PAD ( Paris Art and Design ) Fair London
Well I have to admit we felt very smart and business-like going off to London for the day to visit PAD. It's hard for me to fathom after years of living in New York that London is an hour flight from Shannon. Aer Lingus 7.30am flight Shannon to Heathrow, posh handbags, shoes, and nice undies in case either or both of us got run over and had to be taken to a hospital; one can take the girl out of Ireland but you can never take the Irish mammy out of the girl.
At Heathrow we took a black cab to Berkeley Square where the PAD fair was being held. I don’t know about you but few things make me feel more coddled than riding in a London cab. As the world collapses and standards fall it is an outpost where no harm will be done. At least on the hour drive and for 60 pound sterling.
So what is PAD and why go? I know why I go to shows like this; to blow my own mind with the level of design and art that is out there in the world. It is like walking through a living museum where instead of looking from behind a barrier you can get up close and experience it. That might sound a bit nuts but it is basically true and if you are rich enough you can bring it home. It excites me to think I could buy a table even if I have to sell my house to pay for it. A mid century Swedish sofa for 100,000, hey why not. A set of ceramic vases for 10,000? Of course. It is beyond aspirational. The other reason is inspiration.
"PAD epitomises how modern art, photography, design, decorative and tribal arts interact to reveal astonishing combinations and create the most individual and staggering interiors." That is a direct quote from their website. So what did we see and learn?
We saw work from contemporary Irish artists, International and contemporary designers, mid-century galleries, as well as pre-columbian art and antiquities from Rome.
Niamh Barry light sculpture
Joseph Walsh, County Cork
Herve Van der Straeten, one of the worlds most prominent contemporary designers with the craftsmanship and price tag to boot, was there. Amongst his iconic designs such as the Branches mirror and Tabouret stool he showed a pair of red lacquered armoires. Did we ask? We had to, 350,000 sterling. They will disappear into someones home never to be seen again unless they are auctioned off a generation from now or find a future home in a museum.
Herve Van der Straeten
Modernity from Stockholm, one of the most prominent dealers in the world for mid century Scandinavian, had an incredible booth which included lighting from Paavo Tynell and this very unique sofa from Frits Henningsen:
Mathieu Mategot One of the recent trends at various antique fairs we have been to in the last year is the rise of popularity of Mathieu Mategot, a renowned French designer from the 1950's. The prices for his metal tables, bar carts, etc. are on the rise.
Before we left, we had to visit the booth of one of our favourite interior designers, Rose Uniacke, where we experienced intense longing and desire for these plaster console tables by Oriel Harwood.
We had lunch, we drank Champagne, and headed back to Limerick full of new ideas for Irish Girl in Brooklyn.