Harvey Nichols Drawings

Late last night I finished the GIANT Harvey Nichols commission, and so this morning I wanted to show you some of the drawings and prep work before posting the photographs of the final installation next week. 

I was commissioned by Harvey Nichols to design a scheme across the twelve windows along the front of their Knightsbridge London flagship store. It was in every sense an enormous commission and I have been working on it since June but only now can show you what I've been up to.

It was a wonderful, exciting brief with keywords including:
Autumnal, darkness, McQueen, black and off blacks, gothic, edwardian, english nature and animals. The team at Harvey Nichols were such a pleasure to work with, and I'm so proud of the finished work.

The windows are covered in a skin of floor to ceiling black cut vinyls of my drawings (a selection of which are shown above). The backdrops are created from my hand poured ink drawings in elegant off black shades of brown, green, blue and navy, and I'll show the ink paintings in more detail over the coming weekes. I have been in store for the last three days hand painting embellishments to the vinyls and the backdrops, which has been enormous fun and really brought the vinyls to life.

Here's some earlier drafts so you can see how the design developed over time, this scruffy first draft had a lot more foliage:

 The second draft had many more animals...

Including this rather unlucky mouse snacking on blackberries and faced with an adder!

The final composition included less animals allowing them to feature much larger and run across more windows. The blackberries worked well and so were repeated across more windows adding texture and interest. I designed the oversized animals to have a slightly sinister presence when interacting with the mannequins, leaning in to explore them, and I'm really pleased with the finished effect of this.

Emma Brown (wonderful photographer - see her work here) popped down on Wednesday to document the process of the installation, and she'll return Monday to capture the finished windows so I'll share the photos next week. Until then, I really recommend the Arthur Bispo do Rosario and Heatherwick Studio exhibitions at the V&A which are both challenging, inspiring and imaginative. Have a lovely weekend! x

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