The Harp-sit-chord bench was created by Studiomama for Fenton House, Hampstead, in connection with the exhibition Please Sit, curated by Gitta Gschwendtner.
As the names suggests, this exhibition sought to warmly invite people to sit down, linger longer, and to look anew at Fenton House.
The contents of this National Trust property and the worlds from which they came are remarkable. However, brimming with disparate collections and having had many different occupants, Fenton House is perhaps one of the more difficult London house museums to embrace.
In this context, Studiomama and five other designers were invited to create seating interventions in one of the rooms at Fenton.
Studiomama’s sculptural Harp-sit-chord bench, made of abstract shapes of solid mahogany, is inspired by the iconic form of the harpsichord in the drawing room.
Specifically, the special Shudi & Broadwood harpsichord as this is what immediately caught Nina Tolstrup’s attention on entering the room. ‘Such an arresting shape and incredibly crafted instrument’ she said. Tolstrup ‘imagined the eight year-old Mozart playing the harpsichord in a light blue frock over a waistcoat and collared white shirt during his stay in London in 1764.’
At Fenton, Studiomama’s seating intervention aimed at encouraging a deeper level of engagement not only with Fenton's collection but also, more broadly, with heritage and place. Removed from the context it was designed for, the bench can be enjoyed along the lines Tolstrup was struck by the harpsichord -for it too is such an interesting shape and incredibly crafted.
Specifications:Height: 120 cm
Width: 250 cm
Depth: 99 cm