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Introducing Decorex’s latest collaborator, and creator of our bespoke 2020 motif, Anna Glover – award-winning print designer specialising in intricate wallpaper, textiles and digital surface design. This year will see Glover’s horse-clad design – Brio: meaning vigour, brilliance or energy – emblazoned across the Decorex website and the event itself. The artwork was created specifically for the Decorex brand in order to breathe new life and vibrancy into the show by echoing the heritage of its home in Olympia, London.
Discover how this momentous collaboration came about and the ways in which Glover’s design will uphold the look and feel of Decorex in 2020.
Glover credits much of her creativity to her upbringing, noting that her family members all embodied an artistic flair – in one way or another.
‘My whole family is creative but in quite different ways. There is an amazing mix of art, science and technology going on. We always say it's because of the great books we were read by my parents. They were such inventive stories from all around the world, I still remember so many weird and wonderful details from them, and the influence they’ve had on my design aesthetic is huge,’ Glover recalls.
Glover received very traditional, technical painting and drawing lessons at school. She then went on to study textile design at Falmouth University – immensely enjoying this time being situated by the sea. It was there that her artistic ability was allowed to blossom, leading to a strong desire to design as a means of personal expression.
‘[For inspiration] I look at a lot of ancient art forms from around the world: from cave paintings, medieval manuscripts, Indian miniature paintings and Japanese master painting. For colour I really love a big clash of influences from art film, fashion, science and nature,’ she says.
Glover debuted her work at Decorex 2018 through Foundation – a scheme that introduces lesser known designers and brands to the wider interior design community, allowing them to shine. ‘It was really great, I met so many new people and clients. It was particularly good to be part of a group of designers all showing for the first time, it’s a nice way to start as it is quite daunting as a small business,’ Glover says.
After showcasing her work at Decorex, Glover’s flair for storytelling came to light – a collaboration seemed like a natural fit. ‘Decorex approached me with an idea for this year’s show and I really loved it. We had a great first meeting all together and from then on it was just a real treat to work on. It was one of those projects that just flowed really smoothly.
I feel so honoured to have been selected for this. It was such a fun project to work on and I hope it has the uplifting effect we wanted it to,’ she remarks.
Brio: A nod to history
Glover intended that her final design evoke a ‘sense of performance and display.’ Brio – meaning vigour, brilliance or energy – depicts valiant horses galloping through a field of abstract shapes in a mixture of cream, purple, green and mustard hues. The bespoke artwork references marble, stone, ceramics, lacquers, leather and textiles in homage to all of the amazing craft and design on show at Decorex.
‘We wanted to create something playful and elegant that told both the story of Decorex and the history of Kensington Olympia. There have been so many amazing events under that roof: horse shows, home shows, the hippodrome circus.
I think something both Decorex and my work celebrate is exactly that blend of historical and contemporary design. There is such a strong feeling of nostalgia at the moment but also a need for things to feel fresh and playful. It’s a tricky balance to get right so I hope Brio achieves that,’ Glover says.
The art of storytelling
Storytelling is an important part of Glover’s work and process, which is mirrored in the Decorex design. ‘I love the challenge of bringing together all the elements that make up a story and finding a way to display this in an artwork. In this case the idea was to reference both what’s happening currently in the design industry and the history of it,’ she remarks.
As with all of her projects, Glover began the process by burying her head in books and the internet in search of inspiration. ‘It is my favourite part of any project.’
‘I’ll then put together a sketch or digital collage to test out some ideas before starting to hand paint the motifs. For this project I used a mixture of Gouache, watercolour and Suminagashi (Japanese marbling) techniques. Eventually all the paintings are scanned ready for designing in photoshop. I love the freedom working like this allows. Composition and movement are so important in wallcoverings and I’m able to really push this by working digitally,’ she says.
To hear more from Anna Glover on the collaboration with Decorex and the inspiration behind Brio, tune in to our next instalment of #TheDecorexSeries with Anna Glover at 2pm on Wednesday 3rd June 2020 > https://www.instagram.com/decorex_international/?hl=en