Blurring the Lines: Form and Function
Written by Rebecca Gutierrez
The design of a home goes far beyond the structure and the features, and even the decor. It’s the personal touches that bring life and ambience into this space you call home. Art is colourful, delightful, and visual. But what happens when art integrates into the being of your home through the creative use of custom woodworking, studio furniture and of course, traditional artwork? This is the growing conversation of how functional art can evoke emotions and pull together spaces that blur the lines between form and function enriching the space into a delicate dance of art and design.
Integrating art into the identity of your home can be accomplished in several ways the most popular with serious collectors being the addition of studio furniture throughout your home. Studio furniture is the name given to artists’ designs that are limited editions or custom designed. Studio furniture can take many forms and shapes, the most popular being lighting, chairs, cabinets, tables, woodworking, and more.
Studio furniture’s appeal is vast and wide-reaching with furniture galleries now representing furniture-makers in a gallery-style setting similar to how painters and sculptors are showcased. Collectors are now paying top dollar for handcrafted pieces of furniture both to adorn their abode but also as investments. And art museums, which previously only exhibited antique furniture, are acquiring and even commissioning contemporary works of studio furniture for their collections.
A familiar example of custom woodwork turned art is the extensive tropical designs crafted for the Nevaeh Villa in Anguilla. In this instance, the designers and homeowners worked with the architects to create whole architectural structures laden with custom wood and stone carvings that complimented the home’s Balinese style turning the entire home into a gallery for custom art.
A more recent example in the BVI is the creative use of a giant sea-turtle sculpture designed into a private residence on Virgin Gorda that not only serves as art but also functions as a canopy. The homeowners initially envisioned a custom sculpture that reflected their tropical home’s beautiful environment and approached the artchitect to see where an art sculpture could be prominently featured on the property. Working with the architect a massive outdoor canopy was designed that would provide functional shade distinguished as artwork and seen throughout the home reflecting the Caribbean Sea. Master welder Enzo Radikal based in the Design District - Miami, was commissioned to create the 14ft x 9ft canopy. The giant sea-turtle was made of corten to further enhance its artistry as corten is a corrosion resistant steel, which displays an attractive fading effect from orange to brown creating a warm, natural look which will complements the home’s colour pallet for years to come.
The beauty of integrating art into your home is that you can express your own style in a myriad of ways. Working with designers, architects, interior architects, gallery owners and custom woodworkers can help provide inspiration and guidance whether you are looking to weave art throughout the design of a new home or wish to integrate art into an existing home there are many ways to showcase your artistic style.