Interi decorates fragment artifacts with minerals, precious gems, fossil agate coral, and fossil shells -- interpreting the past to create a piece entirely original evolving in its own right.
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 changed their significance. The fragments are decorated with precious gems, baroque pearls, fossil agate coral, and minerals, bringing into existence a contemporary work of old and new.
Usually, a fragment has gone past decoration 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
As Ireland’s first supermodel, I was always surrounded by creativity. When my world of high fashion transformed into the world of luxury design, I began to explore the French and Italian markets, collecting artifacts where beauty transcended brokeness. Having formerly worked as an antique dealer, these pieces traveled to the U.S. with me to be married themselves to gems, coral, and minerals. The decorated artifacts then began to find their home with collectors, designers, and in shows across the country, from New York and Las Vegas to Dallas and Atlanta.
The decorative market was calling for the organic appeal of corals, crystals, and geodes. I continued to hunt for the bazaar and unusual -- the fossils and shells excavated from deep beneath the earth's surface. I traveled to the Smokey Mountains, known for their mining and mineral fairs held twice a year. This was another world for me, with oil drums full of emeralds spilled on the side of the road. As I bought, I began on a quest to defy gravity and go beyond natural limitations, combining the minerals and showcasing them in their own right.
My two daughters have journeyed with me all the while, traveling from Italian convents to the Great Barrier Relief. They have seen Interi become more than “work,” but my life, which I love.
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.