INTERI // Artifacts Reimagined
Interi was created over 18 years ago by former Irish top model, Jean O’Reilly Barlow. Upon leaving the fashion industry, Barlow became inspired by ecclesiastical art and design that has gone beyond restoration. Interi now works to preserve and transform Italian fragment artifacts with natural specimens, artistic methods, and contemporary interpretations - creating a piece that appears to have evolved together over time.
Fragment Creations are 16th to 18th-century artifacts that have fallen into disuse. Once works of art that adorned churches throughout Europe, these antiquities have been taken away from their original context and transformed as works of art. The fragments are paired with precious gems, baroque pearls, fossil agate coral, and minerals from all around the world, bringing into existence a contemporary work of historical significance.
“Usually, a fragment has gone past restoration but, because of its age and intricate carvings, is still a work of art. I became interested in the fragments when I saw more than the discarded artifact, but a piece that could be made beautiful again.”
JEAN O’REILLY BARLOW // Founder & Creative Director
“As Ireland’s first supermodel, I was always surrounded by creativity. When my world of high fashion transformed into a world of art and design, I began to explore the French and Italian markets, collecting ecclesiastical artifacts whose beauty transcended brokenness.
Through Interi, I continue to salvage the sacred and create the bizarre and unusual with fossils and shells excavated from deep beneath the earth’s surface. I began on a quest to defy gravity and go beyond natural limitations, combining the fragments and minerals and showcasing them in their own right.”
The matrimony of the fragments and minerals creates a piece that looks as though it evolved together over time. And although they all come together as a whole, each detail shares a unique story. Whether it’s a fragment that came from a historic Italian 16th century church or gems mined from inside the Great Smoky Mountains, they find their way to the Interi studio. They are given a new life, new purpose, and a new meaning. Each mineralized artifact captures that what was once broken can be made even more beautiful than before.
My hope at Interi is to give the modern home access to this beauty -- the home being the highest gallery. It is where life happens, and life, to be sure, is beautiful.
To read more about Interi’s Founder & Creative Director, please visit Jean O'Reilly Barlow's feature on the Interi blog, Spotlight: Model, Icon, Entrepreneur, or connect with Interi & Jean on LinkedIn.