Britain’s biggest wallpaper company has joined forces with some of Britain’s best up-and-coming surface pattern talent to produce a range of 16 exhilarating new wallpaper designs.
The New Wave Collective
came about thanks to the curatorship of design journalist Barbara Chandler, a passionate supporter of emerging talent. She has worked with Graham & Brown over the last year, selecting designers from a variety of fields including textiles, illustration, street art and fashion, who have created an exclusive collection which offers high-end design at high-street prices.
‘Making such new talent affordable and accessible is a truly bold step for Graham & Brown,’ she says. ‘I love the democracy of our project. New Wave is a testament to the diversity of talent in surface pattern today.’
The brief to the designers allowed them to fully express their individual styles: ‘Interpret what inspires you and create a wallpaper design that tells us the story of your insights.’ The results are 16 diverse designs by 13 designers which really do offer something for everyone – from beautifully rendered botanicals to graphic geometrics.’
Supporting creative design has always been at the heart of Graham & Brown’s forward-thinking business philosophy. ‘We have long-known that in order to flourish, we must support designers who think differently about pattern,’ says Mark Radford, Design and Marketing Director at Graham & Brown. ‘Excitingly, New Wave is about us as a British company both celebrating and championing the best of home-grown British talent.’
Journalist Barbara Chandler is the curator for the New Wave collection for Graham & Brown.
‘I have been writing about home design and decorating for over 35 years, for national papers and magazines. Going to design shows at home and abroad is the life-blood of my reporting – indeed I think I am addicted to them, and the adrenaline-rush I get from new talent. On such visits during the past decade, I have noticed an upsurge in talent for pattern-making in our newer UK designers.
It seemed to me that Britain now leads the world in the creation of surface pattern, yet only a fraction was finding its way to market, or indeed acknowledged in the wider design world. Whilst professional design magazines extensively cover, for example, furniture and product design, they seem unwilling to acknowledge pattern as a UK design strength.
Graham & Brown heard what I was saying, and together we decided to do something about it. We invited a select band of new and emerging design talent to take part in the New Wave design collective
. Graham & Brown welcomed the designers to a briefing session at their headquarters in Blackburn. Here the designers learned about Graham & Brown products, and explored production techniques on an extensive factory tour. They then spent some time in the design studio and received the promise of ongoing support from the design and product development team throughout the project.
We cast our net wide, to embrace designers not only of textiles and wallpapers, but also of fashion, illustration and graffiti.
We imposed very few restrictions, simply asking each of our designers to express their particular talents, inspirations and expertise in a wallpaper to sell on the mass market.
The result is a diverse portfolio of wall decoration, from delicate traceries and quieter repeat motifs to full-on colour and bold statements; from pictorial story-telling to flowers, feathers, fish, graffiti and abstracts. We have drama, poetry, fantasy, romance, and, yes, humour too.
Indeed New Wave is testament to the diversity of talent in surface pattern in Britain today, which in turn reflects the nationwide richness of our historic art and design colleges, and their ability to nurture individual talent.
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