This new design by Zoe Gibson is about mark-making but also marking time; repetition but also contrast. Solstice comes from the Latin solstitium - ‘sun standing still’ - and refers to the times in the year when the sun reaches its highest or lowest point in the sky. Ancient astronomers came to know this as the day where the sun appeared fixed and enduring. Zoe’s design chronicles these moments of high contrast through its repeatedly mirrored marks.
The design was first shown in her exhibition at Generator projects in Dundee where she lino-printed 100m of wallpaper by hand. Zoe used the technique her Auntie taught her, which she, in turn, had been taught by Zoe’s great-grandmother: the late, great Peggy Angus. Solstice tells tales of time not only through its subject - suns and moons dancing between light and shade - but also the knowledge passed down by familial generations of women, each time sparking new cycles of creativity.
• Each roll is 20.5" wide x 11 yards long
• Repeat: 20.5", straight match
• 3-4 week lead time
• Surface printed, traditional paper
• Made in Britain
Yellow illustration on a cream background
Right from the start, we’ve worked to bridge the worlds of art and interiors and blur some of the lines between fine and applied arts. We make wallpaper by artists – alongside other homewares – to make high-quality art accessible to the many rather than the few. We commission original designs from contemporary artists and produce an annual archival collection that commemorates the great history of artist wallpapers. Everything we do is underpinned by stories and a desire to make complex ideas simple while still leaving room for the viewer to bring their own meaning. Wallpaper has generally been thought of as background rather than foreground – but not at CommonRoom. Our wallpapers are designed to challenge and excite. Just like every great artwork.
Our environmental impact as a business is very important to us. We’re committed to responsible design practices and to being as sustainable as possible. All of our products are designed and made here in the UK. We minimize waste by manufacturing in small batches, often printing to order, and we offset our carbon footprint by using local suppliers. The bases of our wallcoverings are always from FSC certified forests. For 2022 and beyond, we commit to planting a tree for every roll of wallpaper sold. You can find out more about this and other sustainability goals here.
Our name celebrates William Morris’ newspaper, The Common Weal, first published in February 1885. Copies can be found in the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow. We continue to be inspired by Morris himself, his ability to move fluently between disciplines, his revolutionary outlook and above all, his collective approach. We like to work collaboratively with our artists and for every roll sold they receive a share of profits. When you buy a CommonRoom wallpaper, you’re supporting a small business, British industry and artists too.
Meeting by chance at an antenatal class London-based artist Kate Hawkins and marketing director Sarah McClean began working together on CommonRoom in 2015 after Kate launched the business the previous year. They started with a modest offering of four designs which have expanded to include an archival print line, home furnishings, contemporary artwork and wallpaper borders. Their aim is to continue to grow CommonRoom in an open and sustainable way.