Selena describes her inspiration for working at ARC
At age 12 I saw my first bow top caravan, and wished with all my heart that I lived in one. By 16 I had earned enough to buy an old shepherds hut and an old wooden farm cart on which to build a bow top. Having no idea exactly how I might do that, I found work at a local furniture making company where I served a five year apprenticeship learning how to design and make furniture and shop fittings, and keep the bookwork up to date. Although our workshop was in the west country we were often in London, fitting the Mulberry concession in Fortnum and Masons, and their then flagship store in Christopher’s Place, and building the most fabulous panelled room to showcase fine tapestries in Jermyn Street.
I then worked as a Journeyman carpenter both on building sites and in workshops throughout Somerset, and working to commission for clients designing and building their furniture and interiors. My designs had always been quite classical following accepted rules of furniture making until I took a year out to go to circus school. It made me realise that as long as it was still practical a piece of furniture could still be a flight of fancy, something different.
The spaces in which I found myself working became larger and larger, but my fascination still lay with what could be achieved in the small and tidy spaces of the last 100 years of caravans. They are often quirky or aspirational. There is something in the smallness of space that speaks volumes of the period they were made in. Now, finally, in the neat circularity of things I find myself working in these treasures of travelling spaces…and it’s great!