Luke Edward Hall is something of a design-world Renaissance man. At just 26, the artist, illustrator, fabrics and ceramics designer and interior designer and stylist has already been entrusted with the redesign of crumbling Georgian country houses and championed by Christopher Bailey, teaming up with Mario Testino for Burberry’s latest campaign.
Handsome, bespectacled and colourfully dressed, Hall himself is as much an incarnation of the charmingly eccentric Brit as the fictional characters he illustrates. One feels he could easily be one of the nonchalantly elegant personas that come alive by his brush.
“I always describe my style in the same way: Greco-Roman meets crumbling English country house, with a dash of Palm Springs.”
Inspired by the art and architecture of the ancient Greeks and Romans, Hall is also drawn to the romantic nature of the English countryside, and the bright, vivid colours of mid-century Palm Springs.
“Somehow I want to combine all of these things in my work. Or at least, these are the things I’m always thinking about when I’m working.”
The young artist met Alex Eagle on a chance encounter in Positano last summer. The pair bonded over a mutual love of Picasso’s ceramics and unusual tableware, deciding then to collaborate on a set of hand-painted plates and platters. The result: a decadent dining room’s worth of individual faces, each bursting with personality.
“I love drawing people and capturing their expressions, so Alex and I decided we had to create expressive faces. I’m a huge fan of Picasso’s ceramics. I love how spontaneous the designs are. They’re fun, bright, and full of humour.”
Luke’s characters are of a similar temperament. For his collaboration with Eagle, the faces look as though they may have drifted from a Cecil Beaton photo or Evelyn Waugh novel.
“I want these characters to be timeless, but I admit that if I could have lived in one era in England, it would have been between the wars. I’m very drawn to that time: everything was perfect for a moment.”
The ‘Friends’ collection by Luke and Alex’s results in generous plates and platters, thrown on a wheel by a traditional London potter, then hand-painted by Luke, glazed and fired. Each piece is unique and one-of-a-kind, like friends around a dinner table.