our six favorite works at PAD London

While the seemingly endless tents of Frieze London and Frieze Masters stretch across acres and acres of Regent’s Park, the concurrent design and art fair, PAD London (until October 16), is a more jewel-like affair . It returns to its usual home in the middle of Berkeley Square in Mayfair this month after two years of online-only business. Like its sister in Paris, PAD London focuses on the intersection between art and design, and features a strong display of unique pieces of contemporary design, as well as classic modernist furniture, art and jewelry. Patrick Perrin, founder and CEO of the fair, says it is “committed to breaking down barriers between the disciplines of art, design and jewelry in order to foster creativity”. Here we select some of the most colorful and original works on offer.

Meisen Track Cabinet (2022) by Bethan Laura Wood

Nilufar Gallery

by Disney Alice in Wonderland was on ‘hard rotation’ at the childhood home of London-based multidisciplinary artist Bethan Laura Wood. Like the inquisitive, hookah-smoking caterpillar of this film, this cabinet stands on spindly legs, the folds creating space for drawers and the head a small cupboard with hidden shelves. The piece is based on the multicolored plating on its front side. The designer worked with the Italian manufacturer ALPI; the varied patterns rejected as part of their development process were perfect for Wood’s unique pieces. “I like to play with larger scale industries and find those moments in production that create a unique patina or coloring,” she says.

Ceramics (2022) by Saraï Delfendahl

Ceramic now

The Parisian ceramist Saraï Delfendahl creates strange and dreamlike animals. His works are full of small details rendered in an almost naïve style, enlivened by colored enamels. She credits several artists as inspirations: “Right now, I think most of the time of Dubuffet – his pictorial materials, all the imprints and traces he left in his paintings,” she told The Art of Tomorrow. “Gauguin was also an influential master, with his knowledge of colors. And, of course, Chagall and his world of imagination and beauty.

Tara 21 (2022) by Signe Emdal

Maria Wettergren Gallery

This wall textile sculpture is attractive to the touch, but it is strictly prohibited. It’s made from untreated Icelandic wool brushed into super soft three-dimensional shapes using a special technique developed by Danish artist Signe Emdal. Even the slightest touch would leave a mark on its delicate surface. This work is named after the Hindu goddess Tara, who has 21 forms.

Silkworm lights by Diane de Kergal

Gallery Gosserez

All of PAD’s pieces are created by skilled artisans, but none are crafted with such dedicated expertise as this sculptural light set. The cloud-like shapes that envelop the LED lights are woven by silkworms placed on a mold and then left to do their thing. The resulting material looks ethereal but is actually quite sturdy. The cocoon lamps are mounted on wooden branches found on the forest floor by Parisian designer Diane de Kergal, who says she was inspired by paper lamps by Isamu Noguchi. The three lamps represented here were considered as a set: two trees and the moon.

Spider jewel chandelier (2022) by Achille Salvagni

Achille Salvagni Workshop

The color of this chandelier, by Italian designer Achille Salvagni, can be custom created for each client, allowing buyers to harmonize it with the rest of their space or art collection. This copy has been matched with the Fernand Léger painting hung behind. Despite its name, the “spider” chandelier has six arms. The body is in painted bronze, its solid industrial appearance contrasting with the luxurious golden lamp heads, the hand-carved translucent onyx lights, sourced from Salvagni’s workshop in Rome.

Vinilanda swing chair by Elizabeth Garouste and Mattia Bonetti (2000)

Kreo Gallery

The fabrics wrapping the messy cushions of this whimsical swivel chair blend centuries of design influences, from 19th-century French decorative art to bold tartan and a navy stripe. This unique piece was made in 2000 by the French design team Elizabeth Garouste and Mattia Bonetti; it is in perfect condition because the previous owner covered the seats with plastic. The white gold leaf on the iron frame is delicate but the Paris-based Galerie Kreo dealer assures us it’s sturdy enough for a Fragonard-inspired swing.

Christopher S. Washington