Welcome to Arcipluvia
Original paintings, limited-edition prints and greeting cards by London artist, Daisy Carrick-Smith. A place to source colourful artworks, whether you’re an art collector looking to expand your collection, sourcing artworks for your home, or you’re an interior designer on the hunt for contemporary art. Arcipluvia is an escape from the everyday to a land of kaleidoscopic hills, which though inspired by earthly landscapes, amount to an imagined world ruled by colour, with a name which perfectly encapsulates the nature of the pieces and the online shop.
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Created by London-based, contemporary artist, Daisy Carrick-Smith, Arcipluvia is a name from the Latin-derived word ‘arcipluvian’ which translates to an ‘arc of rain’, meaning rainbow-like.
Arcipluvia is a self-created, imagined world born out of lockdown and a longing to visit beautiful places, namely the breath-taking Cairngorms in Scotland and the rolling Tuscan hills in Italy. These paintings provide an emotive, immersive, and joyously colourful escape from the everyday, something Daisy hopes the shop itself will also achieve as, in time, it serves to champion and sell selected works by a breadth of artists and artisans.
Daisy's ongoing gouache series, Arcipluvia, depicts this magical place in all its kaleidoscopic glory. A somewhat rare natural phenomenon which forever prompts excitement, the ephemeral rainbow is historically and presently a symbol of hope. Taking-on varied roles and meanings in religion and ancient myth across countless cultures, the rainbow was mostly considered a pathway between Earth and Heaven, and subsequently became a sign of promise that better times lie ahead. Arcipluvia encapsulates everything good –old and new– that the rainbow represents, through mesmerising, undulating hills of infinite colour – a contemporary paradise. It is Daisy's love of colour, and the message of hope woven through her work, which drove her to create this platform –an eponym of her prismatic landscapes. One day, Daisy hopes to open Arcipluvia as a physical shop-space, to share and sell the works of other artists and artisans, in an approachable, inclusive and colourful way.
A jubilant and joyous place, No thing is too peculiar, Where colour reigns and hope prevails, In this land of pl ci uv Ar ia.
Though Arcipluvia is a platform through which I currently sell my own artworks, in time, I hope for Arcipluvia to be a means through which other talented, UK-based artists and artisans may market and sell their own pieces. With the end goal being a brick-and-mortar, shop-space to house an eclectic array of unique artworks and interior pieces made by these creatives. Arcipluvia will initially serve to be an online shop, through which sales of my own work can be made, so that I can generate the income to be able to manage Arcipluvia as a platform for others.
In this same vein, on the Arcipluvia Instagram account I have started Maker's Monday, where every Monday the Arcipluvia Instagram stories will be dedicated to sharing 5 creatives I enjoy on Instagram. These will then be added to the Maker's Monday highlight reel so that those who miss it can catch up and still discover some new exciting artists and artisans who also showcase their work through Instagram. On Maker's Monday, makers maketh Mondays! - NOTE: this has been temporarily paused but will resume in the future.
With there being myriad skilled and experienced crafts(wo)men, as well as countless fresh art students graduating each year in the UK, the majority of these individuals struggle to maximise their sales, experiencing the limitations of the saturated online market, and selling within local communities. My hope is to source these creatives - through degree shows, local artist circles and the propagation of Arcipluvia’s ethos - and provide them with the opportunity of selling their pieces online, and later, in London, one of the cities most famed for championing art. This will give artists a far greater pool of customers and potential collectors, more recognition through the shop’s social media promotion, the possibility of raising their prices and redetermining their market, and ultimately, be a means of making more sales so that they may continue to make a living doing what they love.
Art, in all its forms, has always been a large presence in my life. First and foremost, my maximalist tendencies likely stem from the fact that I grew up in a house of excessive colour and pattern – for me, colour is synonymous with home. Following this, I’m forever visiting galleries and exhibitions, and having worked within the art-world since finishing university, I’ve always delighted in any opportunity to partake in creative projects.
Throughout my younger years, I had been lucky enough to have multiple artworks submitted and selected for –what were at the time deemed– exciting competitions for children and students: the Young Art Competition exhibited at the Royal College of Art on two occasions in my childhood years, and securing a place in the Top 20 of the Deutsche Bank Art Prize in my final year of school, leading to my artwork being shown at the Saatchi Gallery in two separate shows.
Despite there being a lapse in my creative output while studying Economics at university, I thoroughly enjoyed grasping any opportunity to view exhibitions or make gifts for friends and family. Upon completing university, I knew that the financial sector was not for me, and so I turned to what I knew best – art. In my final year of university, one of my modules glazed over the financialisation of art, which sparked the interest for me to learn more about art as an asset class post-university, and direct my career towards the art world. I have since worked for artists, internationally-renowned galleries, and one of the worlds leading auction houses. Alongside this experience, I have taken art history courses while reading books and academic journals, in order to collect a wealth of information regarding the history of art, the mechanics of the modern and contemporary art market, and, most importantly, discovered a breadth of artists and artworks who have undoubtedly influenced my own creative output.
Over the last few years, I’ve also greatly enjoyed painting sculptures for the blossom charity, in Suffolk, who organise an annual art trail followed by an auction, to raise money so that they may continue their brilliant work. I've always gravitated towards art in all its forms, and so I’ve given in to its pull and have decided to create an online platform to sell my own artworks, and hopefully soon, those of myriad other uk-based, mightily talented, artists and artisans.
