This September, Heals are launching an in-store exhibition to celebrate creative women and the spaces they work, create and inspire within.
Aptly named, ‘Spaces’ the innovative exhibition will take over the windows of Heals’ Tottenham Court Road store, with the iconic lifestyle store collaborating with five of London’s most pioneering women to create five completely unique spaces. With windows curated by: singer/songwriter Maria Diamondis, YOU cover star Melissa Hemsley, author (of The Miniaturist) Jessie Burton, artist Annie Sloan and jewellery designer Jacqueline Rabun.
Heals have a long history of collaborating with prominent designers and artists, with this curation in particular providing an exciting opportunity to explore the influence of an environment and the process behind creating a space which fulfils and empowers a working environment. Ruth Cotterell, Head of Heal’s Marketing, shares, ‘our behaviour is heavily influenced by our environment, surroundings are extremely important for those who create, often becoming a significant part of the process.’ The spaces will provide a unique opportunity to explore the style, essence and creative mind-set behind each space and how intrinsic it is to each artist and their work.
So, it only seems natural that the most popular place to create for everyone from Annie Sloan to Jacqueline Raburn is their homes – bar Jessie Burton who’s little shed at the end of the garden doubles as her ‘little retreat, a separate space away from the house that’s dedicated to reading and writing.’ Jessie’s window will reflect her maximalist taste with bold Frida Kahlo prints accessorising her desk upon which an antique typewriter, a gift from her grandma, will take pride of place.
Rather unsurprisingly, cookery teacher and author Melissa Hemsley adores creating at her ‘kitchen table which, after years of dreaming and building, I finally have a creative space. I need a lovely big table, comfortable chair and fresh air – I’m happiest working when there’s fresh air.’ With her garden and ingredients close by, Melissa’s able to work on recipes and write with total ease and most importantly, comfort. So when it came to curating her window a living wall and abundance of plants helped her illustrate her passion for recycling with personal touches – think David Shrigley art and moon charts – to showcase her kitchen as the heart of her home.
When it comes to constructing and responding to each space the concurrent theme across each is absolutely comfort. For Marina Diamandis, when it came to creating a creative space which inspires her song writing she agrees with Jaqueline’s approach to a working environment: creating a space which isn’t ‘too homely, you want to feel removed enough from your home so you can think in a different way and remind yourself it’s a place to get stuff done.’ Set lists, instruments and archived costumes accessorise Marina’s window which provide an insight into her dressing room with a note pad filled with lyrics and snacks across her dressing table.
Home comforts and nurturing areas, where plants, views and candles come together help create a tranquil and productive areas ‘that allow me to focus when I create’ are vital to Jaqueline who’s deskside view of St James Church and calm atmosphere assist her in getting into the right headspace when she’s ready to design her contemporary collections. Her space at Heals will reflect Jaqueline’s minimal aesthetic with clean lines and delicate white lilies offsetting the window’s wood and concrete palate.
For Annie Sloan, space and light are vital. The colour expert’s Oxford studio is transported into Heals with paint pots, decorative paintings and splashes of colour filling the window. The artist’s current project – a Brunel sideboard – sits as the focal point with ‘paint, paint and paint’ offering her creative energy.
The windows will be unveiled ahead of London Design Festival, on September 11th.
Feature by Sarah-Rose Harrison.