My formative assessment

Please click on the link to see the powerpoint showing plans for my work this year, resulting in the degree show in May georgie-phillips-formative-assessment-17th-jan-2017

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Leighton House

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I visited Leighton House by recommendation from a lady I was talking to in a shop in Hamstead Heath, if i hadn’t have got chatting to her about my work I wouldn’t have known about this house

The home of painter Leighton, it s full of surprise, what is an unsuspecting large house tucked away in Kensington is in fact an interior design delight! Once inside, you first walk into a room full of an abundance of green and blue. It is as if you have stepped into another world, somewhere exotic in the Middle East.

Lord Frederic Leighton created this house to make art in. It was his Studio home. And what a wonderful piece of architecture it is, where East meets West and Islamic Art meets Victorian design. Artist, traveller and celebrity of the nineteenth century, Frederic’s journeys inspired both his artwork and his amazing home in London. His travels to the Middle East had a particular impact, and resulted in the construction of the Arab Hall in his home. This room contains stunning examples of Islamic art from all periods as well as exquisite Victorian architecture and interior design. All this sits alongside the house and studio that he had built specially, and is an intriguing glimpse into the life of a successful Victorian artist.The house, now converted to a museum, is a unique document of two seemingly contrasting artistic heritages.

Interestingly, I wasn’t all that fussed about Leighton’s collection of pair Inge, my eyes were transfixed by the tiled Beaty of the Arab Hall. With the use of a rich turquoise tiles and geometrics, you can see the Islamic influence: there is never a depiction of God, just aesthetically pleasing patterns, usually symmetrical shapes.

This striking example of famboyant interior design has given me an idea of the potential my tile collection can reach. And the possibility of cladding an entire hall in my designs is rather exciting. Moreover, it has shown me that the minimal use of colour has quite an impact. The hall is full of muted tones and natural qualities, such as marble columns, and the main colour is turquoise.

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A postcard I bought after visiting the house (unfortunately photography was not permitted)

It’s made me think about if I have too many strong colours, there is a chance that my tiles could get lost within a room, and look too”busy”. However, in a gallery environment with white walls, there is more scope for colour exploration. Also, if my tiles were in more of a domestic setting, there are options for them: a number of colours could be used and they would be the main feature. Or they could subtly add to an existing environment by the careful selection of only one or two colours, you could say that Leighton’s tiles have a combination of these two aspects. In some ways, they add to the magnificence of the existing Victorian architecture, with the high ceilings and bold collums. But when looking at the walls from a certain angle, such as being horizontal to both the sculpted figurine in the centre and the stairwell behind it, the turquoise really does take centre stage.