Kristjana x Paul Smith
Working with the renowned British fashion icon, Paul Smith, has been a source of inspiration for Kristjana. The pair have been working together since 2015, when Kristjana first exhibited at the Paul Smith store at Heathrow airport. The collaboration continued with 'The Explorers' Voyage', a fantastical and escapist exhibit that weaves together Kristjana and Smith’s shared love of maps, curiosities and adventure. The Explorers' Voyage saw Kristjana's work travel the world from one Paul Smith boutique to another; launching at the iconic Melrose Avenue store in Los Angeles - famous for its instagrammable shocking pink exterior - and culminating at Smith’s flagship, No.9 Albemarle Street store in London.
The Inspiration Behind the Exhibit
Kristjana vividly recalls first visiting Paul’s studio in Covent Garden. "It’s packed with thousands of found objects, textures and beloved possessions that inspire him and inform his vision. I wanted to imagine a creative journey through the store that had the same energy." says Kristjana. The result saw visitors handed a map that guided them from installation to installation, following the fantastical globe-trotting adventures of two time-travelling cats. "The cats represent two fearless real-life Victorian explorers, botanical artist Marianne North and naturalist Isabella Bird," explains Kristjana. "The pieces in the exhibition tell stories about who they met and what they saw on their strange odyssey, from the ships they sailed on, to the other animals they befriended."
"I also explored philosophical ideas about travel using anatomical skeletons to represent the physical and emotional experience of exploring the world – from butterflies in your stomach, to head exploding jetlag" says Kristjana. "What is so exciting is that this exhibition allowed me to really play around with 3D imagery and curiosities that speak to me, so treasures from my travels are juxtaposed with custom-made frames, interactive maps, furniture and mirrors, to create a truly immersive experience."
Artwork, Objects & Curiosities
Images from a group exhibition at Paul Smith's flagship Albemarle Street, London in November 2019. This featured a range of new and one-off works from regular artists and collaborators.