London Design Festival | Walterworks
Operating under the pseudonym ‘Walterworks’, Belgian Walter Raes, who has been living and working in London since 1989, unveiled his latest immersive installation ‘DUN ROAMIN’ at the Oratory House on the 20th of September during London Fashion Week. He combines elements of interior and fashion design with the surrealist tradition characterized by previous Belgian forerunners such as Rene Magritte and reinvention by way of recycling, transforming what is ostensibly ‘trash’ into art.
Raes considers artists such as E.L.T. Mesens, Pol Bury and Marcel Boodthaers among his contemporaries and is best known for his utilization of unexpected or unwanted materials into eye-popping works of art, injecting a pinch of wild wit and cheeky subversion into his works. His ‘wearable art’, such as the Cassette Tape Boogie Dress, has been highly praised and made several headlines over the years.
For this year’s London Design Festival, ‘DUN ROAMIN’ represents one of Raes’ largest scale pieces to date, and is presented in the form of a meticulously worked suburban sitting room, where every piece takes on the status of an Objets Trouvé, also known as ‘Found Art’ as popularized by another surrealist artist Marcel Duchamp.
New design pieces at the show will include the Fresh Comfy Chair, Back Home Chest, Sole Fruit Bowl, Frying-Time Clock, Fish Lamp, Deb’s Delight Vase, Safety Light Helmet, A ‘Light’ Serving, Book Shelf, Shaving Mirror and a Gilded Pallet Table.
The piece, which aims of evoke feelings of child-like imagination and whimsy, is Raes’ way of responding to the sense of repression that he feels many people, while operating in 21st century, are trapped under. It is also a commentary on waste, executed through emphasis on witty retro elements of the 60s and 70s. “There’s so much waste in the world, it makes me cringe. I want people to know how much effort goes into manufacturing everyday things,” he says.
The launch of the installation was accompanied with an invitation-only reception held on the 19th of September, and featured models dressed in some of Raes’ latest ‘wearable art’ designs. Raes’ communicative approach to art will definitely help heighten interest amongst even the most unassuming of audiences.
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