Wallpaper sample books (8), designed by David and Cherie Miles of David Miles Handprinted Wallpaper, New South Wales, Australia, 1970-1980
Wallpaper sample books (8), David Miles Handprinted Wallpaper, designs by David and Cherie Miles, Sydney, 1970-1980.
Prompted by an altercation with Florence Broadhurst over a mural she commissioned him to design for the Top of the Cross hotel in Kings Cross, David Miles, a trained architectural draughtsman decided to use the contacts he had established while working with Merle de Boulay (a prominent Sydney decorator) to produce and market a competitive set of locally-produced, artistic handprinted wallpaper designs for a bugeoning local interior design scene.
Like Broadhurst before him, Miles initially producing simple, uncomplicated single or two colour designs during the early years of production, but by the early to mid-1970s, he, like his competitor, was marketing flamboyant and sophisticated designs in psychedelic colours on metallic foil paper to an increasingly adventurous and affluent clientele. Modernist abstraction, Oriental inspiration and local references such as the recently re-discovered beauty of cast iron as featured on the balconies of Paddington, all appear in the sample book designs.
For David Miles, improvements in production became possible after David Miles Handprinted Wallpapers was brought by Wilson Fabrics and Wallcoverings (Arthur G Wilson Pty Ltd) in 1971. Access to expensive imported papers also made the wallpapers produced more luxurious. Public recognition and business success followed with twenty-six of David Miles's handprinted wallpaper designs wbeing selected for inclusion in the Industrial Design Council of Australia (IDCA)'s Australian Design Index in 1972. These designs, featuring the IDCA's 'Good Design' label, are included in the wallpaper sample book of 1972.
Anne-Marie Van de Ven, Curator 2003
Produced in various locations around Sydney.
David Miles, born Muswellbrook, NSW 1945. Architectural draughtsperson, artist, fabric and wallpaper designer and manufacturer. Cherie Miles (nee King), born Sydney 1950. Commercial photographer, artist, fabric and wallpaper designer.
David Miles studied architectural draughting, Sydney Technical College, Ultimo. Joined Merle du Boulay Interiors in 1966 through whom he met Leslie Walford, Babette Hayes, June Driver, James Mooreland, Sue Over, Barry Little, Tom Terry and other Sydney decorators. Established David Miles Handprints Australia in 1969 in direct competition with Florence Broadhurst Wallpapers Pty Ltd for whom he had designed a restaurant mural in 1968. Married Cherie King, a commercial photographer (born Sydney 1950) in 1970, who went on to become David Miles's co-designer and business partner.
Wilsons Fabrics and Wallcoverings (Arthur G Wilson Pty Ltd) purchased David Miles Handprints in 1971 and in 1972, the Industrial Design Council of Australia selected 26 David Miles designs for inclusion in the Industrial Design Coucil of Australia (IDCA)'s Australian Design Index.
Around 1970, Wilson Fabrics and Wallcoverings also purchased Florence Broadhurst (Handprinted) Wallpapers differentiating the various wallpaper designers by establishing 'Signature Handprints'.
Wilson's was taken over by James Hardie Industries Pty Ltd around 1977 and David and Cherie Miles moved to rented premises in Myrtle Street, Chippendale where they worked with ten 20 metre long flatbed screen printing tables from around 1977 to 1989.
Gradually they re-established their own printing business under various names, including Cherie Miles, Lilly Pilli Designs and David K Miles which they sold to Baresque Pty Ltd. David and Cherie Miles continued designing for Baresque during the 1980s, eventually abandoning wallpaper, fabric and fashion design for limited edition art prints and painting around 1989.