The Brighton Art Project: Three Designers, Three Rugs

To mark the launch of Habitat’s new Brighton flagship store in November, we’ve worked with three local artists from the city to translate how Brighton inspires them and the artwork that they create.

Sophie Abbott, Becky Blair and Lauri Hopkins have each drawn experience from living and working in the city, but expressed this in very different ways, translated through different forms. For this first project, we’ve interpreted these ideas onto limited edition rugs, each handmade in India using different techniques to showcase the skills of one of our oldest textiles suppliers. Here, each designer talks us through the inspiration behind their designs…

Lauri Hopkins: Night Swim

The original collage translated for this project is called Night Swim, and it was inspired by my memories of being a teenager in Brighton. The carefully chosen collection of colours and shapes floating on a dark background remind me of lots of Brighton teenage experiences; swimming in the sea in the dead of night. Dancing under the fractured disco lights in nightclubs. Shopping for eighties print t-shirts in the lanes. My best mate’s orange Fiat Panda. Dreaming of becoming artists as we walked home with the seagulls. It’s pure, joyful nostalgia.


Becky Blair: Undercliff

The artwork for this project came from a collection of pastel drawings I sketched on the beaches along the under cliffs between Brighton and Saltdean. It’s a great area where locals get to escape the hustle and bustle of Brighton’s busier beaches. I used the pastels very playfully, enjoying the vibrancy of colour and softness of line to abstractly draw the shapes of people, rock pools and flora. This series of drawings has informed my latest paintings that recently exhibited as part of the Brighton Festival and will go on to be seen at my solo show this October in Perth, Australia.


Sophie Abbot: Blue Rocks

I spend a lot of time by the sea and seashore – swimming in it, photographing & sketching it, and really love the rock pools under the cliffs in Ovingdean (just past Brighton marina). This artwork is derived from sketches I produced in situ on the beach there. The inspiration for this painting is predominantly of rock pool formations, looking at the way they fit together like a jigsaw and the shapes in-between. I’m trying to convey the feeling of walking over them in bare feet, peering down into them, lost in the beauty of natural world. This rug will reflects all that I love about the seaside and living in Brighton.


Which is your favourite?

We’ll be continuing this project in Brighton each year, asking new artists to work with Habitat’s own Design Studio on products that hero local talent and creativity. Stay tuned.

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