Behind the Scenes: How A Kitchen Set by Isabelle Laight Made It’s Way Into Our 2Pac – Changes Exhibition

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If you asked us six months was sort of art we expected to see in our 2Pac Changes exhibition, we’d of told you portraits, illustrations and photography. Never in a million years did we anticipate kitchenware making the cut. Until Isabelle Laight came along, that is.

I first contacted Issy in late August on a whim after coming across some J Dilla themed embroidered donuts she’d made. I was instantly impressed with what I saw, and felt she’d be a suitable match for our event. Before I knew it, she’d emailed me back, expressing interest in the brief.

What she gave us on the big day was a custom-made 2Pac kitchen-set comprising of cups and plates, which were mounted onto a wall. Now, you’re probably thinking, how do you get crockery to stick to a wall? Well, we made it happen, and what a great piece it is. Here’s what Issy has to say about it:

Your 2Pac themed kitchenware was definitely one of the star attractions of the exhibition. How did people respond to it on the day? 

People appeared to really like it, as far as I could tell! It definitely seemed to stand out, what with it being an unlikely medium and all. How often do you see kitchenset at a hip hop exhibition?

How did you set about designing it? 

I love 2Pac, and am very familiar with the song Changes – which I studied in detail to see what I could take from it. I decided to decorate my kitchenware with drawings of pastel coloured guns, 2Pac’s tattoos, black lives matter graffiti and other related visuals. Next, came lots of indecisive decision-making about layout! It took me a good day to figure out the best way to put it all together – I didn’t want the message of the song and exhibition to be lost.

What sort of message are you trying to get across through the different designs? 

I wanted to convey the message that comes across in Changes in my own unique style. I included the guns as a symbol of gun violence – which has not changed – , along with the lyrics in the song relating to black lives matter, and how that message is still so important and relevant today. I deliberately arranged the pieces to create a sort of shrine effect.

What does 2Pac mean to you as an artist and hip hop lover? 

2Pac was a special guy and a real inspiration, even at such a young age. He achieved so much in such a short space of time. I find his music timeless and I also love him in Poetic Justice with Janet Jackson; he’s a real cutie.

Given the opportunity, what additional items would you create to go with it?

I really would’ve liked to have done an embroidered tapestry. However, given the time constraints, I’m happy with my pieces! I like the idea of doing a modern day hip hop Bayeux Tapestry. As far as the crockery is concerned, I think teapots drawn to look like guns would look cool and perhaps I would like to do more illustrative designs on smaller plates. However, sometimes less is more.

Learn more about Issy and her work by following her on Instagram.

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