British designer Neisha Crosland, aka the queen of pattern, has spent the last 35 years refining her art, composing and recomposing repeat motifs and applying them to textiles, tiles, ceramics, and wallpapers for brands including Fired Earth, The Rug Company, Turnell and Gigon and most recently Fine Cell Work. Her insightful monograph, Life of Pattern, documents in brilliant detail exactly how her sharp, roving magpie eye operates, adapting elements from botanical sketches, nature, Ottoman Empire fabrics, Japanese kimonos, art deco, and more creating striking new patterns by editing, simplifying, or altering scale and colour.
Now, for the first time, she has reversed her practice, which typically involves transposing two-dimensional designs to the three-dimensional, and instead revisited the original motifs from some of her most popular designs and distilled them into a series of hand drawn and painted artworks. ‘Pattern, once in repeat, finds itself as well as loses itself,’ she says, ‘but what happens when you lift the motif out of context and lay it out in isolation?’
The fruits of this experiment are currently on show at The Afridi Gallery, which specialises in antique and contemporary carpets and 20th-century furniture, objects and lighting, until 12 November and these pared down artworks reveal her designs in their purest form. Gallerist Shahbaz Afridi says, ‘we see echoes in the motifs that are reminiscent of the Classical, the Mughal, the Ottoman and Modern eras, but Neisha’s reworking has made them uniquely her own.’
‘A Portrait of Pattern: fine works on paper by Neisha Crosland’ is on until 12 November, at
The Afridi Gallery, 76 Royal Hospital Road, London SW3. shahbazafridi.com