Material and dimensions:
Cherry wood, ash veneer.
85cm x 78cm x 45cm
Anders Sune Berg
ABOUT THE PROJECT:
Bend to Caress Me by Danish designer Anne Brandhøj explores the duality of her two design practices within one object – both her sculptural work and furniture design studio. Combining two simple shapes, the seating element is constructed from laminated ash veneer pressed into a rounded form, while the seating back utilises a single plank of local Danish cherry wood in its raw state, complete with exposed knots and cracks. Combining these two elements, the sculptural forms are imbued with a functionality, whilst their visual tension highlights the long process raw wood takes to be viewed as ready for industry.
Bend to Caress Me was designed and constructed in order to bring to attention the disparities of raw, felled timber and the finished wood used within our furniture and homes. As part of a larger body of work titled Touch and Relate, this sculptural seating element combines two distinct functional components that invite the user to interact with the piece. While the veneered ash seating element is rounded and soft to touch, the Danish cherry wood back has all the marks of the tree in which it was cut from; the textural knot and long crack becoming the defining features of the piece. While Brandhøj utilises these natural markings to highlight the organic nature of timber, they are also used a reminder to the amount of beautiful wood that is not seen as suitable for industry. While the simplicity of the final form best represents the differences in the two wood products being displayed, it underlies the craftsmanship involved in combining raw and machined elements. The forms also bring into questions the balance between art and design, leaving the viewer to create their own line between functional sculpture and sculptural furnishing.
Furniture Designer, born 1984.
The diversity of Anne Brandhøj’s dual design practices; her sculptural work and the industry focused Bly Studio alongside designer Eva Fly, is a testament to the explorative way in which she approaches her craft. Her sculptural practice is defined by a deep connection to materiality – large sections of fresh timber are hand felled, lathed and then dried. Each piece exposes the individual characteristic of the wood where knots, cracks and growth rings become the hero. Made by hand within her Søborg workshop, her functional sculptures are shaped and formed through a slow, detailed process of creation. While these sculptural pieces are introspective in nature, her work with Bly Studio tackles design issues on a global scale. With a focus on challenging the existing furniture industry and promoting a circular economy through design, Anne and Eva attack each design problem through an iterative process of hand modelling, testing and experiments. The result is contemporary design pieces with a strong focus on functional ergonomics and innovative production practices.
2017: MA, Furniture Design, Royal Danish Academy, Copenhagen, Denmark.
GRANTS AND HONOURS:
2022: Residency, Danish Arts Workshops, Denmark.
2021: Work Grant, Danish Arts Foundation, Denmark.
2019: Honarary Award, The Finn Juhl Prize, Denmark.
2018: Talent of the year, Danish Design Awards, Denmark.
2018: Project Grant, L.F.Foghts Foundation, Denmark.
2017: Project Grant, The Beckett Foundation, Denmark.
2021: Group Exhibition, Matter at Hand, Hostler Burrows, New York, USA.
2021: Solo Exhibition, On Balance, Tableau, Copenhagen, Denmark.
2019: Solo Exhibition, Touch & Relate, Galleri Christoffer Egelund, Copenhagen, Denmark.
2019: Group Exhibition, Svindrevner, A. Petersen Collection & Craft, Copenhagen, Denmark.
2018: Group Exhibition, The Cabinetmakers Autumn Exhibition, Thorvaldsens Museum,
2016: Group Exhibition, The Spring Exhibition, Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, Denmark.
2022: Designmuseum Danmark, Permanent Sculptural Installation in collaboration with Kay Bojesen Foundation, Copenhagen, Denmark.