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Exhibition & Environment
The Lure of the East
Designing Tate Britain's major retrospective on British Orientalist Painting 

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'Lure of the East' was an exhibition held at Tate Britain exploring the responses of British artists to the cultures and landscapes of the Near and Middle East between 1780 and 1930. Focusing on five major themes – portraits, genre, religious and domestic subjects and landscape – the exhibition offered a broad perspective of the imaginary 'Orient' depicted by these artists.

Invited to design both the exhibition and the catalogue, we were able to link both through the use of colour: a daring and unusual palette was derived from the paintings and used in both the chapter openings and on the walls of each room.

Other features included the design of the furniture, the careful selection of authentic tapestry, a special projection at the exhibition entrance to promote the show, and a most daring 'Harem'-themed room, in which we built a wall inspired by the traditional ‘mashrabiya’ – a type of window screened off with carved wooden latticework – which created a magical atmospheric surprise for the visitors.

Client: Tate Britain
Curators: Nicholas Tromans and Christine Riding
Designed at Atelier Works