Tryna be really happy w/o being really stupid.
Just like Stacey’s Mom, Glittergun$ has got it going on. Established by Amy Exton, a Central Saint Martin’s Fine Art graduate, set designer and, now, East London-based furniture designer. She reworks antique furniture and homeware with a steadfast amount of glittery, shiny swag so you can fill your house with ‘statements’ that haven’t already been made. This is an interiors label with a twist, served to you in a neon teacup with a miniature umbrella sticking out… while you lounge in a tiki bar.
Description over, I’ll let the pictures speak from this point on – and Ms. Amy Exton herself.
We had a little chat.
When did you have the idea to launch a furniture range?
Well I studied fine art, (and specialised in installation), which I love, but my practice has always been very aesthetic led and I often found myself having to explain myself too much to my tutors. So once I graduated I just let loose, it was liberating not having to answer to anyone. And I’ve always been a bit of a hoarder when it comes to furniture and antiques, so it seemed to make perfect sense to put the two together, and apply my aesthetic to furniture design.
I would love to hear who makes up your team and where you work from?
The dream is to one day have a team of people working for Glittergun$, but at the moment it’s just me. But I’ve got a big studio space in Bow, which I share with 5 other artists.
Can you explain your massive attraction to glitter?
The thing is, everyone’s attracted to glitter, even if they can’t stand the stuff. There’s a lot of snobbery in the art world, particularly when it comes to trashy materials like glitter, and I kind of enjoy how people stick their nose up at it, but then when they notice something sparkling away they can’t help but look at it. Saying that, I’ve always tended to get a really good reaction from most people to my work. It brings out the child in people. Also, I tend not to take things to seriously, and there’s nothing serious about glitter.
When do you think that the IO TE E IL MARE short film will be completed (stills below)? Can you describe working on it and how you see the finished project?
IO TE E IL MARE was such a fun project to be involved in. I got invited on the project after the girls who organized it saw my degree show work at CSM. It was part of a residency in Sicily, and basically involved us shooting in all sorts of exciting locations (for one scene we got a fisherman to take us out to sea and filmed in the water) and playing around with inflatable flamingos. There were around ten of us involved, and we worked flat out (we only had 2 weeks to come up with a concept and make the film) so there was a lot of stress, and a few arguments but we worked really well as a team. The edit’s actually finished, but we are in the process of sending it off to film festivals, so can’t put it online just yet.
Also, Land of Cocaine is great, how did that come about?
I’d been looking at food being used as a metaphor for utopias (land of milk and honey) and decided I wanted to make something interactive using food. It was one of those pieces that just kind of came about, I just made it up as I went along, and initially I wasn’t sure about it. But everyone went mad for it at the exhibition, and we all ended up trashing it, eating it and making a big mess. Which wasn’t planned but was what made it work. I like work that’s interactive like that – I can’t bare standing in silence and contemplating what a work might be about, and don’t ask people to do that with mine. If they want to play with it they can. My degree installation got pretty trashed as everyone started partying inside it!
Have you left the more conceptual aspect to your work aside with the furniture range, for now at least?
Definitely!! My furniture is purely aesthetic. The thought of conceptual furniture terrifies me. It’s liberating being able to do what I want and not have to answer to anyone! If people like it that’s great, if they don’t that’s fine too.
Do you have a dream job?
What I’m doing now will be my dream job once I can sustain myself from it. At the moment I either work on the side or am completely broke – any money I make I have to invest straight back into the business. But things are getting there slowly.
What kind of ideal life are you aiming for?
Ideally, Glittergun$ will grow into a business that I can live off. Once that’s the case, I’d like to be able to focus back on my artwork a bit too (which I just don’t have time for at the moment). If I can travel for my work too that would be ideal – I’m hoping to go back to India soon to source materials.
Who or what inspires you?
I’m fascinated with popular culture. I studied Elvis Presley for my dissertation, and organized a research trip to the States – so I’m pretty obsessed with him now and the whole phenomenon surrounding him. But I’m constantly adding to the list of inspirations. I’ve recently developed a newfound obsession with Michael Jackson. Liberace. King Ludwig II Bavaria. A bit of an odd bunch really.