As part of our #CultureIsNotCancelled campaign, Jermaine Gallacher spotlights the designers he would have been showcasing at Milan Design Week
This article is published as part of our #CultureIsNotCancelled campaign:
Milan Design Week is one of many events which has been cancelled due to the outbreak of Covid-19. Due to take place this month, the festival would have featured a showcase by London-based design dealer and interior designer, Jermaine Gallacher – who is, by this point, effectively AnOther Magazine and Another Man’s design correspondent. In the wake of the fair’s cancellation, and as part of our #CultureIsNotCancelled campaign, we asked Gallacher to spotlight the designers he would have been showcasing – from the New York-based design duo Aaron Aujla and Ben Bloomstein, also known as Green River Project, to the charming and witty Miranda Keyes.
I have been mooning over the work of New York-based design duo Aaron Aujla and Ben Bloomstein aka Green River Project for some time now. They make intrinsically cool and clever furniture and lighting, as well as designing sensational off-kilter interiors. Their most recent projects include menswear brand Bode’s New York flagship store and the new, yet-to-open Dr Clark’s restaurant in Chinatown – both of which I will be checking out on my next trip to New York. These are two designers I am really excited to work with!
2. Viola Lanari
Viola and I have been friends and collaborators for some time now, and I am lucky enough to sell her designs at my Lant Street showroom. Viola makes one-of-a-kind lamps and tables – in fact she can turn her artistic hand to make you just about anything. Plaster is her favoured material; she describes her plaster creations as “beautiful monsters”. I however would describe them simply as “beautiful”.
I once described Lukas’s chairs as “ballsy but elegant”. I think these two words still best depict his designs. Lukas first came to Lant Street with a prototype of his Melange chair a little over a year ago, since then he has exhibited at the Royal Institute of British Architecture, The Peana Gallery in Mexico City and had his first solo show at Lant Street. His love and understanding of material – in particular his leather work, which by the way is sexy as fuck – is best seen here in the Pendal chair, which is an already iconic piece of design.
I was introduced to Taylor through our mutual friend Cicely Travers – Cicely and I had a fun and slightly ridiculous little shop on Porn Alley in Soho, before it got bulldozed and turned into a hotel. Taylor is a true-until-the-end designer who uses different materials until he masters them. Most recently he has been working with papier maché, though I have to confess I have a soft spot for his brushstroke lanterns. I remember him making them at Lant Street while I was setting up for my first show – suddendly, out of nowhere, these extraordinary lamps were hanging from the ceiling ...
Miranda exhibited her work in my first show at Lant Street, Smoke and Mirrors – her feet bookends and wiggly jesmonite glasses were an instant hit. There is a charm and wit in Miranda’s work that I respect and rate – in a world where we are all guilty of taking ourselves far too seriously, I think there is a genuine need for fun. That’s not to say that they are not credible and smart pieces of design; I particularly like the way in which Miranda adds and embellishes found pieces. Fun, clever and witty: a winning combination.
6. Ben Burgis and I
Ben Burgis is one of my oldest and greatest friends, he is a prolific painter and an equally prolific party boy – almost as prolific as me! We have made a few things together in the past, or rather I’ve drawn them up and Ben has put them together. Ben has a beautiful and instinctive way of working with metal; his work reminds me of André Dubreuil, who is a total design hero of mine. So when I had the idea to make some steel zigzag shelf brackets, it was Ben I asked to make them. They come in three sizes, are totally fun, give off the most fabulous shadows, and are actually practical ... Not a word often associated with anything I ever design or sell.
7. Joe Armitage
I remember seeing the Armitage lamp for the first time and thinking it was remarkably beautiful. I still do. Designed by Joe’s grandfather, the architect Edward Armitage, in India, 1952, Joe has lovingly and meticulously bought his grandfather’s design to the attention of the 21st century. I was lucky enough to have this lamp at my first store in Waterloo and can’t wait to welcome it back to my Lant Street showroom.
Bonus: Tom Atton Moore
I first saw Tom’s rugs on Instagram I instantly thought they were very bloody cool, when I later learned they were hand-tufted using a tufting gun he bought on eBay in his garden shed, I had to have one. Tom uses 100 per cent recycled yarns – a mix of 70 per cent wool and 30 per cent acrylic – to achieve the vivid colors. Each rug takes around three weeks to make and is a total one-off.