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Blockchain, the technology behind supporting artists in Ukraine and around the world.

We recently decided that our shop window display needed something more exciting! Read about the artist behind the cats and the world of blockchain.

The cats in our new window display are illustrated by the very talented Evheniia Vynokurova, a designer based in Ukraine. We came across her work through Opensea, an online marketplace for digital art in the form of NFTs. After purchasing a variety of her work we got in contact and formed a collaboration.

The world of NFTs has gotten some bad press recently!

The world of NFTs has gotten some bad press recently, mainly due to environmental concerns over the Ethereum blockchain on which it is built. Like Bitcoin, Ethereum uses a lot of electricity to keep the network secure. However, the upcoming "merge" means that Ethereum will be switching from "proof of work" a concept that requires large amounts of computing power for security, to "proof of stake" a concept that requires almost 0 computing power and instead relies on a "shares" based system to ensure the security of the network. Effectively cutting its electricity (and therefore emissions) down by 99%! This new path that Ethereum is embarking on, is a very positive one, there are so many potential uses for blockchain technology and now that the power-hungry energy constraints are no longer holding it back, I feel like these potential use cases will flourish.

It is easy to go too deeply into these subjects and confuse people with the new technology of blockchain, after all, it is sometimes unnecessarily complicated, putting people off what could have been the exact outlet they have been looking for. For us, blockchain enables us to connect with artists through the marketplace Opensea and find art from all over the world that we would normally have no access to. For artists, it allows them to earn good profit from selling art that they are passionate about, not having to work to a brief or under the constraints of corporate work, but actually producing art that they love to produce, and getting paid for it. This is a very freeing movement and a lot of undiscovered artists are being supported by the wide and growing community of NFT collectors.

We fell in love with Evheniia Vynokurova's work because of its unique style. Being able to support an artist in Ukraine whilst the country is in such a troubling time is so special. Having direct contact with her and being able to directly support her work is a unique window that would have otherwise been closed if it wasn't for blockchain technology and the connections it provides. Sending Ethereum to her wallet to buy her artwork is easy, instant and borderless. If I wanted to send her money to buy her artwork through the traditional banking system it would be impossible, full of sanctions, fees, questions and red tape. Unfortunately, the situation in Ukraine has recently escalated in the capital and she has been forced to leave for her safety.

Ethereum and NFTs have let us find, support and collaborate with a talented artist who we would have never known existed, breaking down the barriers of a war-stricken country and allowing art to prevail and provide an income to someone that would be so disconnected without the connections blockchain provides.

This is the piece that we fell in love with, after seeing it on Opensea we decided that we wanted to make these big cats a big part of our furniture design...

I've always loved Asian artworks, pottery and generally anything with an oriental influence. A lot of our work is mid-century furniture and shapes, with bold graphic colours and patterns, these cats seem to combine every one of our loves and styles into one beautiful piece of art. How could we not jump on the opportunity to own it?

We have a special project in the works that we can't talk too much about yet. We can however show you a "sneak peek" of an upcoming restored piece that we have been designing.

These "may or may not" be a render of the doors to a very special piece coming up!

You might have caught our video of us working on our new window display at the P&G headquarters in Windermere. The main feature is obviously the cats! We also included some of the shops and publications we have been featured in such as Liberty London and Forbes! If you didn't catch the video, here it is below...

We hope you will continue to follow along in our journey of discovering new ways to incorporate talented artists into our furniture and new outlets to support them. If you would like any more information on any of the subjects mentioned in this blog post, just get in touch via the contact form on our website.

There are a lot of exciting things happening here at P&G and both Alice and myself cannot wait to share them with you.

If you would like to show your support and donate either directly to Evheniia Vynokurova or to a charity that supports the efforts in Ukraine, please contact us for more information. A percentage of the profit from the upcoming piece featuring her artwork will be donated back to the artist.

See more of Evheniia Vynokurova's work via her Instagram


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