Spotlight on: Bethan Gray
Bethan Gray has been a celebrated name in the design world for some time. She was a successful Design Director at Habitat before leaving to start her eponymous collection. Her keen eye for pattern, colour and luxury finishes make her a sort after designer and her furniture is stocked in some of the most exclusive stores around the globe.
She returned to Design Junction this year, showcasing her new collaboration with renowned artist Mohamad Reza Shamsian and inspired by Omani architectural references and craft.
“Cultural referencing is at the heart of my design philosophy. Through my travels and research I’m inspired to create original contemporary pieces that resonate with global, as well as local, audiences, and that have an elegant and timeless appeal. Currently I’m particularly drawn to the graphic nature of Islamic art and craft” Bethan Gray 2016.
Her work focuses on natural materials. The Shamsian Collection showed at Design Junction features intricate brass marquetry on stained birds eye maple. Mother of pearl is also inset to add shine. We particularly loved the panels with a slight hint of ombre in the staining:
Bethan has also incorporated a few key pieces from her other successful collections in the Shamsian line, including furniture from her Dhow range, inspired by traditional Dhow sailing boats in Oman. The boats were driven by large triangular lateen sails sewn together in strips, which has inspired the wavy inlay strips in the collection.
She has also produce the Paua collection, which is a reinterpretation of her renown Brogue Collection (which was a Harrods exclusive, and was quite the media darling). Mother of pearl inlay replaces the leather band, using sustainable shells imported from New Zealand.
We think the pieces are stunning, fairly priced and very well made. As the FT ‘How to Spend It’ suggests, “Bethan Gray is a British designer who should be on every clued-up aesthetes radar.”