Egyptian Narrative Interior Design
Graduate Diploma in Art, Design and Media at the University for the Creative Arts, UK (2021)

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Artist Statement

   My renders demonstrate a collection of contemporary furniture designs I have created, including a mirror, console, floating shelves, table and chair, as well as interior design of a hallway for an Egyptian antiquities collector that he would like to display in his home.

 

   Egyptian civilization has inspired many Egyptologists, amateurs and professionals, as well as myself. I would like to tell the history of Egypt as I see it through my contemporary designer lenses. I intend to establish a connection between life in ancient Egypt and today. I called my project "Egyptian Narrative" to tell people an important story of the fragility and strength of life, elusive and sheer beauty, because the Egyptian kings and queens, as well as their citizens, died thousands of years ago, just like we once we will die, but still recalling the power and longevity of their creations.

 

   I used my inspiration from the architecture of The Temple of Hatshepsut to create a more interesting space in the hallway with a repetition of three apertures. Ancient Egypt evokes various mysterious associations, so I created a mysterious atmosphere in the room by using lighting between the ceiling and the wall. I designed a mirror inspired by the bust of Nefertiti endlessly wanting to look at her image. Since it is known that copper was used more often in ancient Egypt than other metals, I decided to use copper for the contours of the mirror and as the color of the mirror because of the same shade as the bust of Nefertiti. The shape and meaning of the pyramids are so symbolic that it's hard not to be inspired by them, which I did by creating shelves to showcase my client's antique collection. Floating shelves and a console are organized in an isometric pyramid view. I decided to use different materials for the shelves and console. To display artifacts clearly, I created shelves with concrete textures as well as walls for the illusion of invisibility. The acacia wood used for the console reflects the popular use of this timber for furniture and tombs in ancient Egypt. I could not pass by the scarab, whose shape and colour inspired me to create a table. The top of the oxidized copper table and the pedestal look like a scarab has landed on a temple. I was inspired not only by Egyptian symbolic things but also materials such as limestone, sandstone for walls and floors, alabaster for lighting. I try to add a little irony to each of my designs. When I saw the thrones of the pharaohs, I could not resist the design of an allegorical chair for the owner of the interior, and instead of stone, I used transparent acrylic like the Kartell company, which is also durable and resembles glass that was used in ancient Egypt. 

 

    I want viewers to see the importance of the history of ancient Egypt and how it could be embodied in design - this strong bridge between ancient and modern life. Thanks to my original research, I gained not only knowledge about Egypt, but also wonderful emotions that an artist needs, as if I were traveling in time in a time machine. 

Oksana Butman