Celebrating DANAD Design at Paul Smith

Celebrating DANAD Design at Paul Smith

At its Mayfair flagship store, Paul Smith is celebrating the work of DANAD Design, a 1960s collective made-up of famed British artists and considered among the early pioneers of Pop Art. Imagine our delight when we were commissioned by the exhibition to create a rug based on an original artwork from the archives.

For more than 50 years, before its discovery in 2014, a trove of original artwork from some of the founders of the Pop Art movement had remained hidden away in the basement of Marden Hill House in Hertfordshire, once home to the DANAD Design collective. Much of it is now on display in 'The untold story of DANAD Design collective (1958-62)', an exhibition of works celebrating the influential group's 60th anniversary.

Founded by Barry Daniels and Tom Adams, the collective soon grew to include Peter Blake, Robyn Denny, Bernard Cohen and Edward Wright, crossing the boundaries between art and design. They made bold new art into surface design at a time when homes were largely dull and dreary, producing furniture and wall panels using collage, print and painting techniques.

Hanging out in the dilapidated Georgian mansion, the collective saw visits from the biggest style makers, rock stars, authors and poets of the era; Jagger, Hendrix, Conran, Plath and Hughes all came to party and mix with high society. For a brief four years, the home of DANAD Design became a cultural hub for the great creatives of the time, before the collective disbanded in 1962. As a legacy, DANAD had an undeniable impact and changed the art and design worlds forever.

Our hand-knotted rug of Barry Daniels' original on show at Paul Smith's Mayfair store, photo: Kevin Scott

Now on the 60th anniversary of the group's formation, the DANAD Design Foundation is holding an exhibition of the discovered works at Paul Smith's Mayfair store. We were approached by the exhibition's curator to replicate one of these pieces, a laminated coffee table top painted by Barry Daniels. Ros Weaver, archivist for the DANAD Design Foundation, had heard of FLOOR_STORY through her writing on textiles and rugs for various magazines, so spoke to organiser of the exhibition, and son of Barry Daniels, Mark, about the rug. Mark agreed on the strength of the idea, and so work began.

Barry Daniels' original coffee table artwork, now on show at the exhibition

While apparently a relatively simple pattern, Barry Daniel's original painted design required quite some expertise in to turn into a rug that did justice to the original, so we used our incredible GoodWeave certified weavers to create a masterpiece. Hand-knotted and using 170 colours to deliver the beautiful painterly effect as one panel bleeds into the next, the rug truly is something very special and we're really thrilled to have been involved. If you're a Pop Art fan, or even just have an appreciation of beautiful design and surfaces, then you can visit the exhibition until 10th May. We highly recommend it.

DANAD the Art of Pop Design is open until 10th May 2019
Paul Smith Global Flagship Store, 9 Albermale Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 4BL
More information at www.danaddesign.com