At Design Junction I saw a wide range of brilliant designs and interesting designers, but found very little recycled furniture on display. Then I came across Felicia Strehmel, who makes lightboxes from restored drawers featuring old photos and archive images.
They struck me immediately because of their warm yellow glow, the light exhumed by these transformed drawers is subtle and atmospheric, creating a cosy setting. The slides also have a depth to them drawing you in as the image appears to swim inside it.
All the images carry a mix of humour and nostalgia, focusing on scenes that are ephemeral and otherwise might be forgotten – such as the displays of the old East German valve radios which used to be stunning centre pieces of people’s homes that are no longer in our conscience.
She also refers to the Grunding 1960s Television ad campaign – a cheeky reflection on how we all used to watch TV.
Felicia is a passionate photographer and gains a lot of her inspiration from scenes she has captured in her native Germany.
She also uses old archive photos and incorporates these into her different collections.
All the lightboxes are made from lovingly restored cabinet/bureau/chest of drawers from the 1900s through to the 1960s. Felicia sources the drawers from recycle clearances or from old furniture she finds on the street.
She emphasized that she only uses pieces ready for the reclamation yard and would never dismantle an antique that still had hopes for restoration.
Felicia describes her light-boxes as “truly multi-dimensional – they are a striking artwork, an upcycled eco lamp and they take you on a journey if you let them.”