Nina Levett introduces wallpaper and textile designers Timorous Beasties

Wallpapers always had their ups and downs. For example in the second half of the 1700s the Remondinis – printers from Bassano del Grappa in Italy – produced wallpapers that became popular at the time that they were used in La Fenice, Venice. Recently wallpapers have become very en vogue again. One example of wallpaper designers who have become widely appreciated nowadays are Timorous Beasties. Alistair McAuley and Paul Simmons started out in Glasgow in the 1990s concentrating their attention on hand-printed wallpapers, fabrics and blinds. They

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first worked for bars, restaurants and later also designed for big furnishing companies. Lately they worked for the UK Supreme Court in London, Ogilvy and Mather in Dublin, etc. Timorous Beasties’ motifs include giant bees, huge butterflies, thorny thistles or sensual fuchsia orchids adorn some of the wallpapers; iguanas and scary looking pheasants. One of the designs that made Timorous Beasties popular was their Glasgow Toile. Wikipedia defines toile as a type of decorating pattern consisting of a usually white or off-white background on which a repeated pattern depicting a fairly complex scene, generally of a pastoral theme such as (for example) a couple having a picnic by a lake. Toiles also often consist of an arrangement of flowers. The pattern portion consists of a single color, most often black, dark red, or blue. Originally toile was made in France in late 1700 to compete with the painted and printed cotton fabrics imported from Asia. Timorous Beasties’ toile looks similar to the old toiles, but, on close inspection, rather than pastoral or rural scenes, it features images of addicts shooting up in the Necropolis, tramps sleeping on park benches and a young lad clad in a tracksuit peeing against some bushes, while, in the background, you can spot the Glasgow University Tower, the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Church and the Armadillo building. Nina Levett is still starting out on her first wallpaper collection. She is facing technical problems with her in-house manufacturing technique. She sees similarities between her own narrative wallpapers and the works of Timorous Beasties. Most of the content here is inspired by an article about Timorous Beasties written by Anna Battista. Read the complete article here. Nina Levett talks about her new wallpaper collections and the work of Timorous Beasties. Watch her video below: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grw_u33VW3o

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