A purveyor of luxury leather goods, with a clothing line inspired by the golden age of British motoring, Connolly is a quintessentially British brand. Founded in 1878, it began as a shoe repair shop on London’s Euston Road and progressed to producing everything from the interiors of Bentley cars to the benches in the House of Lords and House of Commons.
Revived in recent years by Isabel Ettedgui, now the brand has a store on Clifford Street, which is a haven of calm in the middle of bustling Mayfair. Visit from now until January 2020 and you’ll be able to see its ‘Francis at Connolly’ exhibition, featuring works from the Bath-based Francis Gallery, which is owned by Rosa Park, founder of Cereal magazine.
Pure, white ceramics by Mari Ruth Oda and enigmatic sculptures by Paul Philp will sit alongside Yoon-Young Hur and Kim Sang-In’s jars and vessels inspired by traditional Korean shapes. On the charming wood-panelled walls of the Connolly’s first-floor showrooms you’ll also be able to view film photographs by Matthew Johnson and textural works on paper by Spencer Fung mingling with bold, colourful canvases by Jean-Baptiste Besançon. A combination of original works and limited-edition prints, the whole collection will be available to buy, with prices starting at £550.
All of the pieces share the Korean influence that’s at the heart of the Francis Gallery’s aesthetic. Set up by Park and housed in a Grade-II listed Georgian townhouse in the historic city of Bath, the gallery is inspired by the marriage of her Korean background and the heritage of her current home. Visit the gallery and you will see work by an extensive roster of artists that share Park’s sensibilities for art, as well as Korean antiques. The thread connecting Connolly and the Francis Gallery is clear: a shared love for timeless design and exquisite detail.
‘Francis at Connolly’ is on until 7 January at Connolly, 4 Clifford Street, London W1. connollyengland.com