‘A Portrait of Pattern’ is a fine art collection that captures the essence of each of Neisha Crosland’s trademark patterns on paper.
One of the country’s leading pattern designers, her motifs have been wrapped across the surfaces of wallpapers, soft furnishings, rugs, carpets, tiles and design objects throughout the world’s smartest houses and hotels. At once established motifs in the contemporary cultural imagination, and subtle ciphers of sophistication, they have been spotted in fashion campaigns and on Hollywood film sets. This collection of fine works on paper invites us to look back at this legacy with just a single glance.
Drawn and painted by hand on the flat surface from which they were originally formed, each framed piece sees a pattern’s elemental characters emerge. For Neisha, pattern is a language through which she has been able to tell and retell stories she has seen and experienced throughout her life, whether on travels, at museums or galleries or in magazines and books. Taking these visual symbols and ideas, and recontextualising them in this work, she frees the viewer to imbue it with their own visual experiences. As such, it enters into intimate dialogues, with untold potential for interpretations that are drawn from a web of unique references and relationships. The production of the works has also been an opportunity for Neisha herself to meditate on the works. Each is its own lens into her kaleidoscopic world of shifting colours and configurations. A rare eye and a self-evident artistic talent saw Neisha complete her MA in Printed Textiles at the Royal College of Art in 1984. Only three years later she launched the first of her many ubiquitous patterns, the ‘Star’, which proved an instant bestseller. She has since been exposed to influences as historically and geographically varied as the Russian Constructivists, Georgia O’Keefe, Japanese kimonos, photographs by Horst, Haeckel’s biological illustrations and fabrics from the Ottoman Empire. The resonance of these sources ricochet across her work, but each resulting fusion takes on a life of its own. Neisha has returned to her most classic motifs repeatedly throughout her career, continuously reimagining them in new scales, colourways or materials.
‘A Portrait of Pattern’ was first exhibited at the Afridi Gallery, London, where the works looked completely at home paired with Agra carpets, ceremonial 16th-century Persian maces and Ottoman plates, and equally with mid-century Vernon Panton chairs and Arredoluce lighting. Now available to view at Neisha’s studio. Catalogue also available on request.
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