If you have walked down Piccadilly recently and looked up at Fortnum & Mason, you will have seen that the venerable department store is currently shrouded in a giant hoarding, covered in the most wonderful line drawing. This imaginative way to cover up ongoing construction is the work of the English artist Rory Dobner. In addition to the façade of the building, he has also created a line of teaware exclusively for Fortnum & Mason, which also features his intricate ink drawing of the store.
I’ve long admired his exquisite line drawings, (I’ve lots of pieces – including this candle cache pot) and last year visited Rory and his interior designer wife Claire, who also runs the business, along with their interiors and design studio Ink House London, in their glorious house and studio just up the road from me in Hampstead.
Born in England in 1978, Rory Dobner studied Fine Art foundation at Chelsea School of Art & Design before taking his BA at Central St.Martin’s School of Art & Design. In 1998 he was awarded the prestigious title of Burns Young Artist of the Year.
Knowing Rory’s work well, one of the joys was seeing how many of his iconic illustrations had their genesis. Much of it is about the juxtaposition of unlikely salvaged objects, which he collects, and keeps around the studio.
So the beetle and clock (above) become a glass domed paperweight (below).
It’s the playing about with vintage pieces he picks up that inform so much of how work, as Rory told me, playing with a pack of old dominoes.
As well as Fortnums, Liberty are a great supporter of Rory’s work, and I headed there last week to take a look.
One of the things I admire about Liberty’s merchandising is the way in which they integrate their buy throughout the store. so, if you know Rory’s work, you you can spot it all over several floors. So scatter cushions in one corner on the fourth floor…
But the real treat is an entire corner dedicated to his homeware on Gifts on the third floor. This you do not need to hunt for:
There is a wide selection of his Intricate Ink drawings, his trademark initial tiles, and lots of fabulous china.
Clearly I’m a big fan of the letter D.
As well as selling in store, Rory also undertakes individual commissions, (of any scale, whether you wanted to commission a letterhead or cover your house or store Fortnums-style) and the details are all on his website here