…
I studied Fine Arts in Florence, Italy where I am from, and have been living and working in London since the late 90’s. I work across a variety of disciplines producing art that explores the technique of the collage and its applications and have exhibited at the Pump House Gallery in Battersea, London, Nancy Hoffman in New York and Room Capacity in Berlin, as well as participated in various art fairs in Paris, Brussels and Rotterdam via Less Is More Projects.
FLORA CHIMERA AT THE COLLIER WEBB LONDON SHOWROOMS
“At first glance, the works may look like a traditional botanical collection, mounted and framed”
‘Flora Chimera‘ follows my fascination of botanical illustrations that started back around 2011. With collage being my favourite medium, I rely on found materials that come mostly from vintage publications, in this case centrefolds from erotic magazines, in order to manipulate and transport existing images out of their original context, blurring the experiences of memory and perception. At first glance, the works may look like a traditional botanical collection, mounted and framed. By looking closer, it reveals a meticulous process of detailed cuts and precision pinning. Technically I try to approach my art practice by learning new skills. For this series, it involved many different stages and explored working with materials like wood, foam board, insect pins, and book binding tapes in order to create this seamless result where the framing itself also becomes part the craft.
AN ARTIST’S VIEW ON ART HANGING
“Although the design and components of Collier Webb’s picture rail system have a traditional feel, it can contrast well with more contemporary pieces”
I believe art should be very personal as well as being fluid. The beauty of using a hanging system to hang artworks is that you can change what’s on display according to your mood and change the feel of a room without having to drill new holes each time! I’m not a fan of do’s and don’ts, how the artworks are displayed should reflect people’s personality. Although the design and components of Collier Webb’s picture rail system have a traditional feel, it can contrast well with more contemporary pieces, creating an eclectic look when you mix modern and classic artworks.
A ROOM WITH MY VIEW
“Miniaturised into a three dimensional collage showcasing a curated range of my works, past and present”
The diorama series, entitled ‘A Room With My View’ is my personal response to the lack of opportunity to show my work to the public in the traditional sense so I had to come up with a creative way to promote my own work throughout last year like many of my peers in the industry. As suggested by the title itself, this series of mock-up exhibitions is a spin off on the current trend of online viewing rooms as a necessary alternative to the gallery physical space. It was a fun way to merge together my other professional experiences as a window dresser, stylist and retail designer, all miniaturised into a three dimensional collage showcasing a curated range of my works, past and present.
I’m very excited to be commissioned by Collier Webb to incorporate pieces from their Icons Collection, layering their signature silhouettes into graphic paintings and abstract collage works. You can catch a glimpse of the Collier Webb Cep lamp, Sputnik ceiling light and Norman Globe in my diorama series. The full sized pieces, along with some additions, will be on display at the Collier Webb Showroom later this year.
Pieces from ‘Flora Chimera’ are on display in both the Collier Webb Showrooms, on Pimlico Road and at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour.