Country Life, November 2016 - interiors article on new wallpapers
"Although artists from Picasso to Andy Warhol explored the possibilities of designing textiles and wallpapers, the former declared that his designs should never be used for upholstery. Picassos can be leaned against but not sat on.... Extraordinary things can happen, not least in the hands of Charlotte Cory..."
I was delighted when Graduate Collection approached me a few years ago with a view to designing some artists' wallpapers for them. I love wallpaper. I realized as I started to work on some designs how much I have always been slightly obsessed by it. It is the first thing I look at when I go to people's houses. I remember the wallpapers long after I have forgotten the people who put them on those walls. I can recall just about every wallpaper I have ever lived with. And most of the wallpapers I have encountered over the years in hotels. Those gi-normous parrots, for example, at Chalons sur Saone (the birthplace of photography); that busy roofscape imitating the roofs outside in an attic room in Paris. This longstanding interest is probably because of strong childhood memories of my mother constantly changing the wallpaper in our North London semi-detached. Sometimes every week. It occasionally felt like every night. I would come home from school, or wake up in the morning, and find my father with barely suppressed ill temper perched up a ladder, a bucket of paste in one hand, a wide gunky brush in the other, and my mother gaping furiously at the walls, fretting over the new paper that was half way covering the old one; invariably deciding that she probably preferred the one he had put up three weeks before but which was now long since covered over and irretrievable. Any comment from me usually resulted in a "clip round the ear", first from her, and then - when i protested vociferously - from him. I used, though, to enjoy making wallpaper parcels out of the pasted, cut strips left lying around. And I also used to enjoy the Saturday morning expeditions to the wallpaper showroom where (unlike my bored siblings) I would paw through the enormous sample books of wallpapers almost as obsessively as my poor mother. Not that she ever sought, or listened to my opinions on the patterns. She had her own strong preferences. And the house, with every wall completely different and changing all the time, was testimony to her busy and wildly eclectic taste. Now, of course, I understand she was probably expressing her dissatisfaction with life. She obviously hoped she could make her lot better by changing the walls. And she had a point. You can completely transform a room, and your mood, and your whole outlook on life, by getting the wallpaper right....
© Charlotte Cory 2018
All Charlotte Cory's WALLPAPERS and matching CUSHIONS are available from www.graduatecollection.co.uk who will give a generous 15% discount on all first orders!
The two different colourways of Charlotte Cory's National Portrait Gallery. note: the idea to use both colourways and make the wall stripy was mine! It works very well, making the frames stand out even more from the wall. Try it someone!
Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit....
By popular demand: A rabbits only version of the popular Portrait Gallery wallpaper