For its newest launch, Brooklyn-based Calico Wallpaper collaborated with an unexpected up-and-coming artist: 5-year-old Willow Cope. A true joint effort, the collection (titled Reverie) evolved from drawings and paintings Willow made—to which her mom, Rachel Cope, cofounder and creative director at Calico, layered on her own designs to add texture and depth. Originally the pieces were slated to be part of an exhibition, but when that fell through due to the pandemic, Cope reimagined the works in progress as wallpaper in a range of hues, from icy sky blues to ethereal pinks.
The result is an energetic, abstract mural in the spirit of artist Helen Frankenthaler, whose large-scale, color field paintings and “intuitive approach, exploring the interplay of form, color, and space” were a big inspiration for the duo, according to Cope. “Reverie was not only a special opportunity to create collaboratively with my daughter, but a way to translate that feeling of joy and warmth into a design for the home,” she explains.
As a former art therapist and now an artist herself (she’s the mastermind behind all of Calico’s contemporary designs, as well as the nature-inspired motifs at her eponymous textile label), Cope prioritizes art-making as a way to connect with her little ones. “At home, I’ve introduced [my kids] to many of the same art techniques I use in the studio—marbling, textile dyeing, painting. It can be messy, but we embrace that and encourage them to use their imagination and find their own creative voice.”
With the Cope family currently moving into a new house, Willow has dibs on her bedroom being the first place where the wallpaper will be featured—a version of scribbling on the walls that every parent can get behind.
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