Tuesday, 3 January 2012

What's in a frame?

When designing a room or space, the subject of artwork should always be in play - either to adorn walls, atop a table or to hang from the ceiling. Whether you capture inspiration for the room by the prized piece of art, or find something that without a doubt must be a part of the space, artwork should evoke a personal connection to the room and to you. You'll be more grateful (in the end) whether you glance upon or stare at it in amazement.

So how do you decide what should be in the frame? Well, I'm not a big fan of purchasing a print or painting from a big box store - something that has been mass produced and could easily be in my neighbour's home. I'm not trying to be pretentious, but I truly feel that art should be personal and unique...and you don't always have to spend a lot of money to achieve something great.

Approximately 10 years ago I travelled to China and stumbled upon a tiny pair of shoes in an open market. They are a delicate replica of what bourgeoisie women would've succumbed to wear when foot binding was almost a cultural requirement - circa 960, and lasted for many dynasties. The shoes didn't cost a fortune - I actually had my tour guide bargain for me - but they are important enough to me to be showcased. I purchased an Umbra shadow box/frame, and used pins to hold the shoes in place. They've been on display at the entrance of my home and currently hang in my office - I admire them every time I sit at my desk and remember what a wonderful adventure I had exploring China.
Kidlicious Designs - uniquely hand-crafted

The modern graphic artist also has a lot to offer when it comes to unique artwork. For example, Belynda Chen, Kidlicious Designs, places whimsical creative images onto beautifully patterned paper - with or without personalization. She's got many colour schemes to suit your decor, the price is right and the appeal is timeless for children's spaces.

My latest pride and joy is a promotional graphic of Richard Petty (who's image is fashioned as Mr. The King in Disney's Cars) touting touring across America. It's a perfect fit in red, white and blue for the Cars fanatic in my house...and it was free! After filling my gas tank, I simply asked the station attendant if I could have a copy of the placard, as I noticed the promotional date had passed - the sign(s) would've ended up in the garbage. Framed in a simple IKEA Ribba frame, it adds instant appeal to the room.

If photography is more what you're looking for, but you don't have the budget to travel to Egypt for the perfect picture of the Sphinx, check websites like Shutterstock. They've got millions of high resolution royalty free photos to choose from. You can browse for free, then for a small fee, you can download the file in seconds, upload to your local photo outlet or print to your home printer - painless, and all in the comfort of your own home....and don't forget to frame it!

Of course objects of adoration don't always have to be framed to be considered 'art' for a room or space. A friend recently purchased a home where the previous owners hung a 20 foot canoe on the ceiling. Hung upside down, encasing the track lighting, the statement of that art installation welcomes you into the home like no other - fantastic! Of course the house was negotiated on the basis that the canoe had to stay. The house is now referred to as 'the cottage' even though its in the city.

So, keep your eyes open, art is waiting everywhere for you to frame, hang and adore it!