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Old furniture lost but now Refound
The Journal discovers one shop stretching interior design to the limit
Elizabeth Ather
Wednesday, 16 November, 2011 | 10:30

Slotting nicely into the quirk of Glasgow’s West End, the 'Refound’ pop-up shop has opened its doors for three weeks this month.

Taking recycling that one step further - turning drab and dreary second-hand furniture into wonderful contemporary works of art – ‘Refound’ is challenging interior design and pushing the boundaries of the imagination.

Bundled into every nook and cranny of the shop on Argyle Street are fabulous yet functional pieces of furniture, bursting with originality and oddity. From subtly retro-edged tables and chairs to richly patterned chests and foot-stools, there is something to accommodate every taste.

The creator of ‘Refound’, Jill O’Neill, told The Journal: “We’re trying to inspire people to re-think their waste and stretch people’s imaginations when looking for new furniture. Rather than going to the usual haunts, they can buy something different that has actually been created by an artist and, at the same time, give the artists a turn at creating and selling their work.”

Having only been in existence for two years, ‘Refound’ is fast-establishing a loyal following with artists from all over the country wanting to be a part of it.

As a result, the brand boasts a truly eclectic variety of contributors, with artists from all sorts of creative mediums, including fine artists, graphic designers, printers and textile artists involved. The dynamic and diverse nature of the ‘Refound’ brand mimics O'Neill's journey in creating it.

Originally from Belfast, she spent ten years away from home, firstly studying History of Art in Glasgow and then moving to New York, San Francisco and eventually London. While living abroad, O'Neill developed a passion for the vintage markets and second-hand furniture.

“I would literally pick things up from the street. If someone was moving away, they would sometimes shed their load by selling the contents of their apartments on the pavement," she added.

"I still love that idea of transient movement – you might move away from an area but that chair or table has stayed in the vicinity having had several different owners.”

On returning to Belfast, O'Neill set about creating the brand. Not only did she seek to bring her innovative concept to life, she wanted to create a platform for artists and “champion” their work.

Chris Melgram was one of these artists. Following his graduation, he came into contact with O'Neill, sparking the project to bring ‘Refound’ from Belfast to the streets of Glasgow.

“It’s been about five months of intensive work, but I have learned so much from the project," he told The Journal.

"I’ve had to write up press releases and do things that I was never used to doing before so it’s been really useful for me in terms of my career and what I want to do in the future.”

Helping artists on their way to success, whilst offering a fresh and innovative slant on the notion of recycling, it has become apparent that ‘Refound’ is so much more than just a shop. It’s a new way of thinking.

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