The glory of nature and Greek mythology are the inspiration behind Christopher Hall’s latest furniture collection.
Born in New Zealand and based between London and Istanbul, internationally renowned interior and furniture designer Christopher Hall has always had a passion for mythology and the glory of nature. This lifelong fascination with ancient legends has recently become the inspiration for a luxuriously eclectic collection of furniture. Launched on the 1st February, this new handcrafted collection is called SOMATA.
“Mythology is a rich and inspiring topic full of beautiful, subtle details about tales and legends that allure and delight. It conjures up glorious and wonderful stories of Gods, Goddesses and heroes,” says Hall, discussing his inspiration. “During my early travels to southern Turkey and Greece in my late teens, the discovery of mythologies and the intensity it conveyed through magical storytelling transformed into a personal passion”.
Always refined and elegant, Hall is recognised for their timeless designs and his ability to blend classical forms with contemporary structures. The SOMATA collection goes one step beyond this, including references to the half-goat, half-man god Pan and a colony of bats, who were the messengers of the netherworld. These have been transformed into hooves on table legs and intricate details on stools and plinths.
It begs the question, why is furniture the sector for this inspiration? “Freedom would be the first word that comes to mind,” Hall explains, “I enjoy the process of developing a single inspiration through a set of designs and into a reality. Working with craftspeople and natural materials is a true passion of mine which provides me with a sense of bringing a conceptual idea to life”. This SOMATA collection, he pinpoints, “represents a testimony celebrating the glory of nature and is inspired by the notional metamorphisms of mythology”.
Each element of the collection is practical, but also could almost be mistaken for a work of art - reminiscent of ancient sculptures, the pieces took hundreds of hours to make. Skilled artisans used traditional techniques to carve, cast and work prized materials (such as malachite, bronze and Silver-ware marble) into each piece of furniture. Embellishments of hand-cast bronze and precious gemstones can also be found embedded in the extraordinary pieces.
“I can’t help but love each and every piece of the SOMATA collection, of course - each design has been carefully detailed and crafted,” Hall says, when we ask if there is a piece that particularly stands out to him. However, he admits, “I do share a space with a black Lamia coffee table which has a strong presence and magnetism. I also have a pair of Triton cocktail cabinets side by side. These are bold, solid and have a masculine touch, yet very light and quiet”.
Four different myths of transformation have inspired the pieces within the collection. There are goat-hooved Pan tables; in another table range, called Lamia, a snake curls around a chestnut wood base with a surprising, lifelike quality. Minyades stools are adorned with bat motifs, and the handcrafted scale surfaces of Triton pay tribute to the goddess Aphrodite, who rode a chariot drawn by the fishtailed creatures. Finally, in the bone-like structure of Pelops, Hall invokes the story of Pyrrha, the legendary Greek mortal who repopulated the Earth.
For those who may be wondering how these imaginative pieces into their own interiors, Hall has the answer. “I believe the collection to be timeless and familiar, perhaps on a subconscious level - who knows,” he contemplates. “I see them in either rich layered rooms with powerful art, velvet, silk and bronze…I also see a few hero pieces in considered, quiet rooms almost graphic in nature. They definitely have a modern feel to them as well.”
Creating designs that are both effortlessly timeless and steeped in history, Christopher Hall’s SOMATA collection is guaranteed to make a unique, sophisticated addition to any interior – and they will certainly be a conversation starter. To view the full collection and find out more, visit christopherhalldesign.com.