When the world gets a little too straightforward, a bit of the offbeat is exactly what we need. For instance, take something as commonplace as the chair. We look at a chair as a place to rest our, well… bottoms, a table to hold a drink or books, and a couch to socialize or rest after a long day.
What if someone were to look at these functional items and see whimsical possibilities? Matt Sindall did exactly that. He’s an artist who sees the world through a set of eyes most of us don’t have. Sindall has the ability to view the world with the wildest of interpretations.
British born in 1958, Sindall started out as a set designer for the National Theatre in London. He then moved on to the BBC as an art director and designed many successful programs. In 1990, Jean-Michel Wilmotte (architect, urban planner and designer) invited him to Paris to work for his firm. With Jean-Michel Wilmotte, Sindall was able to work for years while also creating and developing his own projects. He has participated in several editions of the ‘VIA’ program including the 2007 Carte Blanche. He has also
worked for Renault and Michelin, designing their spaces. Using the experience gained, he also taught at Ecole Superieure d’Art et de Design at Reims and collaborated with Saint-Etienne Design Biennale.
Sindall sees the environment with his eyes wide open and holds very few preconceived ideas. “A designer lives in his own world, but the role of a designer is to improve upon it”, says Sindall, who believes the word designer is often overused. He points out that many forget the design profession is a job.
The job of a designer is to balance the ultimate equation of having your feet on the ground, but your head in the clouds. Sindall knows that both are needed to function together in order to effectively move forward.
It’s important that designers don’t lose who they are, or where they come from. The roots of a designer are vitally important to their creations. It is their authenticity. This is Sindall’s philosophy. It has helped him create some of his greatest pieces.
Taking the ordinary and stretching it to the extraordinary is his greatest gift. The Annamorph, a set
of bookshelves that uses an annamorphic technique (which places an image to be seen from three different points of view) was created by Sindall in 2004. Its sleekness and bold image is strong, and it has quite a modern feel with its stainless steel legs and printed laminate.
Consider the piece called “Doggy” from 2006. With its smooth surface and flat doggy shape, this wooden table is not just functional, but also quite amusing. One of his most challenging pieces is “Under the Influence” from 2002. This piece is a sliced up IKEA chair that Sindall put back together at a 45 degree angle. “This chair is homage to our knock-down world”, stated Sindall.
Some of the exhibitions he has been involved in are Salon du Meuble de Paris from January of 2004 and 2006, La Matiere Autrement in November of 2007, “No Limit” Cite radieuse Le Corbusier, and Briey-en Foret, France, in May 2002. This was not collaboration, but a one-man show of works in a typical apartment.
People tend to look at an object we use every day and miss the delight it could possess. You can simply sit in a chair and feel its functionality, or you close your eyes and imagine where you go beyond that. Matt Sindall has taken what we see, studied it, challenged it, and truly improved upon it.