Deconstructed Strawberry Thief

Conway, Clare [Designer] (2021) Deconstructed Strawberry Thief. (Wallpaper panels).


Inspired by the pattern guide dots made by Morris in the ceilings of the Red House Bexleyheath, ‘Deconstructed Strawberry Thief’ is a trio of interpretations of Morris’s iconic fabric pattern Strawberry Thief (1883) reimagined as wallpaper panels depicting process, narrative and simplification. PROCESS (left): was created using Hama beads as a starting point to deconstruct Morris’ design. This was an experimental approach to analysing the original pattern’s construction and use of colour. NARRATIVE (centre): represents the decline of our native wildlife. Morris based the pattern on the ‘rascally’ Mistle thrushes and Song thrushes that stole the strawberries from his Kelmscott Manor garden in Oxfordshire. Today, both birds are on the red list of endangered British birds, symbolised by subtly removing them from this interpretation as the repeat pattern progresses. The panel uses a reduced version of Morris’ original colour palette. The background colour changes to reflect the narrative, including the CMYK version of Scheele’s Green, as a reference to the arsenic-based pigment that Morris used in his wallpapers until 1870. SIMPLIFICATION (right): Uses three colours in tints and as overprints. This final panel is simply an homage to minimalism.

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