Every party worth its selfies requires two key ingredients, an inviting table setting and the people that transform the space into memories. With the spirit of a summer table and the festive season in mind, Whitney Spicer embarked on a collaboration with Fenton & Fenton to translate original artworks into décor that will ring in special moments.
“This summer and coming Christmas are extra special after the year we’ve had, so Lucy and I put our heads together to create pieces that celebrate the moments people can look forward to,” says Whitney.
The collection features two tablecloths: Sour Plaid, an understated ode to Christmas green, with thoughtfully scattered citrus fruits, and Pink Summer, an alternative to the season’s signature bold red with softer pink and red hues on a gingham background layered with limes, grapefruit, and oranges.
“We knew we wanted something less traditional, so we narrowed the colour scheme to the pinks, greens and reds that feature more prominently in my work. Once we settled on colour we chose fruits that represent an Australian summer.”
“When I began painting, I had to make sure the artwork allowed for repetition and flow – as the paintings themselves are not the size of the tablecloths – I had to ensure the works could be flipped and extended. The fruit isn’t anchored by a plate, so as I worked, I made sure I loved the layout of the fruit before I created the pattern behind it. Balance was so important,” says the artist.
“The ritual of setting the table to enjoy a meal with your loved ones is uplifting. Or alternatively, like so many of us did in lockdown, you get the good plates out just for yourself. It’s about creating joyous moments however you can, so the artwork in the collection reflects that.”
To mark the distinct ceremony of placing décor atop a table setting, Whitney’s art is also lovingly wrapped around the collection’s Summer Gingham Candle which burns with the familiar smell of Christmas pudding in a layering of sweet orange, malt, clove, cinnamon, almond, vanilla, and musk notes.
Gift wrapping along with the Sweet Grapefruit Gingham gift card round the set, “They’re an overload of colour. Busy, fun and festive,” says Whitney.
“The collection is a true collaboration of two minds coming together to create something that people can experience after what feels like a slow-burn year.”
The artist who is known for paintings that showcase real settings real people would lay out, is exhibiting a solo body of work, Corners of My Mind which runs from the 5th until the 16th of November at the Fenton & Fenton Prahran showroom and online.
“I painted the series in lockdown. The work reflects the people and things we miss, the places we long for, and the interests we share,” says Whitney.
With a view to recreate moments we can glimpse ourselves in, Whitney used Polaroids of places people have visited in the Greek Islands as the core inspiration. The 14-piece series is predominantly food based, where fresh oysters, fish, pasta, and Mediterranean themed settings feature, along with a nod to a man’s table in an aerial view that illustrates a magazine, cigars, and liquor.
“When I start painting, I think up a person and what their table says about them. I’ll imagine what they’re eating, drinking and reading, and what I really hope is that there is somebody for each of the paintings, someone who says: oh, that is so me!”
With many of us cocooning in 2021, the time is ripe to sip a festive marg with a friend, dine with those you hold dear, and dream up experiences and escapes with art as your inspiration.