Dining Table By Mark Lewis – then Design Director at Lewis & Horning (1983-87)
Marks client, Olivia Beasley, simply walked into the showroom in Drury Lane and introduced herself.
Clearly a fashionable and apparently successful professional young woman, she was determined to have what she wanted in a dining table for her London apartment.
Other than the approximate size, and an expectation of something unique, Olivia was confident in the creative ethos now available to her in Mark, and instructed him to carry out sketch proposals for her to review.
After a second consultation one of the ideas was agreed to be further developed and prepared for costing. The drawings confirmed the feasibility of Mark’s designs which were then realised.
A theme in Mark’s work is evident in the aspects forming the body of a piece – usually solid hard woods are embraced or contained by steel. In this instance, however, six slabs, four rectangles that make the table legs, and two halves of a disk make the table top. They are joined by black enamelled steel rods and right angled plates that collectively hold the slabs together as much as they hold them apart.
The dynamic of the arrangement is enhanced in that the assembly of the elements implies bondage of flesh by leather strap. Vulnerability in the body is implied by virtue of the slabs being held separate from each other, able to fall apart but for the straps.
Mark’s insight was able to reference an aspect of sexuality and embody it in a passive and calm functional item of furniture: a dining table.