‘Charleston – a Bloomsbury House and Garden’ by Quentin Bell, Vanessa Bell’s son, and his daughter Virginia Nicholson A facinating history of the house and the collective of artists who lived and worked there. Published by Frances Lincoln. ISBN: 071122370X
There seems to be a lot of talk about ‘collectives’ at the moment and we think these groups of people working together, to the same goal often in the same place; fits with the whole community spirit of make-and-mend. For us, there is definitely a romantic notion about a bohemian group of people, holed up together, creating wonderful works of art, inspiring each other while sharing a collective-consciousness.
We first started to notice collectives gaining in popularity last year but groups of artists working together, towards a similar goal in the same place; is nothing new and have occurred throughout history. The Bloomsbury Group which could be thought of as a collective of artists, painters, writers and ‘thinkers’, came together in the Bloomsbury area of London in the early 1900’s. Members of this fascinating and boundary-pushing group lead by artist, and sister of Virginia Woolf, Vanessa Bell moved to Charleston Farmhouse in East Sussex to live and work as a group of like-minded people. Among them were painter Roger Fry, writer Clive Bell and artist and critic Duncan Graham.
Artist Niko, who modelled the black woollen surf hat for us, is part of a collective called Ornamental Conifer based in East London. We met him on the South Bank. He was already wearing a hat, so we asked him if he’d wear an Ollie&Agnes hat, and have a photo taken, and he did! He and an interesting group of artists work at the London studio offering hands on approach to print design and sign writing. Check it out!
‘Made in the Shade’ are a new Glasgow-based collective, which was set up by an ex-university lecturer, Carrie Maclennan, and includes designers and graphic artists. They were brought together by their love of The Fifties and offer bespoke design. These guys have taken the collective a step further by opening a shop, come gallery called The Maisonette which sounds really interesting and will also serve as a workshop and place to hold craft events.
Carrie Maclennan (in the Daily Telegraph magazine) says: ‘I am working with my friends in a space that feels like my living room’ …and what could be better than that!
Quick, let’s form a collective, it sounds brilliant.