To Have and To Hold
by JamesPlumb

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The illusory shadows of burning candles and unexpected assemblages of decrepit furniture make up the latest collection by British designers JamesPlumb.

To Have and to Hold by JamesPlumb

Above: photograph by Gisela Torres, courtesy of Kandasamy Projects

Hannah Plumb and James Russell, who work together as JamesPlumb, created the To Have and To Hold collection from discarded and broken antiques.

To Have and to Hold by JamesPlumb

Above: photograph by Gisela Torres, courtesy of Kandasamy Projects

Included in the collection is a nineteenth century chandelier shown alongside a moving image of its silhouette.

To Have and to Hold by JamesPlumb

Above: photograph by Gisela Torres, courtesy of Kandasamy Projects

"The talking point was the beauty of the shadow," James Russell told Dezeen, explaining that they wanted to show the shadows of candle smoke without using bright lights, which would have destroyed the candlelit atmosphere.

To Have and to Hold by JamesPlumb

Instead, they recorded the chandelier burning overnight and then projected the video alongside it in the chapel of St. Barnabas.

To Have and to Hold by JamesPlumb

"None of our shows are in typical white cube spaces," said Russell. "We love to evoke an atmosphere."

To Have and To Hold by JamesPlumb

The collection also includes assemblages such as an eighteenth century wing chair combined with church pew seats to create a long bench, and a Victorian pulpit repurposed as a cocooned reading room.

To Have and to Hold by JamesPlumb

Document boxes with mirrored tin linings are raised on steel plinths and illuminated from inside, while a corner cupboard has been transformed into a freestanding upholstered bench.

To Have and to Hold by JamesPlumb

A dresser from an apothecary and a set of artist's pigment drawers are extended with steel frames that outline the missing fragments of the original furniture.

To Have and to Hold by JamesPlumb

Above: photograph by Gisela Torres, courtesy of Kandasamy Projects

"The majority of the work is about vessels or containers, whether for people or objects," said Russell. "It’s nearly always a broken or incomplete object, one that the antique dealers aren’t drawn to."

To Have and to Hold by JamesPlumb

To Have and to Hold by JamesPlumb

Above: photograph by Gisela Torres, courtesy of Kandasamy Projects

The pieces were exhibited inside the House of St. Barnabas, a former women's refuge in Soho, during last October's Frieze art fair. To Have and To Hold was the first exhibition by newly founded "nomadic gallery" Kandasamy Projects.

To Have and to Hold by JamesPlumb

Other projects by the same designers we've featured on Dezeen include antique furniture with cast concrete inserts and an award-winning interior for a fashion boutique in east London – see all our stories about JamesPlumb.

To Have and to Hold by JamesPlumb

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To Have and to Hold by JamesPlumb

Photographs are by JamesPlumb, courtesy of Kandasamy Projects, except where stated.

To Have and to Hold by JamesPlumb

Above: photograph by Gisela Torres, courtesy of Kandasamy Projects

Here's some more information from Kandasamy Projects:


Kandasamy Projects is proud to present its inaugural exhibition To Have and To Hold by James Plumb. The installation will showcase a significant new body of work, and marks the designers first solo show with a London gallery.

To Have & To Hold presents the artist’s core ethos - the desire to look again at the overlooked. It is the pieces they find that are the starting point of all their work. With a desire to treat each one preciously, they marry apparently disparate fragments into new assemblages that appear as if they could have always existed.

The site for the exhibition reflects the tone of the works. The House of St. Barnabas was a place of sanctuary in its former life as a women’s refuge. The installation will encompass the on-site Chapel, where a unique lighting piece will be presented. A 19th C chandelier - patinated as if dragged from the ocean floor – is exhibited alongside its own silhouette – a shimmering moving image that brings a unique balance of the analogue and the digital.

The focus on the preciousness of objects is borne out in a new limited edition of sculptural luminaires. A collection of old solicitor’s document boxes have been given their own elegant steel plinths. Illuminated from within, their mirrored tin linings become a home for cherished belongings.

The Monro Room will showcase a new collection of unique assemblages. An old corner cupboard that has been released from its confines and allowed to stand freely in the middle of the room, is transformed into a ‘settle’ that celebrates its distinctive shape. A Victorian pulpit, discovered in a tangled mess of overgrown brambles has had its former purpose for delivering sermons to the masses refocussed to create a one of a kind reading room for the individual. The utilty of the pulpit has been transformed from a platform for public speech to a cocooned space for quiet contemplation.

An 18th C wing chair finds new function as a day bed-come-bench with the addition of oversized church pew seats that project from within. A fragment from an old apothecary dresser, and a pair of old pigment drawers are extended by steel frameworks which reference the other parts now missing and forgotten. An allusion to the fact that their present forms are merely fragments of their former selves - an ethereal reminder of their initial purpose.

Each piece is a study in refined interventions that are designed to elevate but not dominate their subjects.

  • susandooleys

    The chandelier looks excellent. Really classy

  • http://allmywows.tumblr.com/ fanny

    The night of the show was absolutely dream-like and the delicate atmosphere of the chapel was the perfect frame for the extensive collection that JAMESPLUMB presented. Delicious champagne and lovely people all over. :)

    Hannah and James really are an amazing team together. Well done everyone for working on and organising such a fab show and evening!

  • jinn

    I was lucky enough to be in London at the time and catch this show. I have been following their work online for sometime. I wasn’t prepared for such a beautifully presented, intimate and atmospheric show. These pictures do not do the show justice.

    The chapel space was probably the most awesome with the chandelier hanging in the centre. In the cloisters were the boxes, which glowed, each presenting a small object. Quite haunting, yet it felt so appropriate for the room. In the second room was the most incredible piece, the Pulpit. I just loved it. I hope they bring this show to America!