Le Roi Fou restaurant’s art series continues

Le Roi Fou has announced the latest show in its exhibition series, of work by Edinburgh artist and designer Joanna Kessel of Edinburgh Mosaic Studio.

Le Roi Fou (the mad king) was opened in 2017 by chef proprietor Jérôme Henry and creative director Isolde Nash, bringing together a love of food, the visual arts and the printed word with all the character of a neighbourhood restaurant in the heart of Edinburgh’s New Town.

Kessel’s is the third in a series of exhibitions at Le Roi Fou and will feature intimately scaled collages in Venetian gold leaf mosaic, glass smalti and concrete.

Aurum | Gold evokes memories and imaginings of places Kessel has encountered within cities, both here in Edinburgh and also in Italy, particularly Venice and Ravenna. The work celebrates beauty in ordinary, chance arrangements, pattern, texture and colour as well as the rich, light reflecting qualities of gold leaf glass mosaic to be found in Byzantine basilica and contemporary Venetian architecture.

The exhibition at Le Roi Fou builds on the success of Kessel’s shows this year as part of ‘Collect’ at the Saatchi Gallery, London, and at ‘Ravenna Mosaico’, the contemporary mosaic biennale in Italy.

Joanna Kessel said: ‘Ever since the first morning Isolde visited my studio to propose this exhibition at Le Roi Fou, we have enjoyed a wide-ranging and inspirational dialogue centred around my work ‘(In)visible Cities’.  These developed along curious routes, veering this way and that, ending back at the work which has become suffused by a different light – a warm glow in dark midwinter.

‘AURUM | Gold has developed out of these conversations in a collaborative spirit.  I’m looking forward to seeing the work emerge from my studio into the more domestic setting at Le Roi Fou.’

Creative Director of Le Roi Fou, Isolde Nash said: ‘Joanna’s work has been part of the DNA of Le Roi Fou since its inception, when I was planning the decorative elements of the restaurant. I first encountered her work at Craft Scotland’s pavilion at the London Design Fair in 2016 and discovered that her rigorously pared back aesthetic perfectly complimented the Viennese modernist style I was after.

‘I conceived of Le Roi Fou as a cosy retreat from winter, and Joanna’s choice of materials exuded such incredible quality and warmth that we were able to really explore this feeling. What’s really wonderful about our collaboration is that Joanna has brought with her a hyperawareness of the shimmering qualities of surfaces in the urban environment, especially at twilight, and of that ‘nesting’ sensation as autumn pulls us into winter.’

Le Roi Fou is located at 1 Forth Street in Edinburgh, EH1 3JX. For more information, visit, www.leroifou.com.