Artisan Focus: Joh Del
Inspired by historic botanical illustration plates, South African artist and illustrator, Joh Del has created three exclusive textile designs for HADEDA this autumn, available online as wallhangings and tablecloths.
I met award-winning illustrator and artist Joh Del through another HADEDA artist, Lucie de Moyencourt, who creates our incredible Shell a Vie collection of ceramic shells. I was immediately drawn to his intricate line work and the fine detail of his botanical drawings. The nature-inspired palettes felt immediately like they would fit into the HADEDA aesthetic and it wasn't look before we were chatting about how we could create some bespoke illustrations that celebrated the natural beauty and wonder of South Africa.
As always, I was drawn to textiles as a medium for Joh's beautiful designs and wanted something that would work as a piece of art in its own right, hung on a wall, but also something that could be used functionally within the home, bringing 'beauty to the everyday' - and so the wallhanging and tablecloth designs were born!
The first illustration, 'Underwater Life', depicts a range of Oceanic fauna, corals and seashells found in the oceans around South Africa. It reminds me of happy memories, beach combing with my boys. Hand-drawn by Joh, they have been screen-printed on Belgian linen in the two sizes - as a wallhanging and as a tablecloth.
The linen gives a beautiful, textured backdrop to the intricate illustrations - Underwater Life is available both on a light, stone-coloured background (below) and also a dramatic black colourway (above) that really makes the individual specimen drawings pop and gives it a modern twist.
We also have a Botanical print design available as a wallhanging, depicting indigenous floral to South Africa, from delicate ferns to lush palms. Every time I examine it I notice a new detail, so intricate is Joh's work. We've created the wallhangings with a simple channel at the top where a piece of dowel can be fed through, or wire, to hang. The weight of the linen means they hang beautifully, adding a tactile addition to any wall, stairwell or hallway as an alternative to art or framed prints.
The tablecloths are printed on the same premium-quality Belgian linen and are 1.5m x 2m, designed for an 8-seater table. They make a beautiful backdrop to our woven placemats, coloured glassware and hand-thrown ceramics.