About Bette Noire

I am an upholsterer and chair artist. I re-invent existing furniture and make sculptural objects using chairs as a base and the craft of upholstery for the creation of art pieces.

I am interested in spaces and places where art and upholstery meet, such as my mixed-media Blodeuwedd chair, the lights-sound-action Disco Chair, and the light-up Dark Sacred Night, the first chair I upholstered.

I am currently involved in property renovation work in Bristol which takes up much of my time.

Education and training

With a BTEC Higher Diploma in Theatre Wardrobe (1986) and an MSc in Information Science (2000) under my belt, my first upholstery course was in 2009 – a week in the wilds of Hertfordshire with Wendy Shorter.

I went on to study upholstery at the Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design at London Metropolitan University, receiving a total over over 1,080 teaching hours during my four years’ attendance.

Prizes and awards

In 2013 I was one of the winners of the annual Heico competition, awarded by Heico and the Association of Master Upholsterers and Soft Furnishers. The competition is to design and upholster a child’s chair frame featuring Heico’s decorative nails. My entry, Disco Chair for Solomon, was exhibited on the Heico/London Met stand at (what was then) the Interiors UK exhibition at the NEC in Birmingham in January 2013.

In 2013 I was also awarded a prize for advanced upholstery skills for my year’s work by the Worshipful Company of Upholders, following which I accepted their invitation to become a Yeoman.

Exhibitions

Recent exhibitions in which my work has been shown include Fringe Arts Bath 2019 and Second Sitters’ “Upholstery: Evolution to Revolution” at the National Centre for Craft and Design in Sleaford.

My work has been exhibited at galleries and trade shows in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Bath, Machynlleth, Ruthin and more.

Find out more in the Exhibitions section of this website.

Thank you for visiting.

Bettina Langlois

Bette Noire profile photograph

Portrait by David Heke