Inspired by Anwar Shemza

Walking around the Tate Britain last week we were struck by a wonderful Spotlight Display by Anwar Shemza.

Shemza moved to London from Lahore in 1956. In London he abandoned his illustrative and figurative approach that had brought him acclaim in Pakistan, he had achieved widespread recognition in Pakistan but was unrecognised in London

During his time at the Slade, a lecturer described Islamic art as purely functional and it was from that point that Shemza started his own, new style of compositions which combined calligraphy, Islamic architectural features and elements of Western abstraction. His Western influences came from artists such as Paul Klee and we loved the way he blended this abstraction with Islamic artistic traditions.

At Devas Designs we draw inspiration from many sources from sights we see on our travels to natural forms to works of art and antiques. Shemza's work reminded us of carpet designs we had seen. You don't need to own an artwork to introduce its influence into your home, if a well known work inspires you, you can draw on its colour scheme, textures and patterns to inform the look and feel of your interior.

Jennifer Manners creates beautiful modern rugs from bespoke designs. Each rug is hand made in Nepal and India by artisans who have been working in the textile industry for generations. Their previous patterns evoke middle eastern designs with a contemporary take.

Jan Kath also creates incredible designs using high quality materials such as Tibetan highland wool, Chinese silk, cashmere and nettle fibres. His rugs are also handwoven in Nepal by skilled artisans using a high density knotting technique to create wonderful textures that vary with each design. He sees his rugs as artworks in themselves, their texture and colourings have a beautiful painterly quality, they would be sure to stand out in a contemporary interior.

Alexander Calder: Performing Sculpture at Tate Modern

This week we visited the must-see new exhibition at Tate Modern, ‘Alexander Calder: Performing Sculpture’. It’s a truly beautiful and poetic exhibition showcasing Calder’s stunning kinetic sculptures.

Calder initially trained as an engineer before moving to Paris in the 1920s to start his artistic career. It was during his engineering education that he became fascinated with kinetics, physics and the nature of materials. In Paris he experimented with kinetic sculptures that brought to life the avant-garde interest in movement. His kinetic works blended movement with sculpture and in 1931 he invented the ‘mobile’ - Duchamp coined the term, having used it to describe Calder’s new sculptures. The poetry and beauty of his sculptures lay in their ability to move of their accord, simply catching the air in the space they hang.


We love pinning inspirational photos on Pinterest and Tate’s Pinterest board is always packed with great images. Their recent board ‘Art, Architecture and the Home’ show artworks in interiors, we liked this image below of Peggy Guggenheim alongside a Calder mobile - https://uk.pinterest.com/tategallery/art-architecture-and-the-home/

We also discovered this image of an Alexander Calder mobile in Georgia O’Keeffe’s house in Abiquiu, New Mexico. The blend of rustic design with the fluidity of his mobile is a perfect balance.

On the subject of artists’s home we were intrigued to find these images of Alexander Calder’s own living room. Having seen his mobiles in a white walled gallery space, it was quite the contrast seeing images of them amongst his colourful furnishings and belongings.

Inspired by Works of Art - Agnes Martin and Sonia Delaunay at Tate

We’ve been struck by two recent exhibitions at Tate Modern this month – Agnes Martin and Sonia Delaunay. While their work is clearly aesthetically different, they are united in their focus on colour, tone and pattern.

At Devas Designs we love visiting exhibitions and seeing works of art which can provide us with inspiration for interior deigns. If you’re really struck by a work of art because of its colours scheme, tone and hue, this can form that starting point for dictating your interior.

Agnes Martin’s work sits within a tuning point between Abstract Expressionism and Minimalism. While living in Lower Manhattan she met the bright young artists of the 60s like Jasper Johns, Ellsworth Kelly and Robert Rauschenberg – they inspired her to start incorporating found objects to create assemblages.

She eventually turned to a more minimal approach, often using grid-like structures. We were struck by her subtly striped paintings, from a distance some appear almost monochrome but when viewed closer become alternating stripes of pastel tones. These muted tones are also very on trend – Tate has even created their own Pinterest board with interiors that follow an Agnes Martin inspired colour schemes!

Take a look here

Sonia Delaunay is well known for her exploration of dynamic contrasting colours and compositions, pioneering the movement ‘Simultaneism’ with her husband Robert Delaunay.

Delaunay was a key figure in the avant-garde movement in Paris and as well as fine art, she produced dresses, scarves, umbrellas, hats, shoes and swimming costumes. She also created some iconic and stunning carpet designs, seen below. Her focus on colour and harmony makes her a perfect artist for inspiration, whether you’re looking for a new bold colour scheme or to add splashes of colour into your interior, her confident colours would certainly stand out.

Her and Robert were influence by the strong colours of Fauvist artists and they tried to use these colours in their own work, with a greater focus on rhythm.

Take a look at Tate’s Pinterest to see more Delaunay inspired fashion, patterns and colour schemes. Click here to have a look.