The wonderful Daphne Guinness is the first artist to participate in SHOWstudio's new gallery venture - the SHOWcabinet. Newly located in Belgravia's iconic Pantechnicon Building on Motcomb Street, the cabinet plays host to an array of items from Daphne's world and will be open from Thursday 21st February.
Over the past twelve years, SHOWstudio.com has collected and collated an array of wonderous and awe inspiring online content from filmmakers, writers and cultural figures. Through moving image, illustration, photography and the written word, the website provides a dynamic archive which reflects the endlessly changing creative sphere that it operates within and documents. We now intend to reflect this online wunderkammer within our physical space. The SHOWstudio SHOWcabinet manifests itself as part cabinet of curiosities, part commissioned installation space. Each month one artist or designer will be commissioned to create a piece which adheres to the dimensions of the central compartment of the cabinet. From tailoring to taxidermy, millinery to photography, the initiative provides a unique platform for artists from all disciplines.
Initially conceived of in Renaissance Europe, the curiosity cabinet or wunderkammer was originally a room rather than a piece of furniture. It housed objects and artefacts that defied easy categorisation and was often complete with exotic items from seemingly disparate and unrelated topics. It housed objects as diverse as historical relics, botanical specimens, works of art and scientific implements and presented a romantic vision of a dynamic and ever transforming world. The SHOWcabinet will embrace these characteristics and showcase the most innovative and diverse objects and artefacts from the worlds of fashion, art and beyond.
Our debut SHOWcabinet is centred around The Honorable Daphne Guinness. On the shelves Guinness launches her debut single 'Fatal Flaw'. Released as a limited edition 7-inch vinyl with unseen artwork by Nick Knight and penned by Guinness herself, this considered track affords unparalleled proximity to this elusive icon. Alongside the vinyl sits Guinness' armoured glove, anchoring her cabinet's central themes of beauty, brutality, revolution and romance. Created in collaboration with famed jeweler Shaun Leane, and titled 'Contra Mundum' or 'Against The World', this handcrafted, intricately made objet d’art took five years to complete and is perhaps one of the most technically advanced pieces of artisan jewellery in the world. A rare 17th century copy of Shakespeare’s tragedies is also unearthed next to a collection of Shelley's poetry and Pancha Tantra, a limited edition book of Walton Ford's illustrations. Other items, like a Diptyque Fig candle (her favourite), and the perfume Guinness created in cooperation with perfumer Antoine Lie and in collaboration with the house of Comme des Garcons add another dimension to the installation. Daphne’s love of the zodiac is also expressed with an arrangement of scorpions behind glass – precisely assembled by Guinness to represent her own star sign. Iconic designs created by Gareth Pugh and Norikata Tatehana also appropriately mingle in Guinness’ cabinet, representing the high fashion she has always championed.
The following cabinets feature leather designer Una Burke whose installation will revolve around prosthetics and couturier Iris Van Herpen who will create one of her signature water dresses in one of SHOWstudio's most ambitious LiveStudios to date.
The SHOWcabinet opens this week and visitors can see Daphne Guinness' installation from Thursday 21st February from 11am at 19 Motcomb Street, Belgravia, SW1X 8LB.