This week we welcome Cornelia De Ruiter, founder of revolutionary online interior design platform Homewings, as our Guest Curator. Cornelia is breaking down the barriers to her much loved industry (not unlike Rise Art I hear you say!) bringing interior designers and homeowners together, on a mission to make professional interior design accessible to all. She’s a maker and doer with impeccable home style and a love for art, both collecting and creating, and here she shares why art and design are so important to her, her favourite places to visit for inspiration, and her top 5 Rise Art picks.
Tell us about you & what you do
I'm a multi-creative with a long career in business turned interiors expert. I started out as an IP lawyer way back when, worked for many years in strategy consulting, before going on to become an interior designer. I’ve now started Homewings, an exciting new online interior design platform on a mission to change the industry as you know it, making interior design services more accessible, affordable and fun. On the creative side I've been painting for as long as I can remember, I make my own jewellery, I love carpentry and getting my hands dirty with DIY jobs around the house, customising furniture or gardening.
Is art & design important to you and why?
I could not imagine living without art and design in my life. From the day I was born I was exposed to colours and beautiful things, more often than not made by a family member or friend. Art, designing but even cooking or dressing are ways in which I express myself.
Do you have a favourite artist and / or museum?
Yes, so many. But Frida Kahlo (and her partner Diego Rivera) are definitely my top heroes. Her paintings, her house, her way of decorating, working with colours and her life story are all equally awe-inspiring. The Casa Azul is also one of my favourite museums - perhaps surprisingly I'm not the biggest fan of visiting museums and particularly not when they are BIG! Not sure if it's because I get instantly tired feet or that I just get over stimulated (or the combination of those two things) that puts me off. But a small museum, particularly if it's the former home of an artist like Kahlo's Casa Azul, but also the Rodin Museum in Paris or any of the Gaudi houses in Barcelona, I'll want to go back to anytime.
Do you collect art or anything else? If so what do you collect, and when and how did you start?
As you can see from my photos I collect art, but it's all either made by me or members of my family - every piece has a special meaning and is very personal to me.
Where's your favourite place to travel to?
I love traveling and exploring new places in general, but last year I visited New Orleans for the first time and I can’t wait to go back. Every year please. The music, the art, the people, the food, the history, the architecture, the culture, all of it makes one perfect, scrumptious blend of all my favourite things.
What do you surround yourself with at work or at home?
The three people you’d invite to a dinner party? #SquadGoals
President Obama, Angela Merkel, Bernie Sanders and Yanis Varoufakis. I get so frustrated by politics, but I'd love to listen in to the conversation these people would have around an informal (boozy) dinner.
Cornelia’s Top 5 Rise Art picks
The title is "Or Maybe Not" but all I see is "No More" which in a sad way very much captures the mood of the moment in the world right now.
I hate comparing one artist to another, so I won't say how this work reminds me of the great Matisse. It 100% captures the vibe of a hot summer night on holiday in a beautiful southern country. I think I can smell the lemons.
Love how this is essentially multiple paintings in one. To me it captures a similar emotion as that powerful sculpture most of you will have seen from last year's Burning Man of two people with their backs against each other but inside them two children reaching for each other.
Moody, isn't it? I'm normally more drawn to art that gives me a more 'soothing' feeling, but there's something fascinatingly eerie about this piece.
So abstract and yet so real - you feel like you can go for a walk in this beautiful, lush and moist green landscape