The Design of Timorous Beasties
Founded in 1990 by the Scottish duo Alistair McAuley and Paul Simmons - Timorous Beasties is a textile design and manufacturing company based in Glasgow, creating hand printed fabrics and wallpapers. Noted for their surreal, sumptuous and provocative designs, one critic has aptly described their work ”as William Morris on acid”. They challenge traditional conventions with their use of heavily illustrative insects, inkblots, skull motifs, flora and fauna and real scenes of modern gritty city life. The results are lavish and beautiful, full of brilliant color and interesting details of the unusual.
From a distance, Glasgow toile looks like one of those sumptuous French toile de jouy designs from the 18th century that depicted charming rustic scenes, and decorated upholstery, curtains or walls. But closer inspection revealed that Glasgow toile was a nightmarish vision of the city, teeming with drug addicts, prostitutes and homeless people, against a backdrop of run-down tower blocks and marauding seagulls.
“The imagery in the original French toiles from the 18th century is actually quite shocking,” says McAuley. “They have scenes of workers womanising, smoking and drinking. What we’ve done, in the Glasgow toile, is update the imagery. So a pipe becomes a rollie, an old man sitting on a stool in a rural scene becomes a tramp on a park bench, a glass of wine becomes a can of super lager.”
- via The Guardian