Patternity Leave: Stripes and Delights in Shoreditch Show

Patternity Visuals from Website compiled by Joanna Thornhill for Stylist's Own

Last Thursday was cold. It was very, very, cold. It even snowed (on the 4th of April, forchrissake). I’d promised my buddy Emily of Atticus and Finch fame that I’d accompany her to some new fashionable opening up on trendy-as-you-like Redchurch Street, in Shoreditch’s beating heartlands. I tried to bail, but she was insistent, and promised me a pitstop at a venue serving the best coffee in E2 en route. So reluctantly I pulled on my faux-Ugg(ly) boots and one of the boyf’s cosy jumpers (shhh!) and made the commute.

Wow. If anywhere is worth getting soggy toes in freak Siberian windstorms for, it’s here (though touch wood we’re passed such weather-based silliness now. Please?!) I’m always somewhat wary of cool new pop-ups in hipster hotspots – I was born significantly pre-1992 for a start, my hair’s not asymmetric enough, and did I mention the unfortunate footwear? And whilst Patternity is undeniably hip (there were rumours of ‘Minimal House’ being played at the opening night – I had to Google) it is deeply, genuinely, fascinatingly interesting for anyone who enjoys looking at, well, everything.

Photos from Patternity Event by Joanna Thornhill for Stylist's Own

Based on the hugely successful Patternity blog founded in 2009 by Grace Winteringham and Anna Murray, their aim is to encourage both readers and visitors to view pattern as much more than “just” a man-made surface design; as something that is all around us, anywhere and everywhere, wherever we adjust our viewpoint enough to see it. Their highly addictive compilation of images and objects covers a range of subject matter that knows no boundaries, each on a level playing field – a snap of some shadows created by railings is equal to a highbrow fashion image, for example. To clarify the concept, the exhibition focuses solely on stripes, with the first room stripping away all forms of colour and showcasing a strictly monochrome arrangement of images and objects, designed to allow each visual to stand up in its own right. Subsequent spaces feature a myriad of hues however, as well as pairing objects not necessarily considered objects of pattern, or even design: a cast of human vertebrae, a traffic cone and a jacket constructed from striped ‘do not cross’ tape make unusually intriguing bedfellows.

Patternity Shop Products by Alex Booker and Richard Brendon compied by Joanna Thornhill for Stylist's Own

If all that culture has whet your appetite, there’s also an on-site cafe, serving up brews from ceramicist Richard Brendon‘s reflective platinum teacups on striped saucers, produced in collaboration with Patternity, and even a shop selling (natch) a carefully curated selection of striped goodies. The fun continues with interactive video and workshop spaces, and a number of speakers, activities and workshops will be held within these hallowed stripy walls throughout the show’s duration (I’m booked onto Block Printing with Alex Booker and Clay Coil Pot Making with Matt Raw – book your own activities here!) so look out next week for the fruits of my labours.

Pattern Power Superstripe: A Cultural Festival of Pattern Exploration is on from 6th – 21st April at Londonewcastle Project Space, 28 Redchurch Street, London E2 7DP.

{Images: top six images all courtesy of the Patternity website (zebra crossing and zebra neck images copyright Getty Images); middle set of images all taken by me within the Patternity exhibition at Redchurch Street; bottom image features block prints by Alex Booker and teacups by Richard Brendon}


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About Joanna Thornhill

Freelance Interior Stylist, Author, Writer and Crafter working for a range of magazine titles and commercial clients. Author of Home for Now (CICO Books 2014)

2 responses to “Patternity Leave: Stripes and Delights in Shoreditch Show”

  1. Luckies says :

    Love the style of the property, love the brickwork too!

  2. Henna Lund says :

    wow ! nice moods. a nice collection of patterns! when I saw it, it totally reminds me on this fashion collaboration:
    did you hear about it ? thought they did a good job ; )

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