portrait ARLETTE ESS

Arlette Ess started her print journey at Alexander McQueen and is now one of the artists contributing to the iconic Hermès Paris scarves collections.

“I’m drawn to the mysterious and the wonderful in Nature.
I create to feel the world, amalgamate the inner and the outer, to let our deeper realms run wild”

Arlette’s drawings distil a visceral beauty from Nature’s fragile, intricate and infinitely creative grace.
Myths, creatures and their sublime power come alive in her universe of beasts and things miraculous.


Custom Interior Wallcovering for St Giles House, Dorset UK

This is the Avenue bathroom located in the magnificent 17th century St. Giles House. I created customised Koi artwork for the walls. 

The house lay derelict for a long time and has been lovingly restored by the owners Nick and Dinah Shaftesbury, combining original features and period furniture with contemporary art, including artist wallcoverings in some of the rooms.

The koi artwork with its lively and dynamic flow plays with the geometry of the room, creating a sensation of elated expansion by seemingly dissolving the physical barriers of the walls.

It is featured in CABANA Magazine SS24 together with the other art wall coverings created by Pablo Bronstein. 

St. Giles House website / CABANA magazine website / Photography (except magazine): Felix Friedmann

‘THE TOWER (Sleeping Dogs)’ short film

‘THE TOWER (Sleeping Dogs)’

A short one-shot movie (66 seconds) filmed on an abandoned Watchtower in the Thames estuary. 

The story and visuals speak more of an inner world, of a place of disconnectedness, struggle and isolation we can sometimes find ourselves in.
In the film it is not entirely clear if the location is real or if it is a visualised metaphor of a place.

The film starts centered on a person, seemingly in some sort of lonely struggle against the elements. The view slowly widens to show the otherworldly setting. The revelation of the intense solitude and stark desolation of the place comes as a bit of a shock, exacerbated by the music created by experimental electronic duo Torn Relics.

The artwork ‘Sleeping Dogs’ featured on the fabric and at the end has mythological associations of Underworld/Otherworld and transformation. The saying ‘let sleeping dogs lie’ also alludes to buried or exiled memories or parts of one’s personality.

The film is shot by photographer Felix Friedmann and edited by Riza Nazim Ulusoy. You can also watch it on Filmfreeway here.

Bespoke Suit Linings for a customer of Huntsman Savile Row

Huntsman & Sons is one of the famous tailors on the iconic Savile Row in London, and it was an absolute pleasure to provide fabrics for suits, have a peek behind the scenes and meet some of their wonderful people. 

suit linings image
Ambassador’s residence in Mexico City

The Koi II fringed silk twill scarf was chosen as part of the displayed art on the walls of the new residence of the Swiss ambassador in Mexico City.

(clicking on the first image opens the scarf page in a new tab)

I think the building looks like straight out of a spy movie! It was built by Fruehauf, Henry & Viladoms and BLANCASMORAN, the interiors are by Jasmine Grego, photography by Rafael Gamo. The project was managed by Cédric Pernet, thank you!

‘Insect Odyssey’ Exhibition at Salisbury Museum, UK

‘Insect Odyssey: Insects, Books and the Artistic Imagination’ is a multi-media which asked artists to respond to entomological publications.

I  was given a beautiful little insect pocket guide from the 1970s with plenty of flies in it. Starting with the images from the book, I created some new ‘Fly Lace’ work, as a continuation of a project which I started in my final year at Camberwell College of Arts in London.

The exhibition is on from 25th of June until 25th of September 2022, curated by Dr. Elisabeth Darby and Prudence Maltby, and supported by the Royal Entomological Society. The museum is a medieval building next to the famous Salisbury cathedral, a magical setting. 

‘Fly Lace’ is a playful attempt to synthesise nature and civilisation. In a natural environment we are likely visited by flies, but most of us live in industrialised landscapes surrounded by pesticides, disinfectants and man-made materials. 

The apparent futility of this attempted synthesis points to the urgent need to heal our relationship with Nature, to become a conscious part of the whole again and work with Nature, not against it.  

Zebra design on Hermès enamel bangles

I created a joyful zebra drawing for Hermès, which is currently available as enamelled bangles. It’s called ‘Drôles de Zèbres’ and depicts an animated party of very colourful stylised zebras. I worked on it during the pandemic and wanted to recreate the joy of socialising and letting go in a rainbow of colours!

I will share the drawing when it comes out in an un-cropped version. Images by Hermès

Metaverse exhibition ‘As above, so below’ in Decentraland

Some news I’m especially excited about – I am in an art show in the metaverse!! Yes, the thing everyone is talking about but no one has much of a clue what it actually is or will be (me included).

The show is called ‘As above, so below’ is curated by Riza Nazim Ulusoy and features work by Maciej Boszkow, Huseyin Mert Everdi, Riza Nazim Ulusoy and sound by Torn Relics.

My piece is a giant wafting sculpture featuring three sleeping dogs, with an ‘inverted shadow’ underneath. 

There is sound created by Torn Relics for each object, which fades in when you approach. You can also climb the moving sculptures.

The show is in a prime virtual spot in the ‘Voltaire art district’ in Decentraland, located in between Sotheby’s (a digital copy of their London building), and KnownOrigin and SuperRare, two of the biggest NFT galleries. The location to enter is 58,88

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