Trash Luxe is an exhibition of serious up and coming designers who have taken humble objects and made them into luxury items. Put together by Liberty, an old and stylish store, there were familiar names and surprises in this sophisticated show created specially for London Design Festival. Stuart Haygarth was there, of course, (his third exhibition as part of the festival) and this work was a wonderful chandelier made out of eye glass lens from spectacles, shimmering in the light. Heath Nash was also represented with a light created from discarded materials such as wire, bottle tops and discarded plastic containers, all transformed into a functional object. Catharine Hammerton did a long wall panel made of recycled paper, cut and layered in scallops to form wallpaper--literally. These chairs (pictured) by Ineke Hands are made of MDF and cut with a laser, an ironic take on old-fashioned hand-crafted Dutch chairs. Some bright orange bowls, with black and white stripes, made of telephone wire were striking, by the Zen Zulu group from Durban, South Africa.
Familiar to treehugger readers was the jewelery made from crystals by Greetge van Helmond. This is a huge opportunity for her, having just shown her work in the autumn as a Royal College of Art grad. student and now being exhibited at Liberty. Other jewelery is by Nadia El Sebai, who takes bits and pieces of found objects such as safety pins, buttons, charms and paper clips and makes them into necklaces.
Karen Ryan is a furniture maker who is also showing her work at Designers Block. She has a huge table which is brightly lacquered in Mondrian-esque colours and patterns. Multi-talented, she is also a potter, and is showing a series of clay jugs as part of the exhibition (pictured). She grinds the surface off these jugs which were found in flea markets and leaves only her logos and words.
Chairs and furniture are well represented. Karen Ryan has created a chair which is really two chairs moulded together. Max Lamb's furniture is huge and colourful (pictured). He takes expandable polystyrene and carves it out using a hammer, chipping away at it, thus combining industrial production with hand craftsmanship. Then he paints it bright colours. This is not romantic design. Note the red and white bowls, made by Ryan Mcelhinney of fused, recycled toys.
Majid Hasif's huge chair made out of papier mache is a comment on our throw away society; it is made out of the free newspapers littering the tube every day. :: Trash Luxe Via :: London Design Festival