Part One: New Medieval
- Known for her stark and poetic creations, London-based furniture and interiors designer Faye Toogood turns her eye to makeup, collaborating with artist Ayami Nishimura for the concept collection for MAKE.
The 35-year-old designer has recently catapulted to the international stage with her vast range of work, from fashion runways (enhancing the set for Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen and Kenzo) to pop-up retail experiences like Opening Ceremony London, to fine art. Known for her assemblage and sculptural work, her recent installations include "Tinker", a temporal installment for Opening Ceremony during Frieze, based on the hand-art of 'tinkering', '7x7,' commissioned by Shaftesbury Seven Dials for London Design Festival, and an exhibition for Phillips de Pury in June 2012.
Faye's furniture and art objects are handmade with her signature of "honesty to the rawness and irregularity of the chosen material." Her objects are grouped together in her trademark numbered "Assemblages" that transform the three-dimensional space in which they are exhibited. In 2010, her Assemblage No. 1 explored the rural and the elemental; followed in 2011 with "Natura Morta," objects exploring the dark side of the world, and her Assemblage No. 3 for Phillips de Pury, which unveiled nature's ability to attract and protect through iridescence.
Academically trained in the theory and practice of art, Faye collides a pure respect for the past and a self-expressed vulnerability of nature for the New Medieval Collection for MAKE. Sitting in her London studio, Faye shares her fascination with the unexpected destructive qualities of nature, the current flux of our society, and the way natural materials can convey a narrative of hope in color and textures.
To view the New Medieval collection for MAKE, click here.
The New Medieval collection that I've just worked on with MAKE – Actually, the starting point for me was, exactly as the title suggests, this sense of the New Medieval really looking at the natural world and its potentially destructive qualities. So we looked at eruptions, volcanoes, almost an apocalyptic feel to some of those materials. I think the world, obviously at the moment, is in flux. And I was interested in the way that natural materials could reflect that. But there's also a glimmer of quartz and hope within that. We have a bright turquoise quartz. But overall, the textures, and the colors, went from very dark rust, black, smoky, quartzy colors through to this bright, lifting turquoise.
Surprise, intuition, the unexpected are really important to my work. And it's something that I strive to try and achieve within my work. That what I do should never be expected. And I think the collections that I've produced in the furniture, and also in the interiors, there's a constant sense of reinvention allows me to create some surprise in my work and the unexpected. And I think when working on this makeup collection and working with beauty, I realized that makeup and the way that we apply makeup is actually quite peaceful. And I think I wanted to go back to a much more primal way of applying makeup, rather than taking great advances in the way that we apply makeup. So I think the expectations and the surprise in this particular collection come from the fact that I've disregarded what's currently going on in the beauty industry. And I do the same with furniture and interiors. When I'm designing objects, I'm not really looking at other people's work. And I think that way, by not really referencing what's around you in your own industry, you can create something that's much more surprising and unexpected.