Artist Hunt Slonem…of bunnies and butterflies painting fame…was the guest of honor at a dinner at Parterre the summer of 2016. What a pleasure to get to know him…a fascinating, interested-in-everything-and- everyone, lovable gentleman…he charmed us all. Fortunately, Newport, gallery owner Jessica Hagen always has a collection of his paintings. These smallish studies by Hunt are presented in antique frames picked out by the artist himself; just compact enough to find a spot in your home.
So when choosing a location for the first shoot of the 2018 Parterre Bench campaign, I, of course, immediately thought of his wall of colorful bunny paintings. Hung in a tight square, salon style, they truly make a knockout impression (I’ve always wondered how Jessica manages to arrange so many paintings in such a tight statement). What a perfect backdrop for the winter white Bench and a dramatic foil to the curves of the high back.
It was at, an amusing day, made all the more so by including real bunnies from the island’s Potter League for Animals (where we have adopted all of our pets). I think we’ve captured the mood well in our images — a bit cheeky, a bit tongue-in-cheek.
And this inspired setting certainly captured the celebratory mood of the occasion for the creation of this particular Parterre Bench…a housewarming gift for a soon-to-be-married young couple. The client had been searching the web for an only-in-Newport singular gift for them and of course, that is one of the defining distinctions of the Parterre Bench; not made offshore in Viet Nam or Costa Rica, but in America, right here in Newport, Rhode Island in the tradition of its craftsmen of old.
Winter white was the color of choice…clean, brilliant, resonate of fresh beginnings…which I immediately fell in love with. I took this occasion (thank you Tessa and Brendan) to imagine the Parterre Bench in new settings (ie. a contemporary, art-filled home). Seize the opportunity and think outside the box!
P.S. Hunt, we’re thinking of you. It’s time for a return visit to Newport.
All images photographed by, Maaike Bernstrom.
Production of photo shoot, Styled by Jenna.