The multi-hyphenated British designer, artist and creator Stuart Haygarth has always taken notions of artistic appropriation to its extremes. For instance, Dungeness Beach in Kent has been a fruitful collection point for his expansive selection of debris. Over the years, the sea-flecked beach has provided the artist with abundant inspiration for projects ranging from a Vogue Nippon shoot to an eye-popping window display for Selfridges.
This month, Haygarth opens a new exhibit of his challenging furnishing-slash-fine-art pieces at the central London branch of the Haunch of Venison gallery.
Taxonomy – or the scientific practice of classification – may seem a less than stimulating contemporary design entry point, but Haygarth imbues the topic with his trademark self-proclaimed obsession with arbitrary and abandoned objects. The results verge on the sublime.
Gathering together seemingly insignificant items that range from multi-coloured party poppers to a potpourri of spectacles, Haygarth reconfigures his objects of choice to form a synthesised whole. In the process, each quotidian piece acquires a new and unexpected meaning. Whether a revolving mirror ball constructed from 350 crushed car wing mirrors or a scrappy series of ‘Urchin’ chandeliers that are meticulously formed from a cascade of spectacle frames, Haygarth never balks from challenging established notions of beauty. Indeed, his approach is as eclectic as it is generous.
Practical, pared-down and achingly ecologically sound, Haygarth’s first exhibition at the Haunch of Venison provides an enticing insight into the creative process of one of London’s most intriguing talents. We're looking forward to a bit of bespectacled brightening this winter.