Love, Requited

Wedding Venue

A couple of years ago I made four panels to hang at my wedding. They spelt the word LOVE, which was obviously intended for its romantic setting.

Wedding Panels

However there was another context for the panels as they were going to be delivered straight from the wedding venue to a show at the William de Morgan Centre in Wandsworth Museum and the backgrounds to the lettering were all taken from patterns on various de Morgan ceramic pieces.

William De Morgan ceramics

William De Morgan was a contemporary of William Morris and collaborated with him for many years, and both were advocates of the famous line Morris wrote for an 1880 lecture on ‘The Beauty of Life’ for the Birmingham Society of Arts and School of Design: “If you want a golden rule that will fit everybody, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”

I have always been inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement, and the way in which its proponents seemed to successfully turn something they loved into an industry. Five years ago I named my debut solo exhibition at the Menier Gallery “Work and Love” with exactly this idea in mind. So it seemed fitting to me to draw inspiration from the Arts and Crafts designs to illustrate the word “Love” in my wedding panels.

My Love panels have been displayed in various ways since, but I had always intended to turn them into lightboxes for display on a wall. This year I mounted them on the wall of my stairwell for my Open House and a local couple rather fell in love with them and wanted to buy them for their own house. The frames were painted a Liberty-style purple but I had the frames specially lacquered to the exact mauve that they required to fit into their home decor. We had discussions about how they might be turned into lightboxes but, having trained as an engineer, the husband took it on as his own project to arrange.

Love Wall

It was wonderful to be able to drop off the panels, and come back a few weeks later to see all the technical and practical complications of installing lightboxes had already been done!

Butterfly wall

It was also rather lovely to see that the clients had amassed a collection of wall butterflies from me which complemented the glass on the other side of the room.

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