Adam Barnes of Adam Christopher Design is a UK-based designer and artist whose practice includes sculpture and product design. Barnes’ work has geometric poetry to it that blends modernist iconic form with a sense of elegance. While the planters and sculptural containers are made of concrete, they resemble the delicate folds and sharp edges of origami and in some case the delicacy of eggs.
It was such a pleasure to learn more about this creative’s body of work and story. Enjoy the interview!
Please tell me a bit about your schooling, training and evolution as a visual artist -I see you changed careers recently in a way…
It wasn’t anything spectacular, I failed my A-Levels decided to go to art school and was determined to do better so knuckled down and got A’s instead of U’s. I had enough of education then as I was never great at it so decided to sell cars in an attempt to follow in my Dad’s footsteps but hated it and was again rubbish at it. So I went back to education and did car design, got a placement with Ford designing cars for them and then got a job with LEGO straight form Uni. I did that for nearly 3 years and then went at it on my own and started with sculptures but moved more towards the planters.
I learnt a lot whilst doing the sculptures about materials and loved the usability of concrete so that has stuck with me throughout. You can’t easily create any of the shapes I come up with but concrete makes it a bit easier in the sizes I like to work with.
I am entranced by the Brancusi like forms…if you were to describe your own aesthetic or style in a few sentences what might you say?
It would depend whether you are talking about my design or sculpture, the two are deliberately very different. My design work is origami, geometric style and you could liken the planters to opening seeds as the forms like Kronen and Prisme can open and close if folded from paper.
And your sculpture?
The sculpture is more flowing and is a bit of a release from the brutalist lines of my design work. The most influential designer of my time when I was studying was Chris Bangle who over saw the flame surfacing design language of the early 00’s. The key to my sculptures is how the surfaces play with each other and flow around the form.
Can you tell me a bit more about your Flame sculptures?
Flame was part of a developmental program I did a long time ago and was really about looking at fire and how the lines created in it are constantly changing but always pretty. I tried to capture the essence of a flame but in a bit more of an interesting shape than something simpler. There are a lot of lines there that work together and make it look simple but actually the lines all need to work together to balance the form and work in harmony.
As well as the sculptures your oeuvre includes mostly functional objects, tell me more about this area of concentration?
I am interested particularly in the way your pots seem to be an admixture between luxury and industrial materials, in what way has your work in the auto industry informed your artistic practice?
Basically, I prefer stuff with purpose, if something has a function or a reason for existence then it is easier to relate to it. A sculpture that does nothing is nice to some people but a sculpture that doubles as something else is much more appealing and justifiable.