Artist and designer Luke Edward Hall’s work has a carefree, nostalgic quality that has found a ready audience and attracted the likes of high-profile collaborators such as Burberry. As well as selling his own-designed ceramics, cushions and prints – adorned with motifs that include prawns, Greek statuary and prowling tigers – he also works as an interior designer. He is taking part in a discussion at Focus/16 that delves into the creative secrets of a panel of industry insiders.
Conversations in Design: The Art of Style, 11.30am, Friday 23 September
How do you view the relationship between art and interiors?
Art for me plays a very important role in interior design – when designing an interior, pictures and prints are as important, say, as the furniture and choice of paints and wallpapers. Like books and flowers, art brings a room to life. Over the past couple of years I’ve started building up a small collection of art with my partner Duncan – it mostly consists of prints and old exhibition posters at this point, but I’m looking forward to watching it grow. Like our books and our furniture, our collection of pictures reflects our tastes and interests.
Ashley Hicks has chosen your work for Focus/16’s ‘Art & Interiors’ exhibition – have you worked with him previously, or was it out of the blue?
Ashley and I are friends, we haven’t worked together previously but I’ve been a fan of his interiors and the furniture and objects he designs for a while.
What projects are you currently working on?
I’m working on interior design projects in London and the countryside, several artwork commissions and a few other exciting projects including an exhibition which I’m staging at Christie’s South Kensington. It’s called Young Hearts and it’ll be open from 24-29 September.
Have you had any favourite commissions?
I very much enjoyed working with Burberry this past summer. I did illustrations of their clothes and bags, which formed part of their global campaign, we did installations in their shops and my drawings featured on billboards around the world. It was exciting to see my work used in lots of new ways, and on a huge scale.
Your style is quite nostalgic for the early 20th century – what’s the appeal of that era?
I always love reading about the interwar period and people such as Cecil Beaton, Rex Whistler and Oliver Messel. I suppose for me the 1920s and 30s represent a lively, romantic, elegant, eccentric and glamorous time. Researching and getting inspired by this period for me is a sort of antidote to the intensely digital age we live in. Looking at pictures from that time, everyone and everything always looks so stylish…
What do you collect, and why?
I particularly enjoy collecting ceramics – old and new – usually funny things like dishes in the shape of vegetables or animals. My current favourite item is a bowl we picked up recently in the shape of a crab, complete with claws. It’s good for serving olives.
Now that you’re working as an interior designer too, has it been hard to meld your own personal style with someone else’s taste?
It’s going to be an exciting challenge. When working with a client, the end goal is to end up with an interior that primarily reflects the client’s taste and personality, guided by me.
Where do you feel at your most creative? Do you sketch out-and-about, or prefer the comfort of home?
I like both – at home I can put on music, get my books out for inspiration, relax and crack on with what I need to do, but it’s also fun to be outside, sketching things as they’re happening. On holiday in Italy this summer I took a sketchbook with me everywhere we went and would sit and draw people at the beach, on the rocks, in the water…
How do you like to re-charge, away from work?
Cooking! We have an excellent greengrocer near our home – my perfect way to unwind is to go and stock up on produce and spend a weekend afternoon at home with Duncan, cooking and making our way through the newspapers. I like to escape London often too. At least once a month we’ll drive down to Wiltshire or Somerset, go for lunch, stay overnight in a pub, walk and rest.
Art & Interiors, Third Floor, North Dome and Second Floor, Designer Walkway