Homeless Toile de Jouy

Craft & Design Yarncraft

Rachael Fry, a senior in Communication Design at Parsons, made this Toile de Jouy wallpaper, lampshade, and dinnerware. From afar, the beautiful patterning catches your eye, but up close it becomes apparent that the tiles patterns are scenes of real homeless people in New York City. She writes:

“Since the 19th century, Toile de Jouy, a French textile pattern, has been used within the context of luxury. This decorative motif [typically] depicts pastoral scenes. By blending real homeless individuals into a contemporary Toile landscape, I hope to offer a personal interpretation of this traditional pattern that will provoke thought on art, design, and poverty.”

I love how the wealthy might adopt this pattern as a way of humbling themselves, even falsely, especially because if this were manufactured the pieces would probably be very expensive. Rachael also mentioned to me that the strong connection between money and food was a source of inspiration to her. More and full size images on my Flickr – Link.

2 thoughts on “Homeless Toile de Jouy

  1. Katherine says:

    Timorous Beasties in Glasgow have been doing this for several years now and have versions for Glasgow and London. As far as I am aware they are not based on real homeless people though. I like the way Rachael has created crockery as well.

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Becky Stern is a Content Creator at Autodesk/Instructables, and part time faculty at New York’s School of Visual Arts Products of Design grad program. Making and sharing are her two biggest passions, and she's created hundreds of free online DIY tutorials and videos, mostly about technology and its intersection with crafts. Find her @bekathwia on YouTube/Twitter/Instagram.

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