Metal Leaf Mixed Media Art by Elegant Clutter

BCFA Member Elegant Clutter fuses craft, design and technology to offer one of the broadest and most integrated artwork service in hospitality. A creative led approach is backed up by the ability to manufacture and install all artwork and mirror content, from high volume guest room projects to bespoke public area sculptures and original art.

Elegant Clutter brings metal into play when an artwork or sculpture needs to stand out in an interior space. Hotel du Vin Stratford-upon-Avon is a recently completed project where the hotel required a feature artwork to view through the glazed lobby of the entrance. Before any subject was chosen for this piece, Elegant Clutter recommended that a luxurious metallic finish artwork would be most likely to draw attention and to set the tone for the guest experience to follow.

Hotel du Vin is a leading boutique hotel brand for whom Elegant Clutter has created a broad range of bespoke artworks during 2018. These artworks aim to tell the story of each hotel’s surroundings – to encourage guests to enjoy everything the hotel has to offer and to encourage a discovery of the location through curated art. The team employs a broad range of artwork techniques that vary from fine art to high tech to create intriguing art collections for public areas and guest rooms in each site. Stratford-upon-Avon has one world famous story that has been heard countless times, and that is synonymous with the town: the story of William Shakespeare.


Elegant Clutter was asked to draw inspiration from the playwright without taking the obvious route of theatre posters, antique paintings and framed engravings – a more modern and subtle approach was called for to tune into the aesthetic of both Hotel du Vin and it’s guests. Elegant Clutter’s Creative Director, Harry Pass, decided to draw influence from the fashions and decorative techniques of the 16th Century, when Shakespeare was penning his world famous plays.

The Elizabethan period was truly decadent and fashion often followed royalty. We saw an opportunity to do something indulgent in gold leaf – to reference both the historical fashions but also the hedonism of the royal court.

The painting depicts the traditional ruff collar worn by both men and women during this period. The mixed media painting incorporates a burnished metal gold leaf texture layered with oils. The metal leaf glints through the painted elements, sparkling off the spot lighting above. Gustav Klimt’s work was also a strong technical influence and provided inspiration for the detailed patterns layered on top of the metal leaf.


The way the artwork is cropped gives most of the canvas to the reflective metal textures and puts the focus on the ruff collar; a fashion statement still used on the catwalk by the likes of Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen but also an important connection to the Elizabethan period and the history that surrounds the hotel.

If you have enjoyed this artwork by Elegant Clutter, you would also enjoy reading about more of their projects. In collaboration with NHM Images, the image library of the famous London Natural History Museum, Elegant Clutter created a series of bespoke pieces based on the library’s material which has great historical significance. You can read this article here.

Contact Elegant Clutter


About Alys Bryan

Alys is a knowledgeable design editor who is focused on instigating conversations, both online and in-person, with industry experts which challenge, educate and advance the commercial interior sector. Her training and 15 years of professional experience as a furniture designer for the commercial sector makes her uniquely placed to lead Design Insider as Editor
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