Ekaterina Panikanova
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Ekaterina Panikanova

Originally from St. Petersburg, artist Ekaterina Panikanova has been living and working in Rome, Italy since 2009. She studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in St Petersburg and has had work exhibited at the Russian Union of Artists and in Moscow, Venice, Rome and New York. It is clear that Ekaterina feels passionately about the subject of her latest collection featuring books as capsules of memory, carrying with them the history of their former readers. 

Ekaterina: “I like working on old books: I like the way the wear and tear, underlinings, notes and scribblings enable me to perceive the personalities of the people who have read them. Each book has a history, it is the story of its reader. The collection is a research that speaks of private memory consisting of free associations. It is a project that brings my work within the home, within the family where everything started.”

Whilst smitten with the design, such a detailed 3D artwork presented a challenge for the NLXL team in translating it into a wallpaper design that would do the work justice. Nonetheless, the finished result is stunning, having the same impact as the original artwork. 

"Sometimes an image is so strong you can’t get it out of your head", says NLXL Founder Esther Vlak when she first encountered the work of Ekaterina Panikanova while visiting a gallery in Rome. “It was a difficult task for us to translate the 3D artwork to a wallpaper design. The original artwork is so overwhelming, but after a long process we finally got it right. The final product has the same impact as the original."

If you’re a fan of the current trend for vintage, you’ll love the Ekaterina Panikanova wallpaper. Her BIBLIOTECA design features digital copies of old books, upon which mural-style illustrations have been painted. The collection comprises 7 designs in total, including 5 murals and 2 wallpaper rolls and, like all NLXL designs, there is no repeat so each image is unique. The middle section features a wallpaper mural of 3 drops, installed in the centre of the wall with a roll either side of only books. EKA-07 is a white variant with only books on and EKA-08 is a black version with just books. They both work really well alongside the mural design, but look equally good on their own. 

Ekaterina spends time reading all the books she collects before deciding how to arrange them and whether or not to paint or print on them. Among those featured in her design are manuscripts and journals which really capture a little bit of history. Intriguingly, her design is peppered with symbols which become metaphors for various concepts. For example, she uses antlers to convey animal instinct and a pie to represent tradition and the rules of society.

This is wallpaper for the curious of mind, the readers, writers, archivists and bibliophiles. It would work beautifully as a library, study or living room wallpaper. You could team this wallpaper with other vintage accessories and antique furniture to complete the vintage design look. Paste this onto your walls and you’ll no doubt find yourself pausing to peruse a section from time to time - far better than watching paint dry!