Art has adorned our living spaces since prehistoric times, from rudimentary cave paintings to the soaring wonders of the Renaissance and beyond. Long before the days of books and reading, the immediate impact of art connected with us on a profound emotional level, lighting up our imagination and opening up avenues into new worlds. More than just a decorative tool, ancient civilisations saw how art could enliven ordinary walls with colourful and inspirational stories of human survival, or invest into them a sublime atmosphere of spiritual wonder. In modern and contemporary times art has become more complex and subjective, but this deeply felt connection we have with visual art still runs deep into the core of our civilisation, which is why art is such a fundamental element of our lives. Let’s take a look at just some of the ways that art can transform the spaces where we live and work, with examples from our Illus Prints collection.
One of the simplest and most effective ways art can reinvent a living space is by making an immediate impact. This can be achieved in a variety of ways depending on what suits the space you are working with. One way to make an impact is to introduce vibrant, bold colour - the images in our Scandinavian Set including Eye on You, Scandinavian Rose and Scandinavian Nude contain striking panels of electric blue, crisp white or zesty orange which enliven the neutral space around them. Matisse’s fantastically bright Blue Nudes also have an immediately arresting visual impact that can bring attention and focus into any neutral toned living space.
Another approach for making an impact is to bring similar images together into organised groups on an accent wall. This is played with in many of our botanical subject groupings on site, where images of similar earthy and autumnal tones are arranged into an ordered grid and tie in with the interior hues around them, or in the Picasso Animals print series, which unites stark, black and white images in a more playful, circular arrangement. These groups bring together images that complement and enhance one another, while placing prints in a sequential arrangement in this way can also hint at underlying narrative that runs from one image to the next.
Art can also bring deeper emotional or spiritual meaning into your home or office space, inviting room in even the smallest of spaces for silent contemplation in the midst of hectic daily lives. Many of our celestial-themed images consider our primordial connection to the wider universe around us, such as Sun, Moon and Stars, or Silhouette Sun, while images such as Beso, Flirt and Baby Feet are quiet, tranquil reflections on the power, strength and importance of human relationships. Sunset also has a quiet, tranquil and escapist atmosphere that can lift us into another time and place beyond the noise of everyday life. Other prints in our collection are more optimistic and celebratory, with inspirational and uplifting imagery that can really charge up the space around them, such as the radiant Shine, which beams rays of sunlight upwards to the sky, or Matisse’s dazzling Icarus, which beams out golden, twinkling starlight from the darkening midnight sky as the hero opens his arms wide into a dramatic freefall.