August 13 2010
Hidden Art is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to promoting the work of designers and designer-makers for whom a key global platform is Hidden Art’s e-shop. Imagine a design-savvy giant rampaging around the country scooping up the latest, brightest ideas dreamt up by the UK’s design and fashion community and depositing them under one roof, and you get an idea of the beauty of this e-shop. More than 100 designers tout their wares here (around 400 products in total).
A taste for the quirky, witty and funky runs through this collection, whose categories are gifts, home and garden, dining, lighting, eco-shop, furniture and jewellery and fashion. One surreal offering is Vitamin’s hospital-inspired plant pot fitted with an intravenous drip so that your plant is continuously watered, while the flow of water is easy to regulate to suit the individual specimen (third picture, £159.50).
The designs are varied enough to appeal to different tastes. Fans of boudoir chic will go weak at the knees at Tina Tsang’s ridiculously frivolous, marshmallow-pink earthenware cake stand crowned by a pair of women’s legs diving into a fondant fancy (second picture, £128). Meanwhile, architecture fiends’ heads will be turned by Susan Bradley’s bookends showing The Gherkin in silhouette (£19.72).
Conceptual jokes abound: Ayda Anlagan’s Every Drop Counts soup bowls include an image of a rabbit racing towards its burrow to escape a bird of prey which only reveals itself as you quaff your soup (£18). Jake Phipps’ two pendant lights, Jeeves and Wooster (first picture), in the shape, respectively, of a bowler hat (£189.02) and top hat (£199.24), are bestsellers.
Purists might believe that design should be all about functionality. One glance at the Hidden Art site shows it can also be about fun and play.