“The idea is that it’s these amazing people making beautiful things that enrich life,” says Giovanna Ticciati with a smile. We’re sitting in the glamorous bar upstairs at 45 Park Lane, where delicate ceramic sculptures and stoneware pots line the shelves.
Ticciati looks very much at home here. The elegant interior designer is the founder of the Artisan Collab – a platform showcasing the work of exceptional makers and artists from across the world. Dotted throughout the hotel’s bar and lobby is a unique collection of pieces Ticciati has painstakingly curated for a new exhibition: The Artisan Collab at 45 Park Lane.
The stoneware pots are made by Lucy Whitford – a London-based artist who recently won the Artisan Collab’s Rising Creator Fellowship. Each of her creations is hand-built at her home studio in South East London and takes around four weeks to craft, dry, and fire.
This is how every piece on display is made: slowly, carefully, and with much skill. “In their own way,” explains Ticciati, “each of the artisans is expressing something very deep inside themselves. There’s something calming about the considered nature [of the pieces]”. Ultimately, she continues, the exhibition is a “celebration of nature”, with the utmost care taken by each artisan to respect the materials they use.
So what should you look out for at the exhibition? Upstairs in the bar, you’ll find large textured canvases by Italian artist, Gennaro Avallone. Inspired by Byzantine artifacts, his pieces – which are made at his studio in an old salami factory in Milan – are gradually built up over many layers and finished with shimmering gold alloy and pigments.
It’s also well worth keeping an eye out for Sussex-based painter Kate Boxer’s vivid animal portraits, and Mark Charlton’s striking mixed media canvases crafted with as many as 20 layers of stucco and paint (he often begins his works with no idea how the finished piece will emerge). Eagle-eyed visitors will notice a gorgeous bronze and shell table made by Ticciati herself (she is also a talented furniture designer).
If you only have time to see one more thing it has to be Pippa Small’s ethical jewelry collection. Tucked out of sight behind the reception desk (just round the corner in front of the lifts) you’ll find a cabinet of treasures crafted from Fairtrade and Fairmined materials. Small works with a network of highly-skilled artisans from around the world to craft the intricate pieces. Among the highlights on display is an 18-karat gold and frosted crystal necklace handmade in Afghanistan.
The Artisan Collab exhibition is just the latest installment in the hotel’s art program; this summer 45 Park Lane launched a private art trail for guests, delving into Barbara Hepworth’s artistic journey in London.
All of the pieces at The Artisan Collab at 45 Park Lane exhibition are available to buy. The exhibition will run through November 5, 2023.