Walter Raes announces two partners for London Design Festival

Walter Raes has invited two artists to show alongside his ‘Dun Roamin’ installation at Oratory House during London Design Festival this September.

In keeping with his preoccupation with creative recycling, is Sofie Mollekens, of Trashilicious in Belgium, who designs fashion accessories from materials such as handbags made from seatbelts, car tyres or plastic wrapping and jewellery from bottle corks.

Raes’ second guest artist is Debra Franses Bean, the sculptor whose recurring theme is the handbag, which she presents as lit ‘psychological’ pieces.


Sentimental objects are preserved in clear resin handbags, elevated on brick-shaped plinths and lit with LEDs. In this show, two Artbags set with found objects or ‘objet trouvé’ will reflect Raes’ surrealist theme.

Beans’ work is collected internationally through Artware Editions in New York, Olivier Waltman Galerie Paris, Wanrooji Fine Art in Holland and Mark Jason Gallery in London.

“I met Debra at LDF 2010,” said Raes. “Then we hooked up at an art fair where models wore my looks and carried her trendy bags. We are so opposite that we click.”

Raes is Belgium-born, and though he has lived and worked in London for years, he is steeped in the Belgian surrealist tradition, particularly E.L.T. Mesens and Pol Bury.

His ‘wearable art’, such as the Cassette Tape Boogie Dress, was highly praised by the late Isabella Blow, and his exotic mirrors and workstations at Hari’s Hairdressing Salon in Chelsea, in August 2010, were described as ‘So cool it hurts’ by Grazia Magazine.

Alongside his guests Raes will present a new installation called Dun Roamin’: a meticulously worked vintage room, where every design piece has been transmogrified from found objects.

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