Image: Fire Eye, Paris Essex, Photographer Vytas Nomadas
An exhibition of the work of Paris Essex is on at Emma Scully Gallery in Los Angeles until 22 August. Founded by Carolyn Clewer (from Essex) and Tiphaine de Lussy (from Paris), Paris Essex is the result of years of collaboration between the two knitwear and textiles specialists, which began over 20 years ago at the Royal College of Art. The latest chapter of this adventure is the creation of narratives in a space where distinctions between craft, design, high art and low culture are blurred.
Image courtesy of Emma Scully Gallery, installation view Paris Essex 'Crazy Blankets'.
A Paris Essex "Crazy Blanket" represents a creative dialogue between Clewer and de Lussy; the two take it in turns to play with crochet and knit, using luxurious blends of mohair, wool and super-synthetics. Each blanket is individually created by the duo, taking on its own personality as it grows organically and fluidly. The process is more akin to collage or patchwork than meticulously planned design. Each blanket tells its own story, mixing in patterns, shapes and characters.
Image courtesy of Emma Scully Gallery, installation view Paris Essex
Crazy Blankets can hang on walls, be thrown on sofas, or, in some cases, worn. Their process finds joy and humour in the accidental and unplanned. Against the landscape of industrially produced fashion knitwear, made from globalized design and polished machine work, Paris Essex celebrates the creative possibilities inherent in the handmade. Their references and inspirations are irreverent and pop: from Big Bird to Siouxsie and the Banshees. Clewer and de Lussy materialize our collective cultural dreamscape in a medium uniquely suited to it. Their work retains the warmth, playfulness and absurdity of a cartoon. In our broken moment, the escapism of Sunrise or Dazed Eyes recalls tuning in and dropping out; a psychedelic answer when reason has failed.
Paris Essex 'Crazy Blankets' By Appointment Only to Promote Social Distancing, at Emma Scully Gallery.
For more information visit www.parisessex.com