Marchand Son

Profile on a quirky local shop written for Viva Lewes magazine:

“I like shops more than anything. My favourite shop would probably be Brodie and Middleton in London, which sells ‘theatrical chandlery’; all the sort of paraphernalia that you might need for making a set for somewhere like the Royal Opera House, or for all the theatres. It sells things like Dirty Down which is a spray for making things look old, and string and brushes and paints. That was always a shop that I was enamoured by and I wanted to own something a bit magical like that.

“I used to get all my pigments from the Netherlands so I thought the clogs were a good way to show the paints. They show the instability of colour and that it’s never the same, and there’s something about the Netherlands and paint; they have a historical connection because of the 17th-century art world when all the paint used to be made in the Netherlands. It was the home of paint-making.

“But I’m getting rid of the clogs. The Dutch theme has sort of worn off because now I get the pigments from all over the world. Now I pair all my colours with music. So this one is labelled ‘La Grande Bouffe, La Chanson d'Hélène’. That tells you the film that I found it in and then the music that I pair it with. There’s a man in this film who’s wearing a rollneck that’s that colour. In this case the music is from the film, but in other cases, it might be a colour from a Jean Luc Goddard movie that I’ve paired with a David Bowie track. I’m going to make it a synaesthetic experience - the whole place. The jukebox will be filled with 100 colour cards, so you can choose a colour and press the button and you’ll hear the corresponding music."

“People give choosing colour this sort of Ersatz logic which is rubbish. People come in with an interior design book and say ‘I’ve seen this colour’ - and you think, why would you want to paint your house like someone else’s? When I’m in London I’ll invariably go into a house and they’ll have painted the whole place in Hague Blue and then say ‘we thought we’d do something a bit different’. They all look the same. But the weird thing is everyone’s striving to do something individual. To do something individual, you have to be impulsive, because then you don’t give it too much thought. You don’t step into line.

“There’s a perfectly good reason to paint your room in... this colour, and that’s because you love The Shining and that’s the colour of the hallway in the film. So that colour will form part of my ‘Stanley Kubrick’ collection. And then you’ll be able to buy the colours of the Stanley Kubrick collection in a box, called the box set. It’s going to be really big, I’m telling you!”

As told by Simon March,