Walter Raes at London Design Festival

Walter Raes installation, ‘DUN ROAMIN’.

Walter Raes will be exhibiting his installation, ‘DUN ROAMIN’ at Oratory House, adjacent to the V&A museum at London Design Festival this September.

Raes was born in Belgium, and though he has lived and worked in London since 1989, he is steeped in the Belgian surrealist tradition that includes René Magritte & his soul mate, E.L.T. Mesens, the Brussels Surrealists, the Hainaut Group, Pol Bury and Marcel Broodthaers.

Best known for transforming ‘trash’ into art, and a witty use of surprising materials, Raes has released a succession of eye-popping works through WALTERWORKs.


His ‘wearable art’, such as the Cassette Tape Boogie Dress, highly praised by the late Isabella Blow, has been making headlines for some years.

During last year’s Design Festival 2010, Raes’ work was exhibited alongside Barnaba Fornasetti and Debra Frances-Bean at Milk Concept Boutique in Shoreditch High Street.

Now for London Design Festival 2011, Raes has scaled-up to an ambitious size. The DUN ROAMIN’ installation is a meticulously worked vintage room, where every design piece has been transmogrified from household detritus.

The title refers to the archetypal British suburban interior, the familiar parlour where three ceramic ducks might fly above the mantelpiece, which Raes conceives as a sharp comment on waste, wrapped in deliciously witty retro sweetness.

Raes’ draws further inspiration from conceptual artists Marcel Duchamp and Yves Klein. His is a surreal form of alchemy, transforming an unwanted Mini Cooper hood into a lady’s vanity table, and three metal shoetrees into a classic table lamp.

“There’s so much waste, it makes me cringe. I want people to know how much effort goes into manufacturing everyday things.” said Raes.

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