A trained sculptor and furniture designer, Alexena’s work explores the close relationship between art and design. Her work is influenced by memory and the relationship between people and objects.
Alexena’s background is far from conventional, brought up on a Leicestershire farm, she was introduced to art at an early age by her father, also a trained furniture designer. After graduating from a Fine Art degree Alexena became interested in pursuing a career within the social sector, working in art therapy and then as a paramedic. In 2003 Alexena returned to university to study design. Her work is informed by her experiences of working with people, of gathering stories and wanting to retell narratives through objects.
Alexena’s work is diverse. Her ceramic hip flask and silver chip fork play with ideas regarding the value of objects and reflect her interest in Britishness. Her latest work is inspired by the traditional skills and materials of Midlands based shoemakers and saddlery companies. The companies work in areas of the UK renowned for these manufacturing industries and all of their work is made by hand by skilled craftsmen and women. The Brogue Wingback Armchair has been reupholstered with leather brogue patterns hand-crafted by Cheaney Shoes in Northamptonshire and Scottish Tweed.
Alexena Cayless was Designer in Residence at the Design Museum 2010
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