10 things to see at LDF #5: Darkroom’s pop-up barge shop

Design store Darkroom has teamed up with tile manufacturer Bert & May to launch a pop-up store on Bert’s Barge near Bethnal Green – home to tiles, jewellery, homeware and an exhibition of Egyptian textiles designed by Anthony Burrill, APFEL, Damien Poulain and Rhonda Drakeford

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An outdoor installation created using tiles designed by Darkroom in collaboration with Bert & May

Darkroom was founded by graphic designer Rhonda Drakeford and Lulu Caldbeck Roper, who previously worked for Paul Smith. The shop is known for its monochrome interior and products featuring simple shapes, bold colours and graphic prints.

For London Design Festival, Darkroom has teamed up with tile manufacturer Bert & May to launch a pop-up shop on Bert’s Barge – a canal boat behind Bert & May’s showroom in East London.

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Bert’s barge has been given a monochrome makeover by Darkroom co-founder Rhonda Drakeford

Drakeford has designed the boat’s interior and Darkroom has created a new range of jewellery and homeware for the pop-up. Planters, cushions, chopping boards and necklaces feature colourful spots and hole motifs inspired by brick and metal work.

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Tiles designed by Darkroom with Bert & May. The simple shapes can be combined to create a range of patterns
Darkroom's new products include planters, ceramics and chopping boards with designs inspired by brick and metalwork
Darkroom’s new products include planters, ceramics and chopping boards with designs inspired by brick and metalwork

The store has also worked with Bert & May to produce a set of black-and-white tiles, showcased in an outdoor installation by the barge.

From September 17 to 25, the pop-up is home to an exhibition of Egyptian Kheyameya textiles curated by Rotate Editions, a new venture founded by former CR staff writer Roanne Bell which produces limited edition art and design collections.

Drakeford, Anthony Burrill, APFEL and Damien Poulain have each designed a set of three textile hangings using Kheyameya, a hand-sewn applique process practised by artisans in Cairo.

Bell had the idea for the project after living in Cairo, where the technique was historically used to decorate tents. 

Monochrome wall hanging created by A Practice for Everyday Life (APFEL)
One of three wall hangings created by A Practice for Everyday Life (APFEL). Image: Karl Donovan
Rhonda Drakeford's Kheyameya wall hangings
Rhonda Drakeford’s Kheyameya wall hangings for Rotate Editions

It’s a laborious process: designs were printed to scale and an outline created by pricking thousands of small holes into a sheet of paper. The perforated sheet is then laid onto a background canvas and black carbon dust sprinkled on top to create an outline of the pattern on the cloth underneath. The design is drawn on to the canvas in pencil using the dusted dots as a guide before the final pattern is hand-stitched into place.

Anthony Burrill's Kheyameya wall hangings for Rotate Editions
Anthony Burrill’s wall hangings for Rotate Editions. Image: Renee Arns
Kheyameya wall hanging by Damien Poulain. Image: Renee Arns
Kheyameya wall hanging by Damien Poulain. Image: Renee Arns

The barge is open until Christmas 2016 and the Kheyameya textile exhibition is on display from September 17 – 25.

For details see darkroomlondon.com and rotate-editions.com

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