'Enveloped by a wonderful cornucopia of colours at Sonya Winner'
- Credit: David Mallows
This month I’m exploring another northwest London home of wonder.
After my morning swim and a perfect coffee from my friend Alessio at the Parliament Hill Lido cafe I saunter over to Sonya Winner – a quiet village backwater in fashionable Dartmouth Park and the perfect home for her international modern rug business.
In a time when the pandemic has deprived most of us of visits to museums, exhibitions and galleries we are keen to feel reconnected to the places that inspire us.
It was Henri Matisse, the celebrated painter, who said that colours “have in themselves a significant action on the feelings of those who look at them” and it certainly feels like that when I enter Sonya’s enclave.
I am immediately enveloped by a wonderful cornucopia of colours in the form of vibrant contemporary rugs. These pieces of art for the floor could make the most austere and empty of homes come to life.
The rugs are made in rural Indian communities using the 2000-year-old craft of weaving. The weavers translate Sonya’s collages and paintings into vibrant contemporary rugs that are shipped to over 30 countries around the world.
These eye-catching rugs are displayed on the walls and floor throughout the gallery showroom and it’s heartening to see Sonya and her team at work creating new designs at the back of the showroom. The studio is a "design oasis" and a place to find inspirational handmade art pieces and craft that Sonya has curated on her travels.
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Most of the items on display can’t be found anywhere else. There are handmade and handprinted mirage vases by Alice Rose in New Zealand, Acrylic sculptures from artist Philip Low in New York, jewellery hand made from recycled plastic in Germany by Karola Torkos and hand-blown glass art by British artist Tim Rawlinson.
It’s an exciting time for Sonya and her team as this month they are launching a series of nature-themed rugs using Sonya’s tour of the Grand Canyon (pre covid of course) as her source of inspiration. One of the new designs, Colour Canyon, is created using 85 different colours, while the Antelope Canyon is available in three different colour ways.
We all need to feel inspired and creative and the sense I get when I leave is of limitless possibilities, the same feeling I have when I’ve seen a great piece of art.
I return to another quote about colour from the Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky: "Colour is a power which directly influences the soul."
I definitely concur.
Russell Bentley is a Belsize Park actor and writer.