@still_life_store was founded a year ago by friends Elin Rut Bieltvedt and Shawana Grosvenor, whose common interest in the craft-based aesthetic particular to Modernist art and design brought them together creatively and professionally. “I’ve always wanted to work with Shawana, and we started talking about doing something together and it just organically grew from there,” explains Bieltvedt over the phone. At first, the pair began by utilising Instagram as a platform to showcase their shared moodboard of images, posting a still life-themed painting, a sculpture and an interior object or set-up daily. Ranging from the work of Georgia O’Keeffe and Henri Laurens to Eileen Gray and Le Corbusier, 12 months on, @still_life_store has gained over 20,000 followers, and now also exists as a newly opened online shop, with images of its stock taken by photographer Phil Engelhardt and art directed by Studio Maud. Here, one can purchase unique objects and homewares, personally sourced by Bieltvedt and Grosvenor, that reflect the ambience of their popular account.
The originators of Still Life Store have both settled in London, but both are frequent travellers. Each piece sold on the site hails from far flung locations across the globe. “I’ve spent a lot of time in Mexico, so that’s a huge inspiration,” says Bieltvedt. “There are so many incredible handmade things there, all from raw materials such as clay, onyx and marble. It was about getting inspired by these objects and wanting to share them with the world.” Each object tells a story, a caption narrating its place of origin as a final touch to their carefully curated selection: a handcrafted set of onyx mezcal glasses atop an onyx platter come from Mexico; a small ceramic vase is designed and made by the Benedictine monks of Prinknash Abbey in the UK; and a teak spice pot found in northern India could be re-appropriated as a jewellery box.
“We have chosen these pieces really carefully, and that’s how we want to keep it; a hand-picked selection of curated objects,” says Bieltvedt of future plans. However, there have been several conversations had about artists and photographers creating a set of limited edition prints for the store, and organising pop-ups throughout London and Europe. “But really, it’s all about finding pieces of great quality and craftsmanship that are both unique and affordable – and that people who can’t travel to a quarry in the middle of Mexico will be able to access for their own homes.”
Still Life Store is open now.