The Monkey Puzzle Tree collaborates with established artists to push aesthetic boundaries, bringing a lasting sense of individuality and beauty to both residential and commercial interiors.
Founded by Charlotte Raffo in 2017 after she realised that many incredibly talented artists were struggling to make a living, The Monkey Puzzle Tree pays a generous royalty to support artists to continue with their original practice. All designs are created and manufactured in the North of England, within 150 miles of the Leeds studio, supporting traditional industry and ensuring that the fabrics, wallpapers and cushions are made to the highest environmental standards.
Each artist the company works with has their own very distinctive style.
Artist Joel Weaver, who has previously worked with Damien Hirst and Ryan Gander, and was shortlisted for the Klienwort Hambros emerging artist prize earlier this year, creates tiny precise graphite miniatures. Charlotte worked with Joel to enlarge and splice together two of his drawings to create the surreal monochrome ‘Between Certainty and Oblivion’ linen.
Lino printmaker Alexis Snell is well known for her stunning use of dark gothic imagery which has been used to great effect in the luxuriant ‘How the Leopard got his Spots’ velvet. Her ‘Passion Flower’ wallpaper has been printed using a traditional technique to retain the texture and feel of the original artwork and is available in two striking metallic colourways.
Sarah Thornton uses vibrant watercolours to express her passion for life, vividly represented in the vibrant large scale ‘Rita does Jazz’ velvet which was taken from an original sketch on a piece of hotel graph paper. Her ‘She Chose Science’ Superwide wallpaper was inspired by discarded vintage graph paper from a laboratory and lends an airy uncluttered feel to a room.
Sarah Jane Palmer creates unique and sometimes naughty designs with hidden secrets that may only be appreciated on a closer look. ‘Body Lace’ voile was inspired by an erotic scene found on a 5th century Greek plate and her family links to Nottingham Lace. The resulting delicate nude coloured voile fabric is a unique play on net curtains, and was displayed as an installation in a recent Pete McKee exhibition entitled ‘What will the Neighbours Think?’.
New designs launching at Decorex 2019 include a cork wallpaper depicting architecture from the North by well know musical artist Drew Millward. Kirsty Greenwood is working with Charlotte on a natural linen combing fantastical and metallic elements, and Joel Weaver is creating a new conceptual three piece wallpaper.
The name of the company comes from founder Charlotte’s fascination with the intriguing Monkey Puzzle tree which can live to over 1000 years old and has been around since dinosaurs roamed the earth. When Charlotte was born, her parents planted one in their garden, which grew with her, eventually producing small, baby trees at the same time that she had her two children.
By gaining inspiration from the art and artists themselves, without following trends, The Monkey Puzzle Tree creates designs that are timeless and suit both contemporary and period interiors whilst avoiding the traditional and mundane.
In this way they hope to contribute to an unforgettable interior that will last a lifetime.