Silas Birtwistle table and chairs to be sold

25/02/2015     Design

Silas Birtwistle table and chairs to be sold
Table and chairs devised by Silas Birtwistle to raise awareness for environmental issues of the world's coastal biodiversity for UN meeting.

Summers Place Auctions will be selling a unique table, which helped raise awareness for environmental issues among some of the most influential politicians, environmental campaigners and showbiz greats. The Garden, Design & Natural History Sale on Tuesday, 9th June 2015 will also include a wide range of mainly contemporary design highlights, sculptures and taxidermy. Silas Birtwistle's table is undoubtedly a first for the auction house, and should appeal to anyone with an interest in the environment, politics and contemporary design.

A Table From The Sea's Edge is an art project, devised by Silas Birtwistle to raise awareness of environmental issues and to promote conservation of the world's coastal and marine biodiversity. It was the artist's contribution to the UN International Year of Biological Diversity in 2010 and he will give a percentage of the sale to the TIDE charity, based in Belize (see notes), one of the four areas where he collected the driftwood for this project. Others include Vancouver Island, Canada; Tanzania and Borneo, Malaysia.

Silas Birtwistle says: “It was my aim to embody the rich biodiversity of nature by crafting a large conference table surrounded by twelve chairs, made entirely from beautiful examples of driftwood - collected from four key hotspots around the world. It is a dramatic statement on the environment, uniting different cultures and coastal communities, connecting land with sea, and symbolizing the boundary between marine and terrestrial ecosystems, making connections between man's land-based activities and the marine and coastal environment.”

Unveiled in Nagoya, Japan in October 2010 during the Convention on Biological Diversity, it provided the platform for a multitude of high-level UN debates on environmental issues and ceremonial signings of agreements. It has since been used at The World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland in 2011, and exhibited at The SouthBank Centre, Liverpool's The World Museum and most recently at The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich.

As a result, the twelve individually-designed chairs can claim to have been sat on by some of the best-known politicians, environmentalists and celebrities from the film and music business. Whether you'd vote for Boris (Johnson) or Tony (Blair), both have enjoyed the comfort of these environmentally-friendly chairs, which have also been admired by Harrison Ford, Bono, Ban Ki-moon and other key players in the UN, WWF, Greenpeace and the IMF. Surely, this should ensure that the buyer will never run out of dinner table conversation.

The table would look great in a boardroom of any business with environmental consciousness, but it could easily make its way into a private home. As much as it would make the perfect dining table for a celebrity's secret hideaway on an exotic island or adding rustic charm to a baronial hall, not everyone has got the space for a table with the dimensions of 5.5 m by 1.2 m. To give owners of more moderate homes a chance, Summers Place Auctions will be offering the table and chairs as two lots of six chairs and a table, with an estimate of £12,000-18,000 each. As a percentage of the sale will go to charity though, the complete set of the twelve chairs and both tables with the centre section will be offered as one lot as well and whichever bid is higher will get this unique piece of sculptural furniture.

James Rylands, the auctioneer of the sale, comments: “Summers Place Auctions have recently made a name for themselves selling unique objects like a Diplodocus and a Mammoth. As such we have established ourselves not only as leading experts in garden statuary, but also natural history. When art brokers Corfield Morris approached us on behalf of their client Silas Birtwistle to auction the table and chairs, we felt it combined both areas beautifully – sculptural design and historically important elements of nature.”

Viewing times: Sunday, 7th and Monday, 8th June from 10am to 4pm and on the morning of the sale, or by appointment at Summers Place Auctions, The Walled Garden, Billingshurst, West Sussex, RH14 9AB.

The catalogue will be available a month before the sale and will be fully illustrated on the website.
For further information on the auction, please call 01403 331331.

For press information, images or to interview Silas Birtwistle or any of the specialists, please contact Silke Lohmann ( 07932 618754).

Notes to editors:
Silas Birtwistle was born in Shaftesbury, Dorset, in 1963. He was brought up on the Isle of Skye, Scotland. He has an MA in Furniture Design ad started making furniture in the 1990’s and soon after, exclusively with driftwood. The inspiration behind this was from a friend , minimal artist Bob Law. Driftwood is by nature very quirky, so Silas's intention is not to make the matter more outrageous, but rather find pieces that have classical proportions and turn them into elegant and beautifully made sculptures. The journeys made are an important part of what Silas does - the walks, the landscape and the revisiting of locations. A table From The Sea's Edge was an ambitious dream to make a large table with chairs made from driftwood collected from the four corners of the world, giving it a potent identity within an environmental context symbolic of the boundary between land and sea. He now lives and works in London.

The Toledo Institute of Development and Environment (TIDE) is working with communities to promote sustainable use and management of the area’s rich resources, from the peaks of the highest forest ridges to the coral reefs of the ocean floor. The money raised will go towards the ranger station in the Port of Honduras Marine Reserve to help save it from erosion.

Corfield Morris is an international market leader providing professional, impartial advice to clients on every aspect of sourcing, buying, selling and maintaining fine and decorative art and jewellery.