Design Centre Stories

Optimistic Outlook

“Colour has the power to lift us up, make us happy, and change our moods. Colour should be a magnetic force that makes us want to stay right in front of it,” says Boston-based artist Liz Roache, the latest person to collaborate with Pierre Frey. Her joyously bold work has translated wonderfully to a collection of fabrics, wallpapers and rugs called Optimism. 

Roache studied and worked with Ati Gropius, daughter of Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius, for more than 30 years. and her work is infused with the Bauhaus idea of using basic shapes as the essential building blocks for more complex patterns. Most of her work starts life as coloured paper cut-outs before she plays around with the shapes and colours to find a harmonious composition. The spirit of these initial collages is apparent in designs such as ‘Optimist’, a multicoloured spot motif on a giant scale (main image, top), and ‘Liz’, a dynamic black and white design of perpendicular bars (above centre), which seem to dance with movement. ‘Saturday’, a panoramic wallcovering (above right), manages to preserve the layered look of the opaque sheets of paper as they are laid over one another to create new colours, while ‘Float’ does the same but in rug form.

Pierre Frey, First Floor, Design Centre East

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