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Mani Kambo


Mani Kambo is a multidisciplinary artist based in Newcastle upon Tyne who has drawn inspiration from the Harewood collection and interiors to create a unique wallpaper design.

Layered Legacies is a room installation of hand block printed wallpaper. Its design is based on Kambo’s research into honouring the human touch present in the marks, carvings and designs found in the historic collections and crafted decorative interiors at Harewood House.

Rather than mere decoration, Kambo’s wallpaper is conceived as a portal mapping craft artistry through the centuries. It presents a constellation of visual motifs drawn from her research into the global exchange of ideas and styles across Harewood’s collections. The floral and landscape motifs are inspired by the work of Armenian ceramicist David Ohannessian who in the early 1920s founded an important ceramics workshop and school in Jerusalem. The theme of cyclic human movement and creativity references the infinite decorative loops in the design of Robert Adam’s plaster ceilings. The fret lattice motif honours the anonymous artisan skills that created the hand-painted 18th century Chinese wallpaper. The urn and palmette motifs found across Harewood’s collections derive from the visual language of ancient Egypt.

The wallpaper was printed by Bruce Fine Papers using traditional hand block craft techniques.

Find Layered Legacies in Watercolour Room.

About Mani Kambo

Mani Kambo explores the inner spirit by drawing on her own personal totemic symbols. Influenced by her upbringing in a Sikh household filled with superstition, prayer and religious ceremony. Textile, fabric dying and printmaking are rooted in Kambos family history within the caste system. She focuses on objects, routines and rituals distilled both from the everyday and mythology.​​​​​​​

Her work records movement and documents performative actions – the hand that creates the action, fire that reveals, water which is the purifier and eyes that perceive: through the exploration of totemic objects and symbols. Through layering and editing images together she collages narratives and weaves dreamscapes. These visuals are repeated throughout her work like markers linking to notions of spirituality and belief in reincarnation.


About Bruce Fine Papers

Established in 1994 by Alex Bruce, Bruce Fine Papers has remained a family run company now employing two generations who work together to hand produce this traditional craft product.

Naomi and Alex are the current team behind the company, working together in both business and marriage with their children Ellie and Jake on the production and design team. A small team of 8, Bruce Fine Papers is a bespoke company keeping the traditional craft of Hand Block Printing alive here in the UK.