Buy a copy of the new issue of TON here.
An article on gay saunas might be the last thing you’d expect to find in an interiors magazine – shrouded in secrecy as they are – but TON is full of surprises. In the magazine’s second issue, which launches today, novelist and critic Huw Lemmey delves into the architecture of gay bathhouses, making a case for their unique – and central – place in queer history. “Tongue-and-groove pine panelling betrays the ghostly mirage of the sweaty back of the person who lay against it minutes before, jerking off; in another room, low neon lights dance off the metallic glaze of the tilework while men shower, slowly, and conspicuously watching each other as they let the water run over their bodies,” he writes. “The architecture of desire is ad hoc but robust. What works, works.”
Operating outside of the notoriously stuffy sphere of conventional interiors magazines, TON showcases the less shiny, more unconventional aspects of design, mixing high and low (the magazine’s debut issue, which launched in April this year, featured photos of Dave Baby’s London flat, caked in layer upon neverending layer of furry dust, alongside Paul Reeves’ immaculate Arts and Crafts 17th-century Wiltshire farmhouse). The new issue also sees an exploration of public spaces – a rarity in interiors publications, which often focus on private properties – with gay saunas, sites of worship, and public murals all getting their due.
As Jermaine Gallacher puts it in his editor’s letter, the people featured in TON are “united not by taste or means but by attitude: a do-it-yourself, no-fucks-given, bold, brash, ballsiness that results in a diverse but very real kind of beauty”. With a free-spirited, free-wheeling, DIY ethos – evident across his work as an interior designer and in his Vogue column – Gallacher wants people to leave their inhibitions at the door and simply have a good time. “I hope this issue encourages you to grab the bull by the horns or even just a paintbrush and go for it,” he writes. “But most importantly, I hope it inspires you and takes you somewhere you haven’t been before – have fun!”
Centred around the theme ‘Come Together’ and art directed by Rory Gleeson, the new issue features performance artist Adam Christensen on the cover, at home in his artists’ commune home and studio in Bermondsey – or as Gallacher fondly refers to it, “three-day-bender party central”. Elsewhere, AnOther columnist Claire Marie Healy takes us inside southern Ireland’s Huntington Castle, home to the spiritual organisation the Fellowship of Isis – and to an early scene in Stanley Kubrick’s epic 1974 film Barry Lyndon. Editorial director Ted Stansfield and photographer Dham Srifuengfung embark on a whistlestop tour of London’s sacred spaces, with the glorious architecture of cathedrals, temples, churches and mosques on full display. “From the ancient St Bartholomew’s Church to the much more modern Regent’s Park Mosque, these buildings are vessels for astounding creativity and craftsmanship that spanned time periods, architectural styles and religious expressions,” writes Stansfield, “But the aesthetic didn’t necessarily correlate to the spiritual – all the buildings have a very different feel.”
Gallacher pays a visit to Elise Gettliffe’s tranquil home in Alsace, France, a former tile showroom-turned-potter’s place, which was deeply inspired by Japan. With a live-in studio, a huge brutalist sink, an enormous skylight, an avocado green toilet, five cats, and a ‘Japanese room’ inspired by her time in Tokyo, the house is an exercise in the sheer wonders of DIY – Gettliffe did most of the work on the house herself, including the plumbing, electricity, and plastering. Elsewhere, TON goes inside John Stefanidis’s Pimlico townhouse, a legendary interior designer whose clients include Claridges, the Bank of England, and Rocco Forte’s Le Richemond Hotel.
“Just like our first issue, TON’s mission remains unchanged,” says Gallacher. “To champion the unsung, to present truly extraordinary, never-before-seen interiors and, above all, to inspire.”
Issue two of TON is out now.