Chris Wolston Explores Terracotta in Flower Power Collection
During NYCxDesign 2023, The Future Perfect launched a solo exhibition featuring new work by Chris Wolston. The Medellín-based American designer is presenting Flower Power, a series of new furniture and lighting all realized in terracotta. The Flower Power collection comprises 13 sculptural chairs and benches inspired by tropical flora seen in the mountains and forests surrounding Wolston’s adopted Colombian home. The pieces feature amplified botanical elements, like exaggerated and oversized leaves and fruit, leading to their whimsical forms.
With the collection title, Wolston gives nod to the “Flower Power” phrase that American poet and Beat writer Allen Ginsberg coined in 1965 in hopes of turning war protests into peaceful events, through love, unity, and imagination. “The ‘flower power’ movement and its ideals – universal belonging, peace, love, unity, respect – are sentiments that I hope resonate throughout my work,” notes Wolston. “We still see the offering of flowers as a gesture of peacemaking. Flowers are more than an olive branch – they stop you dead in your tracks, and force you to reconsider your relationship to the world around you.”
Some of the throne-like pieces are left textured from ceramic casts of flowers, plants, and fruit that Wolston pulled from his own garden, including heliconias, sunflowers, red ginger, birds of paradise, daisies, and banana tree blossoms. Others are embellished with oversized flowers and leaves that he sculpted and molded by hand. The rest are evocative of vines and root structures in abstract, amorphous forms.
In addition to the terracotta pieces, two light sculptures – one hanging with abstracted blossoms and leaves in brass and one table lamp that resembles a wood log being eaten by insects and woodpeckers. A series of bronze-cast vessels made up of many flowers shares more of Wolston’s technique explorations.
A closer look reveals an army of bronze-casted ants, bees, centipedes, and salamanders crawling on the chair’s backs.
Chris Wolston: Flower Power is on display by appointment only until June 30th, 2023 at The Future Perfect’s West Village Townhouse at 8 St Lukes Place, New York, NY 10014.
Photography by Joseph Kramm.
Styling by Colin King.
Courtesy of the artist and The Future Perfect.