After studying and working as a chemist for a decade, Conrad Engelhardt was ready for a creative change of pace. Years of collecting wine corks gave him the idea for his first piece, a triptych that gained the notice of Terence Conran for his recently designed Lutyens restaurant in London.
Conrad develops his pieces from his home studio in London's edgy arts neighborhood of Shoreditch. Each piece involves thousands of corks, and cataloguing the inventory proved to be the biggest challenge for his workspace. To deal with the organizational headache, Conrad invested in an antique cartographer's cabinet that he found on eBay. This cabinet is the centerpiece of his workspace, and holds the materials that he uses to create his pieces.
Conrad collects the corks from a group of restaurants, and then carefully examines the color and texture of each one. This is where Conrad combines his past experience in organic chemistry with his creative side — he finds beauty in the compounds in the wine that create the colors he selects for his painterly palette.
The first solo exhibition of Conrad's work is this weekend at the Hoxton Gallery at the Arch.
More Info: Cork by Cork
(Images: Claire Bock)