Rear Window: Chris Clarke

Chris Clarke, co-founder of RoomFifty shows us the artworks around the home he shares with his wife Isobel, and tells us a little about what makes them special.

This is a shot of our home studio — On the wall are some originals, that are often rotated with newer pieces.It’s essential for me that the artworks change in the studio space often. Many just rest up against a wall or piece of furniture — occasionally finding their forever home somewhere in the flat. Currently on the desk I have a cat by illustrator Elliot Kruszynski and a timely reminder by Ben Longden.

Above left: David Hockney — 'A Bounce For Bradford', Litho (1987) This print originally was given out free inside the Bradford Gazette newspaper, and ran in conjunction with their 'Bradford’s 'Bounce Back' campaign' Now it sits proudly framed, with the newsprint yellowing from light exposure. The piece was originally hand made by Hockney using colours executed on an office photocopier.

Middle: This print accompanied an exhibition of Alexander Calder at Hauser and Wirth in Bruton, Somerset. My wife and I visited this exhibition several times — and the print is a constant reminder of that summer we spent visiting the gallery, of which we later were married in.

Right: Ellie Foreman-Peck 'Heart Of Darkness, screenprint' This was given to me by long serving collaborator and great friend Ellie for my 30th birthday. This originally was a piece that accompanied Joseph Conrad's novel Heart of Darkness.

Above: I bought this print for myself as a present when I moved to London 12 years ago. I know nothing of the history — other than it's signed 'Bertocchini' and dated 1975. I fell in love with this screenprint — instantly drawn to the suspense of these jostling shapes, suspended just for a moment.

This is the print that perhaps means the most to us — This is an enlarged print of the artwork Isobel and I created for our wedding invitation.
We later had the flowers, hands and other shapes from the artwork hand cut in card by our friend Owen Gildersleeve and used as table decorations during the wedding meal.
(Above) On a similar strand, this incredibly special piece was produced by co-owner of RoomFifty and all round wonder human Leon Edler. This piece was originally commissioned as part payment for the design identity of RoomFifty before I later joined as a partner.

This print was given to Isobel as a gift the day we returned back from our engagement surprise in Iceland depicting the scene from where I proposed to her on that trip.

Leon later came to our wedding, wearing a suit that was endorsed by the 'England World Cup football team' which had tiny footballs as buttons. Leon wasn't best pleased with his purchase.

Above: Another birthday present — this time for Isobel by paper artist and close friend Hattie Newman. Hattie gave this to Isobel in 2018. It's a hand cut one-off from a series of studies into horticulture.

(Above) William Luz – Tropical

Not a print, but something very special. Chris's grandmother 'Marian' made this rug, and a few others in our home in the 70's. When she passed, the rugs found their new home in ours, bringing all the colour and joy that Marian did whenever she was in a room.

Above: Bisquit Sleeping Screenprint by Emily Gilmour.

Isobel and I bought this print from Cley-on-sea, Norfolk from Pinkfoot Gallery.
We're a little obsessed with cats, and when we saw this beautifully serene print of a sleeping cat, we had to have it. The artist Emily Gilmour is the daughter of legendary British printmaker Robert Gilmour.

Max Bill — Composition With White Centre
Screen Print - 1972.
Bought at auction.

Above: Also purchased at the same auction as the Max Bill print — the history of this is also unknown, and the signature is hard to make out anything other than the date stamp of 1988. The piece is an abstract produced using overlays of coloured pencils.

Aart-Jan Venema 'Pick me up London'.

In 2016 I was a judge for London illustration showcase 'Pick Me Up' As part of the process we were invited as judges to put forward an artist each that we considered 'up and coming'.

Aart was my choice — and after the exhibition had finished, Aart gave me this print of the scenes he observed whilst visiting London as a thank you.
Alexander Girard Dolls

California prints 1954, Ann Bode.
Margot Alexander

Ostrava Brusli, 1960 (right)
My wife and I picked this up in a vintage print shop in Prague — The print is a public service announcement presenting the times and information of the ice skating rink in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

Festival of Britain, 1951.
Hand stitched tapestry

Paul Hogarth 'Montmartre’ Screenprint.
My wife and I love Paris — we’ve visited many times — we’re often found rolling out of Oberkampf station full on butter and wine.
Anthony Burill ‘Be Kind Feel Happy’.
An artist proof gifted by Anthony. Anthony produced an Observer magazine cover for us, commissioned by art director Jo Cochrane.
Anthony produced 50 additional signed prints which he gifted as part of a competition. This is a first of 50 prints by Daniel Clarke — Given to me for my birthday by friend and bandmate Owen Gildersleeve several years ago. Owen used to share a studio with Daniel and noticed this print through the doorway as he was passing the corridor. Owen knew how much I dream of living in a place similar to this — perhaps an unachievable dream, but this is close enough.

Thanks Chris and Isobel for letting us look around your lovely home!
You can shop all of Chris's prints for RoomFifty here

If you would like to share your Rear Window view of your house, send photos and a few lines about each piece to