Seeking to cultivate much-needed optimism during last year’s global lockdowns, Calico Wallpaper co-founders Nick and Rachel Cope reached out to a few of their favourite fellow designers and invited them to reinterpret the studio’s signature dawn-to-dusk influenced Aurora collection. Collaborating remotely, the four creatives — Switzerland-based Ini Archibong, Dimorestudio of Milan, Sabine Marcelis in Rotterdam and Shanghai’s Neri&Hu — conceived distinctive and atmospheric murals inspired by current events while also looking to the future.
A convergence of two colours — the aquamarine blue of Lake Neuchatel and his daughter’s favourite colour, pink — Archibong named his pattern Yemoja (shown at top) after a water spirit (and patron protector of women and children) in the Yoruba tradition as a reminder to “leave a tenable future for the children whose earliest memories will be of this pandemic.” Meanwhile, Dimorestudio took cues from classic Asian lacquers and lanterns for its warm rusty-red Oblio, inspired by the promise of future travels to faraway lands.
Neri&Hu, in turn, looked to two artworks by Dutch Baroque painter Johannes Vermeer for its offering: the lemony yellows and angelic blues of The Lacemaker and the lapis lazuli in Woman Reading a Letter to offer a moment of orderly pause from the turbulent times. Last but not least, Marcelis drew from sunset view from her studio for Silhouette, an ombré that subtly transitions from warm orange to rich black that “represents the closing of a day and first signs and hope of a new day arriving.”