The Broached Retreat Dressing table consists of 3 boxes that form a black cube (magic-box), with storage drawers that swing open on the sides, and a lid that opens to display a mirror on the reverse. Portable and modular, it sits on a thin brass frame finished at fine stiletto-like points standing on the ground. A smaller vanity mirror extends from the side of the frame, which also accomodates a coat hanger.
Designed for the 'Broached Retreat' exhibition held at Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art, the dressing table is a metaphorical representation of female vanity, secret suffering for beauty, and the power of transformation. The Broached Retreat Dressing table also emerges out of the 19th C Western fascination with Asian beauty; seen as at once sensual and conniving, subservient and capable of great manipulation. A narrative of exoticism the colours and aesthetic for which, if not the chauvinism, continues to this day.
The 'magic-box' in black, has been finished using the traditional technique of French polishing, however it has the appearance of aged lacquer, synonymous with oriental antiques. Following the coherent theme of pavilion, a dialogue between the past and present is established, with an exchange of ideas between modern designed forms and eastern decorative art traditions.
Victorian Ash (French-polished), Mirror, Brass, Gold Leaf
H 1760mm, W 540mm, D 540mm
Images courtesy of: Broached Commissions