Enlisting the expertise of renowned contemporary portrait artist Jonathan Yeo, at Masterpiece London 2017 LINLEY launched the Cassiopeia Screen, a piece of art furniture designed with the modern LINLEY client in mind.
The combination of the LINLEY designers’ specialist knowledge of veneers and the expert skills in their workshops have made LINLEY’s marquetry screens renowned, with folding room-dividing screens and wall-hanging artworks, which are especially sought-after for superyachts, being the most popular bespoke commissions. For Masterpiece 2017 LINLEY wanted to explore the possibilities between the two, so the designers devised a screen with three panels that rotate between fixed engineered brushed brass and polished aluminium supports.
On one side of the screen is an interpretation, in marquetry, of a reclining nude by British artist Jonathan Yeo. The figure is based on one of his earliest nude paintings, ‘Scarlett (Cassiopeia Study)’, 1999. The fragmented style, often used in Yeo’s paintings, lends itself well to different mediums such as collage, which in this case has been translated into marquetry. Jonathan worked closely with the designers at LINLEY throughout the creative process, hand selecting the veneers, altering them to achieve the right balance in the composition, and focussing on the direction of the wood grain in each piece of veneer to emulate the direction of brush strokes. The Cassiopeia Screen uses around 40 different types of carefully selected veneer including elm, London plain, apple, cherry, eucalyptus, sycamore, and quilted maple, many of which have been used in their natural form. It is the first time Yeo has collaborated on a piece of furniture and a further evolution into original designs will appear later in 2017.
The other side of the screen, which is clad in claret Connolly Vaumol leather, is laid out as a valet on two of the panels, with a brushed brass and polished aluminium coat hook and hanger, a glass mirror and walnut accessory tray. Acting as a bar, the third panel has shelves with polished aluminium gallery rails for holding crystal glasses and decanters.