When the founders of Plinth, Chloe and Paul Franklyn, realised that London lacked a place where art and design met affordability and openness, they decided to fill the gap. Plinth has aimed to curate a line of limited editions and products with the home in mind, launching at 44 Great Russell Street on 11th February. The house dates back to 1710, and our project is set over all four floors and the courtyard’s gallery space. Overlooking the British Museum, and located in bustling Bloomsbury, the scene is set for an incredible initiative to hit the ground running.
Plinth publishes unique products and limited editions by leading contemporary artists. Many of our products are designed for the home, like Cornelia Parker’s enamel sign, and Yinka Shonibare’s crockery. Julian Opie’s exquisite Sheep blanket is 100% pure wool, and would work on a bed as well as on a wall. Duro Olowu’s vibrantly patterned umbrellas are practical and elegant. Even our limited editions are not just for display – Love and Peace, a ceramic platter by Beatriz Milhazes, would brighten any kitchen sideboard. Ding Yi’s silk scarf, Appearance of Crosses 2015-11, is a piece which hovers between art and accessory. Plinth weds luxury with accessibility, and art with design. It’s a project centered on a spirit of openness, and creating a means by which a wider audience can access and own contemporary art.
Plinth chose 44 Great Russell Street because it already felt like a home, rather than a shop or a gallery. We’ve filled the space with candles, flowers, sofas as well as great art and design. We’ve scoured the current design scene for perfect collaborations. Lyn Harris (Perfumer H, formerly Miller Harris) has created a candle for us; ‘Ash’ is redolent of libraries and woodsmoke. Kyla of Foldability, who featured on the front cover of Elle Decoration’s Christmas issue, is making four folded origami pendant lights to hang in our gallery. Flowers will be supplied by F.Bombe using local, ethically sourced plants.
Alongside these projects, we have vintage pieces from antique shop-fitter D&A Binder (on Holloway Road) and chairs and armchairs by Alvar Aalto and Arne Jacobsen. Contemporary artists are also creating site-specific work for the space - Susan Collis is taking over the top floor of the house and Jacques Nimki is creating ‘invisible’ vinyl drawings of plants and herbs, which will be applied to the tops of walls and across the ceilings.
Plinth has combined an exquisite setting in a central location with the best of London’s design scene, and work from the world’s most celebrated artists. We believe it’s a winning formula, and will have something to offer any visitor, of any age, on any budget.