Bethan Laura Wood delved into the work of postimpressionist artist Henri Rousseau when preparing her hand-painted, still-life compositions for Hermès shop windows. Gleaning ideas from the Frenchman’s naive scenes of flora and fauna, the 31-year-old British designer created delectable displays depicting summer fruits and vegetables, providing a backdrop for an array of Hermès goods.
In London, Manchester and Dublin, shoes, scarves, hats and handbags featured in Wood’s bountiful sets. Red sandals gleamed at the heart of an onion, while a slinky sundress slid over a slice of melon. According to her studio, The Fruits of Labour project aimed at ‘positioning Hermès products as the seeds and hearts of myriad summer fruits and vegetables, while highlighting Hermès craftsmanship and unique design’.
Wood’s brightly coloured ‘high summer’ installations were a three-dimensional interpretation of Rousseau’s 19th-century aesthetic. What a relief that she dismissed "Jaguar Attacking a Horse", no doubt realizing that a replication of such violence would have been an assault on Hermès’ esteemed equestrian heritage.