Untitled [an experiment in integrity] | Louisa Bermingham Flannery
The 2012 Bermuda National Gallery Biennial Exhibition of Contemporary Art marked its tenth anniversary last June.  Sponsored once again by Bacardi Limited, the show paid tribute to the passion and excellence of Bermudian artists with the intention of providing a critical space where contemporary artwork could be presented.  

Twenty-one finalists were shortlisted from a wider field of fifty-six and artworks in such varied media as film, sculpture, photography, painting and collage were submitted for consideration.  This year's exhibition was juried by Naomi Beckwith, curator at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art and Christopher Cozier, Trinidadian-based artist, writer and curator to provide an international perspective with the intention of injecting the exhibition into a wider global conversation on the production of contemporary art.  

Notable entries included Louisa Bermingham Flannery's exploration of the female relationship to the world which used the artist's own hair to symbolise her identity within themes of power, beauty, responsibility and acceptance, Charles Godet Thomas' exploration of death and mortality embodying the anxieties inherent in the human condition, the disturbing and macabre animated works by Sunell Lombard and the relief sculptures of Michael Walsh.

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Image: Jonas Bjerre-Poulson
Danish studio Norm Architects has designed the Flip Around table - a stool and a bedside table in one. 

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Image: J.Crew
J.Crew celebrates the islands with this retro-inspired iPhone cover.  The print, which was taken from their archives, features a map of Barbados and various other Caribbean imagery in bright colours and calls to mind a time when Hemingway and Fleming made the region glamorous.  The print also shows up on dresses and a skirt in their women's and girls' collections.

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Images: island*atelier
Bermuda played host to a Set the Table Event over the weekend with all proceeds going to benefit the Family Centre, a local organisation that supports children and families.  Participants included Gregory Nelmes Home (pictured above and after the jump), The Irish Linen Shop, Planning Factory Bermuda, Pulp and Circumstance and Trudy Snaith.

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Image: Love Jozi
Here is an interesting initiative.  These empty glass bottles from Johannesburg-based Love Jozi and Unhinged are available in sets of four and are designed to be filled with ordinary tap water.  They were created as a tounge-in-cheek counter to the plastic water bottle industry and intended to be reused.

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Image: David Parry/PA

We're ploughing through a backlog of posts this month (Spring cleaning if you will) so although The BIG Chair Project which was held to coincide with the 10th anniversary of Jamie Oliver's charity The Better Food Foundation took place last October, we liked the idea, the resulting efforts and  thought we should still feature it here.

Oliver joined forces with 20 designers and artists including Paul Smith, Quentin Blake, Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen and Tracey Emin for the fundraiser.   Furniture brand Republic of Fritz Hansen donated twenty iconic Ant chairs by Arne Jacobsen for the artists to impose a personal, food-inspired design on.  The chairs were then auctioned off in an online raffle with the aim of helping to raise funds to help the charity run for another 10 years.  Christopher Bailey of fashion house Burberry covered one in studs, Paul Smith printed one side with sugary treats and the other with vegetables, Julian McDonald stuck plastic cutlery all over another and Quentin Blake donated drawings of a soup dragon and people eating in flight.  See more of the completed chairs after the jump.

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Image: Marino Thorlacius
Another seasonally late post we were loathe to pass up is this onesie from Vík Prjónsdóttir.  The seal features often in Icelandic myths, and this adorable take on the animal is functional (it's made of Icelandic Sheep Wool) as well as super cute.

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Unfortunately, sometimes our proposed posts hang around for so long, seasons change.  Although the weather is rapidly warming up, we loved the Winter collection and still wanted to show you these children's clothes from Mini Rodini.  Have a look at their clothes for Spring here.

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Image: Flex
Yet another minimalist, fitness tracker is entering the market already dominated by the Nike+ Fuelband and the Jawbone Up.  The Fitbit Flex, like the others, is designed to be worn on your wrist.  It tracks distance traveled, calories burned, active minutes and even quality of sleep.  The information gathered by the Flex can be synced to an iPhone or Android device wirelessly via Bluetooth.  It can even vibrate to wake you up gently.  The row of LED lights on the face of the device allows you to see how you measure up to your personal goals.

The Fitbit Flex is available this Spring in black, slate, teal, tangerine and navy bands.

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Image: Vipp
Vipp, the makers of the iconic bin, have come up with an entirely new concept for the kitchen: a table.   The Danish-based company has extended its collection with this streamlined table made from untreated, recycled teak planks on a powder coated aluminium frame, the same material used for their kitchen modules.  The table is available with a matte black or gloss white frame, and is available for purchase at their flagship store in Copenhagen.

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Image: BudtzBendix
Move over Stokke, we're loving the sleek, graphic lines of the Tower highchair from Danish company BudtzBendix.  Inspired by the Eiffel Tower, the chair, which is intended to be used by children from ages one to six, can be used with or without a detachable tray and optional cushion.

