NEW YORK – Luke Edward Hall seamlessly blends the worlds of art and design, from exhibiting his drawings to collaborating with companies including Burberry and Stubbs & Wootton to interior decorating to establishing his own popular lines of fabrics and furnishings. "The creative process is the same whether I’m painting on canvas, designing a fabric or decorating a vase," he says. "These days I don’t think it’s terribly important or interesting to point out what qualifies as art and what doesn’t." We spoke with Hall (who charmingly describes his aesthetic as "Greco-Roman meets crumbling English country house with a dash of Palm Springs") about his impressively varied career, where he finds inspiration and his favourite works in our upcoming Prints & Multiples Online auction.
LUKE EDWARD HALL. PHOTO: REBECCA REID.
Could you talk a bit about how your career has developed over the years?
I’ve always been interested in both fashion and interiors, and studied menswear fashion design at Central Saint Martins in London before moving into interiors. I worked in an old country house on weekends as a teenager, and whilst I was a student, I sold antiques online in my spare time. After I graduated I went to work as an interior designer for the architectural and interior designer Ben Pentreath. Whilst working for Ben I started designing and printing my own fabrics and posting my drawings and paintings up on Instagram. This led to various private and commercial commissions, and at the end of 2015 I decided to leave my job and concentrate fully on my own work. I spent 2016 working on various exciting projects (a couple of small interior design jobs, a pop-up shop, ranges of ceramics) and collaborations with Burberry, Drake’s and a hotel in Palm Springs. I like to apply my aesthetic to different things – could be a fabric, a vase or an interior. For me, they’re all part of the same story.
How does your background in fashion design inform your work?
When designing these days, I’m still interested in the same things as I was when I was making clothes – mixing lots of different colours, textures and patterns. This is apparent in my interior design and also in my designs for fabrics and ceramics. When it comes to clothes, I like rather classic shapes – a good, simple shirt or jacket – but I always choose something colourful, or with an interesting (but not irritating) detail like funny buttons or contrast piping. For me, it’s the same for homewares and interiors. I like classic design – an old Howard armchair, for example – but I’d always want to upholster it in a fun, unexpected fabric.
CERAMICS, DRAWINGS AND PAINTINGS AT THE LUKE EDWARD HALL POP-UP SHOP AND EXHIBITION, BLOOMSBURY. PHOTO: JASON INGRAM.
What inspires your aesthetic, and how has it evolved since you began working?
I’m inspired by the art and architecture of the ancient Greeks and Romans, the romantic nature of the English countryside and our ancient folklore and customs, along with the bright, vivid colours of mid-century Palm Springs. Somehow I want to combine all of these things in my work, or at least, these are the things I’m often thinking about when I’m working. However, one of the joys of constantly creating new work is that I find I’m always being inspired by new things – places I’m visiting, books I’m reading, music I’m listening to.
How do your own designs and illustrations relate to the antique furniture and decorative pieces you work with?
When I’m drawing or designing, I often like to imagine how a finished piece might look within an interior – a vase on top of an antique plinth I’ve noticed somewhere, say, or a framed drawing against a particular wallpaper. I’m very much inspired by the Bloomsbury Group and how these artists painted on canvas, but also directly onto walls and furniture – I love the idea of blurring the lines between art, design and interiors.
LUKE EDWARD HALL'S ILLUSTRATIONS FOR BURBERRY'S GLOBAL CAMPAIGN, IN-STORE INSTALLIONS AND PRODUCT COLLABORATIONS. PHOTO: COURTESY OF BURBERRY.
Are you drawn to any artists or designers in particular?
I’m a big fan of Cecil Beaton, William Morris, Jean Cocteau, Andy Warhol, Duncan Grant and the Bloomsbury Group. I’m particularly drawn to people whose work spans several disciplines. I recently enjoyed the Vanessa Bell exhibition at Dulwich Picture Gallery. I found it so inspiring how Bell applied her recognisable style to everything from book jackets, fabrics and furniture to interiors and painting. I like working across different fields and not distinguishing between what is considered ‘art’ and what is considered ‘design’, so people like Bell and Duncan Grant have always inspired me a great deal. The art of Bloomsbury is also very colourful, which naturally appeals to me too.
Who are your favourite types of clients to work with?
When I collaborate with companies or other makers, it’s important that our individual aesthetics can work together. I need to feel something towards them – a love or appreciation of what they do. For example, I worked recently on a wine label for Berry Bros. & Rudd, and it was a dream project because the company has such an incredible history. With interior design jobs, clients hopefully come to me because we appreciate the same things – colour being at the top of the list, I should think.
To learn about Hall's favourite pieces in our Prints & Multiples Online auction, click below.