Gallery 94, Tapestries

V&A Commission

The multi-disciplinary team comprising of product designer Felix de Pass, graphic designer Michael Montgomery and ceramicist Ian McIntyre presented an immersive installation within one of the V&A’s darkest spaces.

A large rotary machine sat centrally, hovering just off the gallery floor. As the face of the machine revolved, it passed through a light source charging its surface, which emitted this energy as afterglow.

The continual revolution of the machine created a perpetual ebb and flow of light patterns travelling across the structure. This rich layering effect played with the memory of the phosphorescent material used on the dials of timepieces by supporters Officine Panerai.

“On a very basic level, we experience time through changing light conditions between day and night,” the designers explained. “The appearance of phosphor-escent material is determined by both light and time. Charging from a source of light, its afterglow appears dazzling at first, but diminishes to a lambent glow over time. We are excited to explore this change in state in our installation.”

The title of the installation, Candela, came from the standard unit of luminous intensity: a common candle emits light with a luminous intensity of roughly one candela. Drawing from the individual expertise of the three designers, the installation was graphical in its visual impact, delicately engineered and crafted using both traditional and cutting edge materials. The result was a seemingly magical display that bewildered and pleased the viewer, before leaving them to emerge, blinking and beguiled, into the daylight.

“We hope that our installation is a mesmerising and memorable experience and augments the enjoyment of viewing the tapestries that it shares the space with,” they said. “We have always found the Tapestries Gallery to be a very peaceful space within the V&A. You could attribute this to its very low light conditions needed to conserve its medieval exhibits. It therefore felt appropriate to create an installation that worked out of darkness to heighten this special atmosphere.”

Supported by Officine Panerai

London Design Festival at the V&A

The London Design Festival at the V&A

For 2017, the Festival will continue its unique collaboration with the world’s leading Museum of art, design and performance. As the central hub location for the London Design Festival for the eighth year, the V&A will again house a broad range of commissioned activity which will be spread throughout the Museum and include installations, events, talks and workshops.

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