Working within the art sphere, I’ve been educated in the works of countless artists over the years, many of whom have provided inspiration for my own work. One of the more obvious influences on my Arcipluvia series, is David Hockney. I’ll never forget a family trip to see his show at the Royal Academy of Arts in 2012, and being totally in awe of his gargantuan landscapes, bursting with colour and pattern. More recently, I went to visit ‘Nichols Canyon’, before it was auctioned, and once again I was mesmerised by Hockney’s unapologetic use of bold, electric colour, while being drawn in by its great scale and play with perspective – something I seek to achieve in my own pieces. The scale of my paintings will be key for me to recreate that all-consuming sense of being enveloped by a landscape.
With a view to portraying the monumental nature of the dream-like landscapes captured in my Arcipluvia series through the the use of increased scale, these smaller, early works also serve to research colour combinations and ways in which maximum visual enjoyment can be achieved through composition. It is this selective and changeable nature of my work that allows me to draw parallels between my paintings and those of 18th century British artists, like JMW Turner and Thomas Gainsborough. Although my pieces are not based on any one specific place, I work with the desire to create something ‘picturesque’, skewing and changing the landscapes to improve the overall aesthetic of my compositions. This was practised regularly by artists like Gainsborough and Turner during the 18th and 19th century, who would manipulate the landscapes in front of them to construct a rural scene with even greater visual impact for the viewer, or more likely, the wealthy commissioner of the piece. Withholding much of the uncomfortable truth regarding Britain's murky history, and a failure to realistically address human struggle during the 18th and 19th century, British masters sought to hide behind the artifice of the 'pastoral idyll', even at the expense of distorting the landscapes, on which their scenes are based, to the point of being unrecognisable. These painters, like Gainsborough, Constable and Turner, endeavoured to conjure compositions of 'aesthetic perfection', something I also strive to achieve, though not for the questionable purpose of portraying landownership or attempting to conceal from view extreme inequality and wealth disparity –the primary purpose for which these artists were commissioned– but to accomplish a sense of escapism within the home.
Although countless other contemporary artists have influenced my works, including Ali Banisadr, Carlos Cruz-Diez, and Jim Lambie, to name a couple, the queen of stripes herself can not go unmentioned: Bridget Riley. In some ways, I feel that I have started traveling a similar artistic path to Bridget Riley, who spent years studying and exploring Op Art, and understanding the relationship of line and colour, and its optical effects. I hope to continue, indefinitely, this ever-evolving adventure of learning about colour and experimenting with its infinite possibilities. The Arcipluvian hills, and Cats on Stripes, have given me a taste of what colour has to offer, and though it is a privilege to be able to see in colour, it is a privilege I plan not to waste, and long to share with those who wish to follow me on my artistic voyage.
Stripes of colour stand front and centre throughout my work. As a maximalist, I adore colour and pattern. Stripes are a joyous and engaging way to inject colour, but in the case of my cat series, they also serve to make the cat portraits all the more personal, with the background shades being carefully selected to reflect each cat’s personality and character traits.
In the Middle-Ages, stripes –with their high visibility– were worn as a sign of social deviance and abasement; criminals, prostitutes, jesters and those living on the margins, were ordered to wear stripes as a means of identifying themselves as non-conformists. This has somewhat stood the test of time, as even today, we often associate stripes with clothing worn by clowns and prison inmates, however, over the centuries, there has also been a great expanse in meaning and purpose for our beloved stripes. A reappropriation of the stripe means that it has come to stand for things like freedom or a willingness to challenge out-dated societal norms, as seen in the adoption of the tricolour during the French Revolution for example.
Comprised of multi-coloured stripes of colour, the Arcipluvian scenes present endless opportunity with regard to colour options, and therefore can be painted to accommodate specific interior schemes to perfectly slot in with your personal spaces. Whether you're wanting a loud, statement piece, something more understated, or if you have particular shades in mind that you would like to be incorporated into these landscapes, I can work with you to create something special and tailored to you and your space. If you are interested in finding out more, or commissioning one of these pieces, please email email@example.com.
For the third consecutive year, I have painted a sculpture for the Eye Art Trail, to raise money for the blossom charity, in Eye, Suffolk, so that they may continue their work with women, and men, who are in need of the wonderful guidance, support and coaching that they offer. I have named the sculpture Arcipluvia, and she will be sold at auction on 16th September 2021. The auction has been a roaring success in recent years and I have no doubt it will do brilliantly this year too, while spreading joy to all those who visit Eye to follow the art trail.
Having recently launched my platform, Arcipluvia, I chose to feature one of my stripey, signature Arcipluvia scenes, which wraps perfectly around the tortoise shell. The response has been so positive and when we dropped her off in Eye –ready for the trail which will be running between July and September– I got to have a sneak-peek at the other gorgeous sculptures, and they’re a fabulous feast for the eyes!
I’ll be sharing more about the trail, and Arcipluvia the tortoise, once the trail is up and running, so if you’re interested, definitely keep an eye out on my @arcipluvia Instagram account, where I'll post photos and information. If you know someone who loves tortoises and hares, spread the word to them, as there will be something for everyone in this auction, with a beautiful and varied selection of large and small painted sculptures.