Exhibition of portraits by Chiswick photo-journalist Barbara Chandler at New Designers show

Images above: (L) One For All chair by Not Another Chair; (M) ALMA table light by Meseme Studio; Black Vessels by Ania Perkowska

New Designers 2022

Chiswick photographer and design journalist Barbara Chandler has an exhibition of her photographs at the Business Design Centre in Islington as part of the two week New Designers show.

Every year (though recently scuppered twice by COVID) a vast concentration of new talent in all disciplines of design lights up the Victorian halls of the Business Design Centre.

This year’s show (29 June – 9 July) offers some 3,000 designers a unique platform to show off their work and meet buyers looking to source the most innovative craft and design.

Both the work of new graduates and the best of recently launched creative brands are on show, representing everything from textiles and fashion, costume design, jewellery, ceramics and glass, and contemporary design crafts (Week 1) to furniture, product and spatial design, graphic design, illustration and animation and digital arts (week 2).

Sustainability is big on the agenda and hand-crafting is very much in vogue.

Images above: (L) Support Bubble – Five Friends by Jenny Chan; (M) Porter + Trundle; (R) Earth warming Range by Nicola Martin Ceramics

Barbara has been to the New Designers many times over the years, writing about it in the press and taking photographs of the designers who have caught her eye. Her archive of portraits on Flickr goes back 15 years.

For New Designers 2022, Barbara was invited to mount an exhibition of some of her portraits, which greet visitors on arrival. As New Designers has been going for 37 years she has chosen 37 designers to feature, of whom these are just a few.

Image above: Christopher Pollard 2009

The Designers – Barbara’s photographs

Christopher Pollard

Automotive Design, Coventry University / New Designers: 2009

Showcased at New Designers, Christopher’s Jaguar Mark XXI Bionomic Autonomous Limousine was a concept well ahead of its time. Not only was the car self-driving, and fuelled by electricity, but it at least in part ran off solar power.

A large area of the body was covered in elegantly-streamlined photovoltaic panels. Once parked, these would rise to face the sun, and follow it as the day progressed, thus re-charging the on-board batteries. The design expressed a ‘synergy with nature, inspired by the humble leaf.’

Images above: Sarah Hemingray 2009; Alex Craig 2013 & 14; Lyndsey Caufield 2012

Sarah Hemingray

Printed Textiles & Surface Pattern Design, Leeds College of Art / New Designers 2009

New Designers: 2009

Sarah’s wallpaper at New Designers oozed Art Nouveau and was strikingly reminiscent of the work of Alphonse Mucha, the Czech painter and decorative artist (1860 – 1931).

And, indeed, it resembled her own face. Whist still a student, Sarah had already started her career. She had sold work at international exhibitions and worked at Alexander McQueen’s Milan fashion show. The name of her final major project was Modern Madonnas.

Alex Craig

Product Design with Professional Experience, Brighton University / New Designers: 2013 & 14

“I showed the candle light I designed with SKK at New Designers before I graduated, and we received a big order.

“New Designers taught me that good self-promotion leads to good contacts for the future: you have to present the best of yourself in a compelling way.

“And then you share with your peers the mix of relief, pride and melancholy that Uni is over and the real world awaits. I’m now a senior industrial designer with Nulty Bespoke Lighting and I love it.”

Lyndsey Caufield

Textile & Surface Design, Robert Gordon University Aberdeen / New Designers 2012

At New Designers visitors were drawn to Lyndsey’s vibrant collection of fashion fabrics. She explained that her work was highly political, a personal comment on the portrayal of female sexuality in contemporary culture. She was challenging stereotypes with a self-described ‘brassy aesthetic’.

She is now a primary teacher in Scotland.

Image above: Nadia Boutarfa 2013

Nadia Boutarfa

Textile Design, University of Central Lancashire / New Designers 2013

“My parents are from Tunisia but I was brought up here. My work on show at New Designers was a fusion of art, craft and technology. My experiments with dyeing techniques were then digitally turned into pattern.

“Exhibiting at New Designers gave me contacts and put my work on show. It was a great opportunity to kick-start my career. I now work in banking, but I am so happy I chose design as my degree.”

Images above: Jacob Marks 2022; Claudette Forbes Morley 2020

‘Green Grads’

New Designers could not be held in 2020 or 2021 because of Covid, so Barbara, “double jabbed” decided last summer to go to the graduates instead.

“I decided to go out into England to see as may graduates as I could. I went to Plymouth, Manchester, Brighton, Kingston, Stoke, Leicester and Loughborough and lots of shows around London which mainly the graduates organised themselves.

“I saw so much brilliant work I thought I would try and see if I could organise as show for them in London called GREAT GRADS. As the result of a collaboration this has evolved into GREEN GRADS, who have had one exhibition already and are planning on showing their work again, focused on sustainability, in September.

Claudette Forbes Morley

Art Design & Ceramics, Morley College / 2020

“My cows are ceramic activists. The UN tells us that meat and dairy account for around 14.5 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. My little herd, with their M MacDonald logo legs, are a touch of irony that highlights these concerns.

“Slipcast in a multi-sectioned mould, the cows are very difficult to make. After exhibiting with GREEN GRADS, I am now setting up my studio to perfect my skills and develop my brand. My cows are selling well, and I have a commission to scale them up for an installation in New Covent Garden Market.”

Jacob Marks

Product & Furniture Design, Kingston University / New Designers: 2022

“I’m showing my innovatory ideas for harvesting pine resin, an ancient art  developed for modern use. I’ve been exploring how the substance, which is naturally secreted by pine, fir and cedar trees to seal damage to their bark, could be an ideal material for use in an oil-free future. Because it is renewable, carbon negative and bio-degradable.

“I’m at New Designers this year … A great opportunity to talk to a wide range of people about my work and meet individuals from courses around the country.”

New Designers, including Barbara’s exhibition of portraits, is on until Saturday 9 July.

barbarachandler.co.uk / @sunnygran

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

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