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Introducing... The
Common Room

When former performance artist, Kate Hawkins, retired from her chosen medium, she followed a new vision: to make good, contemporary art accessible to "the many, rather than the few". 

Her solution? To commission working artists to design conceptual wallpapers, and sell them in her new shop, The Common Room. I think the brand new company's first designs are very exciting. What do you reckon?

'282 Ways of Making a Salad', above, by Fine Art/Philosophy graduate James Ferris, takes its title from a 1950s book of celebrity salad recipes (it exists, I checked on Amazon).

Wallpaper has generally been thought of as background rather than foreground," Kate and co explain. "but our wallpapers are designed to challenge and excite. Just like every great artwork."

The concept not a million miles away from Fenton Art and Design, who I wrote about last year – ethos-wise, at least, as both business models are focused on supporting either emerging or established artistic talent.

'Back to Front', above, by Goshka Macuga, is based on a scan of the threads from the back of one of the large scale tapestries she makes; "the hidden workings, the threads and knots" showing "how an artwork is all tied together".

The papers are for sale at £85 per roll, with samples at £1.50 each. See other artists' designs including Kate's own at

Post by Kate

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