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Image: Studio delle Alpi
Studio delle Alpi, a young design studio found in 2012 by product designer Anne Kieffer and graphic designer Arnaud Mouriamé, manufactures furniture and toys in small quantities.  Using humble plywood as a starting point, Studio delle Alpi adds screen-printing directly onto the wood to create fun and graphic pieces.  They collaborate with local craftsmen to ensure the best quality with an accessible price.  

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Image: Jo Malone
Under the direction of British fashion stylist Charlotte Stockdale, Jo Malone’s classic Red Roses perfume has been re-imagined as a collectible pop art piece.  A small number of the hand-decorated bottles are available at Malone's Bleecker Street store in New York. 

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Image: Eric and Johnny Design Studio
The Beams Chair by Eric and Johnny Design Studio has all the makings of a new classic.

The lightweight wooden armchair is inspired by the H-beam structure of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge.  Made of three different kinds of wood, bent plywood, multiplex and aircraft plywood, the frame of the chair is constructed by bending plywood and multiplex. The flexible aircraft plywood covers the frame as the surfaces of the seat and back. The design saves on the cost of production and reduces the chair's weight while maintaining its stability.

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Image: HAF by Hafsteinn Juliusson

This highly unusual concept is the brainchild of Hafsteinn Juliusson and is being produced through HAF, a company that manufactures and distributes alternative lifestyle design products.  Intended to be a redefinition of modern values, it is a melding of jewellery and gardening; couture and living organism. The collection is designed for people in metropolitan cities and is an experiment in drawing nature toward man.

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Image: Joseph Joseph
The C-Pump by Joseph Joseph is an ingeniously designed soap dispenser which allows you to use the back of your hand when pumping the soap which is intended to minimise the spread of germs and  ensures that the the top of the pump stays cleaner and more hygienic. 

To operate the pump, place the hand into the C-shaped opening and press down firmly. The unit has a non-slip base, a soap-level indicator window on the reverse.  It is easy to fill and clean and is suitable for all types of liquid hand soap.

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Image: Jackie Hinkson
Trinidadian artist Jackie Hinkson held an exhibition at Soft Box Gallery late last year which featured five decades worth of his drawings.  Hinkson was introduced to drawing while at university in the 1960s.  He was struck by the power of that medium as a means to quickly capture a gesture, moment, idea or emotion and it became the dominant form of his work.  Some of the many thousands of drawings he produced over the course of his prolific career were featured, including his portrayals of carnival, sports, street- and family-life.  The show was steeped in nostalgia: seeing his artwork stripped down and rendered largely in black and white ink, pencil and charcoal evoked a simpler time. 

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Image: Het Arresthuis
This is a novel use of space.  Het Arresthuis is a 19th-century-prison turned luxury hotel in the Netherlands. 

The recently repurposed penitentiary has been completely redesigned with chic, spacious, modern motifs all the while retaining a tongue-in-cheek references to its  history as a former jail. The ex-facility's 150 holding cells have been transformed into 36 luxurious rooms and 7 suites, including four special suites, each with its own character and style, ironically named The Director, The Jailer, The Lawyer and The Judge.

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Image: Kidscase
Kidscase designs versatile and fashion-forward baby and children’s clothes for boys and girls up to eleven years. They use high quality fabrics in the manufacture of their clothes which are inspired in equal parts by street- and sportswear and high fashion.  The label was founded in 2000 in Amsterdam as a small independent company by designer Jacqueline van Nieuwkerk and marketer Merel Verbrugge with the goal of appealing to the lifestyle of individualistic and modern parents and their children.

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Image: Rayzor Sharp
Designed by Dutch architect Hans J. M. Ruijssenaars for his granddaughter, Chair Louise is a compact  chair with an interesting geometric design.  Made from durable oiled oak the chair is suitable for children up to the age of four. The seating is made up of foam cushions which are available in three standard colours, are water-resistant, easy to clean and pliable.  Each chair has a unique ID number engraved on it and can be personalised with a name, date of birth or a short message. 

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Image: Vans

Treat your feet with these bright, animal print designs from Vans and Kenzo who continue their collaboration for Spring and Summer 2013 with jungle-inspired slip ons and sneakers. The collection is available in stores now.

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Image: Zara
We are really impressed by engineered comfort of these skinny jeans from Zara.  With interesting seaming along the inner leg and darting at the knee, these skinny jeans are made from a soft, forgiving denim fabric and manage the near impossible feat of being both form-fitting and comfortable. 

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Image: Niels Peeraer
Have a look at these intricately worked leather accessories from Paris-based Niels Peeraer which are made out of vegetable tanned bridle leather and brass fittings.  Peeraer creates beautiful pieces which  surpass  the usual boundaries of womens- and menswear. Peeraers’ world is not about shocking or making a statement, but about bringing an innocent happiness to the seriousness of everyday life.

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