House of Walpole Part 2: Helen Amy Murray wall artwork


Earlier this month we gave you a tour of the House of Walpole residence, a collaboration between Walpole, the non-for-profit membership organisation championing British luxury craftsmanship, and Northacre with a mission to bring together the best British brands within one ultra-luxurious space.

In this post we explore the story of the 3m tall bespoke master bedroom headboard created by Helen Amy Murray, a globally recognised artist and designer. The inspiration for the extraordinary artwork came from the quintessential London Plane tree. The setting of the apartment at No.1 Palace Street offers a unique glimpse of Buckingham Palace Gardens, and the artwork is a tribute to a particular pair of Plane trees named Victoria and Albert, after Queen Victoria and her Prince Consort. They were personally planted by the couple on Horse Chestnut Avenue, within the gardens, in the 1850s.

The hand sculpted textile artwork features the trees statuesque, shading either side of the bed. The leaves create a delicately arched canopy and the branches reach out beyond the walls and ceiling, evoking the monumental proportion of the famous trees.

To create a gracefully organic outline, Helen Amy Murray decided to counter balance the distribution of outer branches and leaves, but with enough space to allow the artwork to breath and not impose on the tranquil setting. Falling leaves conjure the feeling of a breeze passing through the gardens and bringing the outside in.

Helen chose soft faux suede in subtle grey green in combination with embroidered silk crepe satin appliqué as the two main materials. From distance the colours appear the same, but the satin sheen contrasted with the napped suede reflects the light and creates new tones within the artwork.

The marriage of light and shadow is the result of Helen’s exceptional artistry whereby the artwork emerges from the wall in varying degrees of relief, much like the appearance of a bas-relief but in textiles that merge during the meticulous process.