Design

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Contemporary Artists create limited edition mattresses in aid of Crisis as “Simba Art Collective”

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This winter, with a burst of creative energy, simbasleep.com has commissioned five contemporary artists to screen-print a limited edition collection of 20 mattresses per designer. All profits from the sales of 100 mattresses will go to Crisis. The coveted collection is an arresting mix of rich, vivid and dreamily delicate designs which are available exclusively from https://simbasleep.com/pages/collective. As part of its commitment to Crisis, Simba will also be donating 5% of the profits from all mattress sales online throughout November and December at simbasleep.com to the charity to give those sleeping rough a much deserved warm meal and bed for the night. Each purchase will help the charity deliver Crisis at Christmas, and prepare the incredible 33,000 meals, companionship and vital companionship they provide to 4,500 guests over the festive period.

In 1953, deemed too ill to attend her first solo show, Mexican artist Frida Kahlo sent her richly decorated four-poster bed ahead of her, arrived by ambulance, and was carried into the gallery on a stretcher. Sixteen years later, John Lennon and Yoko Ono staged their infamous bed-in to protest against the war. Since then, artists across different genres have made use of beds in their work in incredibly diverse ways, from Tracey Emin, Lucian Freud, Diane Arbus, Nobuyoshi and even the likes of Kayne West. From an art perspective the humble mattress, however, is somewhat more of an unexplored blanc canvas. This winter, shoppers have the opportunity to snap-up a limited collection of designer mattresses, created by an incredible mix of five contemporary artists, for a strictly limited time only (now – 31 December 2016) to raise money for homelessness charity Crisis.

Christmas is one of the hardest times of year for a person cut off from family and home. Every year, Crisis provides companionship and support to tackle loneliness and isolation, and help people take their first steps out of homelessness. The number of people sleeping rough on the streets in England has doubled since 2010 and risen by 30% in the last year alone. And Christmas is the toughest time of all. Great art can come out of adversity, and adversity can be overcome through art. Capturing each designer’s unique aesthetic, the coveted collection is an arresting mix of rich, vivid and dreamily delicate designs that will instantly elevate your bedroom and slumber to the next level. Although, be prepared to never want to make your bed ever again!

The Simba Art Collective designers include:

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NATASHA LAW - Best known for her graceful silhouettes which lie on the boundaries between high art and high fashion, Natasha Law is known for her paintings which capture the allure of a subject through tone, colour or contrast. Her portraiture conveys delicacy whilst keeping a distinct contemporary feel. ‘THE GIRLS ARE OUT’ MATTRESS features two softly reclining figures adorning the mattress. This sensual and tonal collage sits comfortably between artwork and a sculpture, with vibrant pink ribbon joining the women in a state of undress.

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KATE MOROSS - Award-winning multi-tasking illustrator, art director, director and designer Kate Moross burst on to the creative scene back in 2008. Her love for colour and energetic squiggles caught the eye of anyone and everyone, spawning a host of imitators and propelling her to be one of the most sought after collaborators in the design world. With a fervent passion for typography, all things geometric and colour, Kate has spent hours applying her magic touch and energetic squiggles to the blank canvas in a cheeky infectious piece entitled Dreams come true. The DREAMS COME TRUE’ MATTRESS is an unapologetic ode to optimism and playfulness even amongst adults.

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D*FACE - a.k.a Dean Stockton, grew up in the capital and was the owner and curator for the Outside Institute, London’s first contemporary art gallery to focus on street art. Since then he’s collaborated with the likes of Christina Aguilera on her album cover of Bionic, took part in Art Wars at the Saatchi Gallery, and was commissioned by Blink-182 for the cover art of their album California. ‘THE BOOM’ MATTRESS is a subversive interpretation on popular culture, which is brought to life in a tongue-in-cheek take on the explosive things that happen in bed. The graphic-art-inspired design is a signature of the artist and is a playful jolt to the senses.

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CAMILLE WALALA - If you’ve spotted Emporio Armani’s new accessories collection or walked around East London (or even New York) at any point over the past few years, the chances are you’ve come across some of Camille Walala’s work. A purveyor of positive digital print, her arresting geometric designs are plastered across walls from Great Eastern Street to Redchurch Street. Camille has created a signature mixed collage of powerfully positive designs. Known for her love of contrasting tones and Mondrian-esqe art works, ‘THE POP’ MATTRESS design infuses her signature style with punchy cheerful shapes.

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FREEBEEZ - After some time travelling around Europe, Freebeez settled in London. With few connections, he ended up living in squats across the capital. While he was homeless, Freebeez concentrated on his art. He came by his name in part because he found materials and inspiration for free on the streets. Freebeez would come to the homelessness charity Crisis to draw, paint and especially screen print. He needed a space – both physical and mental – to create his art. Freebeez has created a surrealist interpretation of what lies beyond the unconscious in an abstract cloudscape. Featuring floating houses, all-seeing eyes, hearts and heartbreak, the ‘CLOUD 9’ MATTRESS design fuses the everyday bedroom items with the extraordinary.

Each designer will be producing an exclusive run of twenty mattresses – one hundred in total will available to customers. The limited edition Simba Art Collective range will be available in a standard UK Double (£599) and King Size (£699). All profits from the sales of 100 mattresses will go to Crisis.

Commenting on the origins of the Collective, Co-Founder and CEO James Cox of Simba Sleep said: ‘Sleep is a basic human need and deprivation has a devastating impact on mental and physical wellbeing. Across the UK, thousands of people are sleeping rough – but to say sleeping is a falsity. For the homeless people Crisis support, sleep deprivation is a real issue – which is why we wanted to support them in their work. Crisis has been offering arts classes for homeless people for many years. Some of their members have even gone on to forge a career in the arts. Art can help people rebuild their confidence, reconnect them with wider society and ultimately, take their first steps out of homelessness. Recognising the positive impact of their art project, we came up with the idea of bringing art and sleep together, and the Simba Art Collective was born.”

Steve Reid, fellow Co-Founder of Simba, added: “We’re incredibly proud to have worked with such a talented array of artists and are delighted with the final designs. The humble mattress is such an undervalued part of our lives – especially considering the health benefits of a good night’s sleep. We wanted to celebrate this and inject some serious style and personality into them. Some might say, but it’s going to be covered. Yet, if you think about it in the same way as underwear or a bespoke lining in a suit, it’s not always going to be visible to the eye, but if we can make you smile and take pleasure in changing your sheets once a week then we’ve done our job. We hope that our customers will purchase these incredible designs and raise money for a very deserving cause."

Ed Tait, Director of Fundraising at Crisis, said: “We’re really excited about this partnership with Simba – the money raised will make a real difference, and enable us to us help more people leave homelessness behind for good. I’m particularly looking forward to seeing the work of our member Freebeez up there alongside such well-established names.” Crisis member artist, Freebeez, added: “It is important to me to find and use stuff that other people throw away. Not necessarily from not having the means, but as an anti-consumerist statement. I hope that by taking part in this show I can help draw more attention to homelessness.”

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