Female-focused Deeper than Text exhibit kicks off NYCxDesign 2019

A handmade copper lamp and a tiger-shaped pom-pom rug are among the designs featured in this all-female exhibition, which Chelsea gallery 1stdibs is hosting for this year’s NYCxDesign festival.

Deeper than Text is an exhibit organised by the Female Design Council in New York City, an organisation founded by local designer Lora Appleton that provides career support, guidance, and mentorship to women in design.

Deeper Than Text exhibit by FDC
Pieces from 19 female artists feature in the exhibit

The installation showcases work from 19 international female designers, from places including Lebanon, Denmark, South Africa, the Netherlands, Germany and the US.

“It’s all about women supporting women,” said Lora Appleton at the installation’s press opening on 9 May 2019.

Deeper Than Text exhibit by FDC
Among the designs are lights by Konekt that are covered in chainmail

“It has been a privilege and an honour to be trusted by these women, to show their work, to install their work, and to be able to engage it in this incredible space at 1stdibs,” she said.

Works on display include a copper table lamp by Karen Chekerdjian, a bronze sculpture by Justine Mahoney, and colourful ceramics by Zizipho Poswa.

Deeper Than Text exhibit by FDC
Works displayed range from lighting, ceramics to tables, and other decorative elements

A cluster of three chainmail light fixtures that hang in the centre of the space were created by mother-daughter design studio Konekt in Philadelphia.

Other notable designs are glazed ceramic lamps by Cathrine Raben Davidsen, fur screens by Liz Collins, ceramics by Melissa Cromwell, borosilicate glassware by Felicia Ferrone, and a geometric pink-and-black coffee table by Elyse Graham.

Deeper Than Text exhibit by FDC
Over a thousand pom-poms are used to form this rug by Berlin’s Myra von Busekist

A colourful knotted wool and silk tapestry by New York artist Malene Barnett defines one wall and is flanked by sconces by Amanda Richards. In front is a bright blue velvet chair by Leah Ring of Another Human studio.

Anchoring another area is Myra von Busekist‘s pompom tiger, composed of nearly 1,400 wool pompoms hand-woven into balls and arranged to resemble a life-size tiger hide.

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Pieces from Michele Quan and Alexandra Rowley round out the exhibition.

Deeper than Text is organised by the Female Design Council, which Appleton founded after Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election. The council seeks to connect female designs, as well as foster dialogue and spark action on difficult issues facing women in a predominantly male industry.

Deeper Than Text exhibit by FDC
A cobalt chair is grouped with a vibrant tapestry, sconces, a coffee table and tableware

“The Female Design Council was an idea; it was something that I wanted to really put my energy into after the election [of Donald Trump] two-and-a-half years ago,” she said.

In addition to a hub in New York City, the organisation recently launched in Los Angeles.

Deeper Than Text exhibit by FDC
All-female design group Egg Collective is showcasing a wood dining table

“The Female Design Council, while it was founded by me, has really been built from the female community in New York and beyond,” Appleton said. “It connects community, connects all of the different layers of how we do design, and has the opportunity to bring together incredible master designers who just happen to be women, from all over the world.”

Appleton is a designer herself and the founder of Kinder Modern children’s gallery in New York City. Last year, she co-curated a similarly all-women themed exhibit Designing Women with Egg Collective – a New York-based design firm founded by Stephanie Beamer, Crystal Ellis, and Hillary Petrie.

Deeper Than Text exhibit by FDC
Justine Mahoney created this bronze sculpture featuring the Powerpuff Girls

In 2017, Egg Collective launched Designing Women to “support equality and empowerment of women worldwide”. It formed part of a surge of all-women design shows that thrived during NYCxDesign that year.

This year, Egg Collective’s wood dining table design is displayed at Appleton’s exhibit, made with white oak and bleached maple.

Deeper Than Text exhibit by FDC
A range of large ceramics are showcased, including pieces by Zizipho Poswa and Cathrine Raben Davidsen

Deeper than Text is on display from 11 May to 31 May 2019 at 1stdibs, Terminal Stores Building, 269 11th Ave.

It is among a number of installations at NYCxDesign festival, which runs from 10 May to 22 May 2019. Others include a showcase of outdoor furniture and an immersive installation at A/D/O.

Text by Bridget Cogley
Photography is by Pernille Loof

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