Work

50 Glebe Place

Glebe Place, Chelsea, London

1986

An interior designed as an encompassing work of art, consisting of a ceiling fresco, related mosaic floor, and woven wool rug, designed for the house of Frank Lowe at 50 Glebe Place, the former home of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, in London's Chelsea. The 610 square foot fresco, painted by Clarke on scaffolding over a period of months, principally in oils directly onto plaster, combines Clarke's signature geometric shapes and organic 'cut-outs'. The floor mosaic comprises 7,500 cut pieces, principally squares of Italian marble forming a chequerboard matrix interrupted at the edges by the intrusion of a 'procession' of geometric, reticular shapes. These forms, Clarke's visual signature at the time, are made of gold and of slate, set into negative spaces in the marble grid. This border forms a band that follows the shape of the room, and echoes an equivalent painted band of reticules in the fresco above. Five 'predella' panels of streaky stone are set into the mosaic floor at one end of the room. A wool carpet sits in the centre of the mosaic, completing  the multimedia composition of the room-as-artwork. Its motifs are framed by and echoed in the mosaic and ceiling painting. The rug is an adaptation of Brian's 1984 oil painting Urban Site Plan, and was woven in 1986 in North India.