19 Chairs sees Jean Jullien, Joe Lycett, Isabel + Helen and Es Devlin reimagine the seat

19 Chairs sees Jean Jullien, Joe Lycett, Isabel + Helen and Es Devlin reimagine the seat

In what feels like a slightly different lifetime, back in May we caught up with creative duo (and brothers!) Tom and Will Butterfield on their project, 19 Chairs.

Born out of a want to keep busy and collaborate during the lockdown imposed by the pandemic, the concept involved sharing their design for a chair (compiled of 27mm square section timber and 40mm screws) with 19 creatives to reinterpret. This weekend at London’s Coal Drops Yard is your chance to see these furniture reimaginings before they are individually auctioned off for charity, with all proceeds being donated to Resourcing Racial Justice and Age UK.

From the south London back garden of the Butterfield brothers, each of the chairs has been on quite the journey to a range of the world’s most renowned creatives. From Jean Jullien to Es Devlin, Isabel + Helen, Tom Dixon and even comedian Joe Lycett, each artist has added their spin on Tom and Will’s design. In the instance of Isabel + Helen, the pair has wrapped the original chair design in wool to create an overly-cushioned seat. Elsewhere, Joe Lycett appears to keep his in its box, Tom Dixon covers it in silver and the brilliant Wilfrid Wood turns his contribution of a drawing of a chair.

Describing the initiative as “a creative response to the important issues prevalent in the world today post-Covid”, Tom and Will’s project has certainly fulfilled its aim of uniting “the collaborative essence between artists and creators in the face of a pandemic”.

The full collection of chairs is only available to see this weekend (until 1 November) at Coal Drops Yard, but will also be available to view in a further exhibition later in the year, during which the designs will be auctioned online throughout December.

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