For a sumptuous trend like Heritage Lux the finer textural details make all the difference. Deliberate in execution, Heritage Lux draws on historical references while also nodding to contemporary designers and artists making similarly ornate work. English multi-media sculptor Rowan Mersh is one such artist.
Renown for his large scale pieces containing myriad parts, Mersh’s work remains breathtaking in its scope. After undertaking his BA in ‘Multi-Media Textiles’ and subsequently completing post-graduate studies in ‘Mixed Media Constructed Textiles’ at the Royal College of Art, Mersh has maintained a consistent creative practice, and is said to have spent the last six years making art with responsibly sourced seashells.
His liking for the natural material is perhaps most famously documented in his work ‘Asabikeshiinh (Dreamcatcher) I’, shown at Gallery FUMI in London: the free-standing piece is made of around 5000 turritella seashells. Close up, each shell exudes its unique beauty, while observing the piece at a distance gives the illusion of a repeat surface pattern.
From his ‘‘Asabikeshiinh’ series to ‘Placuna Pro Dilectione Mea’ (which uses capiz shells to similar effect), Mersh treats each shell individually — brushing, sanding and polishing — before assembling each large scale piece by hand. Like artist Bart Hess, Mersh has a gift for transforming everyday objects into works of art.
The header photo shows a detail photo of Asabikeshiinh (Dreamcatcher) I. The photo rights are with Rowan Mersh.