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London Design Festival: Nude Religion – Anna Burns Object and Hayden Kays

SEEN always enjoys the London Design Festival. It’s a dazzling array of design collaborations, proving that the UK is a go-to destination for design students, studios and collectors.

This year, spatial designer Anna Burns and acclaimed artist Hayden Kays are collaborating on a provocative new collection – “Nude Religion” – celebrating love, sex, worship and the female form for this year’s London Design Festival.

This Oli Goss Art production is Anna’s third showing at LDF as Anna Burns Object. For Hayden, known for his sardonic twist on 21st century life – and death – it marks his first foray into the world of design.

It’s a seamless crossover as both their day jobs have remarkable similarities. Art and design play an integral part in the creative process, both combining imagination, interpretation with precise execution to deliver the desired vision.

Inspired by this natural alliance, “Nude Religion” showcases a selection of fabrics featuring original ABO designs intertwined with Hayden’s hand-drawn depictions. These are informed by Anna’s merging of the everyday alongside the provocative and surreal. Anna’s print STRIP draws on a photocopy aesthetic that puts a twist on the usually banal striped patterns. While “Heavenly Bodies” takes the breast out of context and places it into a digital Magritte-style textile of fluffy clouds that provide the perfect cushion for nestling breasts.

Hayden has married these designs with illustrations in the form of life and death, love and sex, skulls and flowers – a combination of brash and abrupt images, spliced with delicate illustrations. They are embroidered onto British-made soft cotton velvet and linen fabrics adding a cynically sentimental feel to the designs that play with the awkward to make it beautiful.

Both will also unveil individual works – Hayden will be exhibiting a bespoke 1970s Danish designed chair, upholstered in a velvet monochrome pattern of his signature skulls called “Bittersweet Symmetry”. Anna said: “Hayden’s melancholic take on romance has always struck a chord with me, so when the opportunity came to collaborate I felt we could create a dialogue between my visceral prints and objects and his compellingly guttural feelings”.

Anna has been creating sets and environments for photography, runway, events and shows and window displays as well as art installations over her 15-year career in fashion. Her work has graced the pages of fashion magazines worldwide and her acclaimed displays for Hermès, Burberry and Louboutin continue to inspire awe and wonder from passers-by. Her ground-breaking photo shoots for “Casa Vogue” were the incentive to explore everyday home products that launched Anna Burns Object.

Born in London and now based in Margate, Hayden represents the next generation of Young British Artists. His work encompasses painting, sculpture and print-making, demonstrating at each stage classically-trained techniques married with a contemporary perspective laced with satirical punchlines. His witticisms and manipulation of colour, blending bold imagery with acerbic wordplay have earned him success, critical acclaim and notoriety within the art establishment and beyond.

Hayden said: “The work Anna produces as a designer is art. My work as an artist has to incorporate design, so working together was not only stimulating, it was easy. We were on the same page from day one when we chose our themes, that are the omnipresent by which we all live and die. I want my artwork to live in as many environments and on as many materials as possible, so branching out into design was always going to be my next step.”

NUDE RELIGION is an Oli Goss Art production and will be running from the 15th – 23rd September.

Oli Goss Art
59 Hackney Road
E2 7NX