Chess is known as the game of kings and with luxury in mind London’s Purling company had the idea to contrast traditional hand-carved pieces with modern, abstract design. And Lancashire artist Olivia Pilling was one of 30 artists asked to produce chess sets for this iconic London’s manufacturer of beautiful luxury chess sets, backgammon sets, playing cards and checkers sets.
Olivia Pilling, a Northern England-based artist working with acrylic, brush and resin, famous for striking semi-abstract acrylic paintings in jewel colours that shimmer with light, was approached by the creator of Purling to design the Art Chess “Yellow v Blue”, which sells for $1,700.
“I used strong compulsive separate brushstrokes, to build layers of saturated rich colour on the surface of the Chess pieces with little blending of the paint. I find inspiration in Russian Folk art with its stylized look, strong colour, pronounced use of black and repetitive patterned detail. The resin coating was used to encapsulate the colour of the surface giving the pieces a jewel-like, glistening quality. I wanted them to look precious, like individual pieces of treasure.”