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Supermundane rug for MADE.COM

Banish the bland. Enter Supermundane and ALL of the colour

Supermundane’s career started in a kettle factory. Now, he’s a visual artist, illustrator, mural painter, poet, and one of MADE.COM’s newest designers. Rob Lowe, aka Supermundane chose his name out of the dictionary because it meant ‘beyond earthly things,’ exactly the opposite to how it sounds. His work? Pretty ethereal. Based in a colourful and chaotic studio in Forest Hill that’s littered with books, guitars, prints and posters - he’s completely at home. We stopped by to talk about his new homewares collection for MADE, keeping his approach instinctive and testing limits.

Pushing boundaries

By working on collaborative projects, Rob’s found that he’s been pushed into unexpected places. “It opens up a whole new way of doing something that I wouldn’t have ever done. If I just did my personal work, it would be very tricky to keep motivated, and to keep exploring new avenues. If you’re doing things with other people, then you never know what might happen.”

The digital landscape

Working both digitally and in print, Rob finds that the two mediums complement each other well. “The thing with digital is that it’s a lot less precious. It doesn’t cost anything for a start, and it’s a lot less permanent. I use Instagram as a means to put up things like ideas and sketches. There’s also a big mural at the end of my street that I painted, which is quite odd to see everyday. But I try not think about it too much because I get a bit overwhelmed.”

A definitive style

Describing his style in three words is difficult, but he narrows it down. “There’s a lot of geometry in there, so geometric. I’d also go for a word that means movement, so perhaps fluidity. And I like to play around with hierarchical depth - the more you look, the more you see everything’s flat.”

Don’t overthink it

“I never do too much research really. I try and make my work as instinctive as possible. Even though a lot of my work is very geometric, most of it isn't precise. It’s me, producing something and looking at it and trying to get some sort of feeling from what i’m looking at.”

Clashing colours

“Because of the way I’ve approached the development of my work - I don’t want to say I self-reference - but a lot of it looks quite art deco. I didn’t mean it to, it’s just the way the lines interact and the colours I use are colours that have a similar tonal range. Normally I don’t use any more than five colours and they all tend to clash - but also work somehow.”

Colourful compositions

So what was the inspiration behind the MADE collection? “Fun, colourful compositions. There wasn’t a singular idea behind it. If you have too much of a focused idea it can get a bit boring - well, not boring - but you want something that has a bit of space to be reinterpreted whenever you want to.”

Article written by: Helena Murphy
Photography by: Anton Rodriguez

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