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Daniel Poole Presents: The New Curiosity Shop






Following the huge success of God's Own Junkyard, the acclaimed fashion and interior designer, Daniel Poole, or 'dp' as some would prefer, brings his latest discoveries for sale in a pop up shop at Shoreditch's Londonewcastle. We speak to DP about his surreal utopia where anything is possible and everything is for sale.

Tell me more about the New Curiosity Shop at Londonewcastle, what was the inspiration behind it?

Daniel Poole: Following the success in Primrose Hill, I will be recreating my famous shop/gallery/installation, within the 3000 sq foot space, selling my own installations alongside a stable of artists and London creatives including, a neon extravaganza by Chris Bracey, Ye olde sign writer Jac, New York found objects artist Merrill, assemblage artist Laurence Poole, sculptor Finn Stone, figurative painter Jennifer Louise Martin, mixed media artist Sue Golden and many more, as well as a cornucopia of curiosities.

Savvy London shoppers will have noticed the quirky art, design and found objects shop/gallery in Primrose Hill. It has become a cult independent and has already built a large fan base with the local creatives and celebrities. "The concept for the shop is that it challenges the notion of the retail experience in 2012. It sells things that are not necessarily useful or that everyone would like. It does not pander to a niche or the mass market. It is anti corporate and does not follow the rules of corporatism. It is a cosy and visually intriguing retail experience. There are no prices, you have to engage with the shop keeper. Let him have his turn, the shopkeeper is part of the shop. Everything is unusual and there is a cornucopia of interesting things. Most of the products are old and have been used before, some are part old and part new. Many are highly evocative and cause memory recall. The neon lights, the airline seats, the stuffed owls, the toy robots. The bebe noir collection.

The whole shop appears as one large installation. The shop sells precious things that are not by nature expensive. It makes us question throwaway society and promotes the idea that objects can have value and store memories.

The new curiosity shop is inspired by a million childhood memories of rummaging through junk shops by my work as a fashion designer and some seminal moments visiting the famous cockney boxer Henry Coopers greengrocers shop in 1972. Vivien Westwood's Mud and Sand in St Christopher's place in 1984. Reginald Perrins shops. Ronnie Barkers famous four candles sketch. The imagination goes wild as to what treasure could be found. I am a child of the sixties, I loved the fashion and quirkiness of TV shows like the Avengers and the Prisoner ,the Lady Penelope style, and Jason King. Beautiful women in modernist cloths would often be filmed in quirky interiors that crossed old stuffy country houses with Vernon Panton interiors. Dianna Rigg in leather catsuit would pose on a Polar Bear skin rug with a metallic futurist sofa. Often in the avengers a story line would evolve a round a quirky antique shop. Steptoe and son and the Antique road show are a huge influence.

The shop was first created in 2009 in Primrose Hill to show case my art and interior design. Somedays we are visited by more celebs than civilians. They love the shop and seem to feel at home there. Jules and Jamie Oliver, Jude Law, Daisy Lowe, Sharlene Spiteri, Emma Freaud. Eliza Dolittle, Nick Grimshaw. Helen Fielding, Pearl Lowe, have all bought things but Gwen Stefani. Lisa Snowden, Harry Enfield,Damon Albarm, Pixie Geldorf, Gavin Rossdale, Garry Kemp. Ricky Gervaise and numerous others have all been kind enough to say they love the shop.

How is the pop up different to the (permanent ) shop in Primrose Hill?

Daniel Poole: We recreated the shop within the gallery as one installation. We added a lounge area with a various range of furniture styles and stunning neon collection on the wall.

How did you come to host your shop at Londonewcastle? Did they approach you or vice versa?

Robert Soning, COO of Londonewcastle: "I got to know Daniel through his eclectic shop cum gallery in Primrose Hill and forged a relationship with him over time which culminated in Daniel providing the interior design for a penthouse apartment we had for sale at our Arundel Square development in Islington.

It was around this time that Daniel started talking to us about the idea of recreating the shop concept as a pop-up exhibition within the gallery. It was a concept that appealed to us in our continued curation of exhibitions and events at the Londonewcastle Project Space where this year, our fourth , we have tried to support a wide mix of proposals that often fuse different disciplines together - whether fashion, music, furniture - with of course, art."

Tell me more about the artists who are exhibiting at the New Curiosity Shop (Christ Bracey, Merrill, Laurence Poole, Sue Golden and others). Did they contribute their work independently of each other or did you work as a collective?

Daniel Poole: We met via The Curiosity Shop in Primrose Hilll and they presented independent works. This gallery gives us the opportunity to show the work in some depth of each artist.

Daniel Poole's New Curiosity Shop will be open at Londonewcastle from 1st - 17th March, 11 - 7pm.

Louisa Lau
18:25 - 28/02/12

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