Decorating & Design

August 24, 2011

Ikea As Art

At last week’s exhibitIKEA event we were able to see the results of this challenge: four local artists had to find new ways to work with and display Ikea products.

Fashion designer David Dixon used his clothing design skills to create a pretty collection of womenswear using by-the-metre fabric the company sells. (The dress on the left is a style he intends to use in his Spring 2012 line. This version is made with the Kajsastina fabric, at $6 per metre.) “People traditionally use their fabric to make cushion covers and bags,” he says. David debated between two colours schemes — brights and bolds, or neutrals. “I decided to go with the neutrals because it’s more me. It’s softer.”

To display select pieces he opted for a spacious dressing room, featuring a vast expanse of wardrobe space. The affordable Varmluft shades created a warm glow when packed tightly together on the ceiling. A shag rug, accessories table and clean-lined chairs in coordinating colours complemented the design. Each wardrobe door featured a motivational message on the top glass pane, and inside each door were hangers with more inspiring thoughts hanging from the pant clips. “It’s about passion and being who you are, and what’s really behind the door,” explains David.

Inspired by Giorgio Morandi, the late Italian still-life painter, photographer George Whiteside created vignettes using Ikea products. Most are grouped by colour — “I’m the monochromatic-type, for the most part” — and there are slight variations within each. “I loved the shapes, as the objects are very sculptural and not terribly recognizable [once grouped],” he says. “It takes you away from the actual function of the objects.”

After taking shots of 200 variations, he scanned a water-damaged notebook and used the various scans to frame the photos. The curved notebook corners were well-suited to the curved edges of the Ödby frames. Talk about a DIY art project!

As for artist Bruno Billio, he created a unique sculpture using Ikea chairs, and Thrush Holmes, an artist and painter, put together a colourful home that featured words etched into clean-lined furniture. As David says, “The exhibit is here to inspire people to think outside the box.”

Have you ever taken a household object and given it a new purpose? Tell us about it!

Plus, see other creative interiors featuring Ikea furniture and accessories.

Photo credits:
Seema Persaud