September 11 2010
One of the coolest shops in north London is the Cecelia Colman Gallery on St John’s Wood High Street. Its fabulous array of contemporary glassware in myriad sculptural shapes gives the place a chilled but by no means uninviting appearance. And its unique mix of objets d’art, including ceramics, jewellery and sculpture, is as fetchingly displayed as something you might find at the Victoria and Albert museum.
I live in the area and regularly go in to browse. With its swirling brightly coloured shapes, it’s like entering one of Picasso’s cubist paintings. You certainly emerge feeling as if your imagination has been stimulated. Last year a group of friends and I bought a brightly-coloured hand-blown vase by Stuart Akroyd for a mutual friend’s 50th birthday which cost £260. I also own a pair of silver and stone earrings by Maria Spector that cost £48. (Second picture: kyanite necklace by Maria Spector, £242.)
Cecilia Colman has been based here for more than 30 years and therefore has a wealth of experience of sourcing talented contemporary artists and designers from around Britain. Back in the 1970s St John’s Wood high street was something of a backwater. Today it is a bustling cosmopolitan centre, where Colman’s gallery nestles among smart restaurants and boutiques. Yet it remains the most modern and cutting-edge store there by far.
First picture shows a group of vessels by Camilla Ward, price on application. Third picture: neckpiece with crystals by Karen Van Hoff, price on application.