Artists and designer Luke Edward Hall is known for his colourful aesthetic, love of history and playfulness. Collaborating with pre-eminent manufacturers of Italian dinnerware Richard Ginori, his Viaggio di Nettuno collection is the perfect embodiment of his signature style. Luke takes us behind the design process and shares his top home styling tips...
Can you tell us about the design process for your Il Viaggio di Nettuno collection with Richard Ginori? How do you go from initial concept to seeing the final piece?
Very early on in the collaborative process I spoke with Richard Ginori about potential themes for the new collection. We all loved the idea of focusing on the sea, but as well as shells, coral and wave motifs, we wanted to bring in Roman gods, goddesses and other characters with connections to the ocean. I’ve loved Greek and Roman mythology since childhood and I often turn to the myths for inspiration, so I really enjoyed being able to bring a mythological edge to the pieces. I went away and started working on watercolours which we then began applying to plates, platters, mugs, cups and other porcelain pieces. Wonderfully, we also worked on creating some completely new products for this range - a vase in the shape of an urn with mermaid tails for handles was inspired by pieces I saw in the Ginori archives. We also produced a special candleholder comprised of three scallop shells and decorated with gold to catch and reflect flickering candlelight. It took a while to get the colours exactly right. It's a testament to Ginori's excellent craftsmanship that we were able to achieve such saturated, punchy colours!
How do you think social media has transformed the art world, do you think it’s a positive platform for emerging artists?
I think it can be very positive, yes. When I first set my studio up in 2015 I used Instagram to showcase the things I was making, which led to commissions and collaborations. Social media really was and still is an extremely useful tool.
Who or what inspires you most?
A lot of things! Artists and designers from the past, travel, novels, music...
If you weren’t an artist, what would you be doing?
Something to do with food (I love to eat). I’d be making cheese or honey.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
What are two things you can’t change? The past and other people.’ Good to remember.
Can you tell us about your home style, and what’s your favourite room?
I live half in London, half in the countryside. In both places we have a lot of colour and a lot of pattern going on. I like furniture, lighting and accessories from different periods – I enjoy mixing things up and putting unexpected things next to each other.
What’s your most treasured possession?
I’m strangely not too tied to my possessions, but I’ve got a collection of old and rare books that is very special to me.
What are your top three tips for restyling a room?
Painting walls is, of course, the quickest and easiest way to make a dramatic change. Otherwise think about replacing small items such as cushions and lamp shades to liven a room up.
How would you spend your perfect day off?
I’d be at our cottage in the countryside with my boyfriend Duncan, and it’d be a hot day in high summer. We’d spend the morning exploring antique and junk shops and nearby gardens; later on we’d cook for friends and eat outdoors overlooking the fields next to our little house.