August 31 2022
Photography Nicolas Gardner
Text by Laura Houseley
One of contemporary design’s most enigmatic studios has turned their attention to a neglected object typology for the latest in our Hem X series of limited-edition accessories. Wiggle by Soft Baroque is a picture frame willing to compete with your art for attention.
Curated by Modern Design Review, Wiggle comes in a hand-signed limited edition of 25, made exclusively for Hem.
The studio name, Soft Baroque, came to the couple one day whilst viewing a baroque artwork framed in a curiously padded frame in a gallery. So, it is pleasing that Soft Baroque have returned to the picture frame for their Hem X commission. “We have always been fascinated by frames as a functional object. Its function is presentation, creating a border between an artwork and the wall.
The picture frame, a neglected typology that is (literally) positioned between art and design could be something of a motif for Soft Baroque; “We're building quite a few designs for picture frames now. We have often flirted with the idea of creating an alternative picture framing business.”
The Wiggle frames are each hand-carved from the rich and multi-toned wood of a single local walnut tree. The fluid and instinctive lines of the frames were hand-drawn and hand-cut by Soft Baroque before being finished by a local woodworker in Ljubljana, Slovenia, where Soft Baroque are currently based.
Rather than the strict, stiff lines of a common picture frame, the Wiggle frames are unapologetically expressive, fluid and a bit wild. Wiggle breaks the rules of what a frame should be and becomes the center of attention itself. When asked how they see Wiggle being used, Saša and Nic say; “We really don’t mind where they go, although we hope that the artwork will have a conversation with the frame. We guess Wiggle could be used as a mirror as well.”
In a playful nod to the disposable ‘placeholder’ images that often come within commercial photo frames, Soft Baroque have created their own disposable Wiggle poster for the Wiggle limited edition, designed to be a temporary addition, but destined to be cherished perhaps. 25 signed and numbered frames are available in this exciting limited edition.
“Soft Baroque’s work is challenging, intriguing, and desirable all at the same time. It somehow speaks of both the past and the future of object design simultaneously – it is little surprise Saša and Nic are amongst the most covetable designers around. I am so pleased to have them, and Wiggle, in the collection.” says Laura Houseley, Modern Design Review.