Liquid Marble




V&A Commission

French multi-disciplinary designer Mathieu Lehanneur invited viewers to enter into a meditative state with his work Liquid Marble, a large piece of black marble sculpted into a realistic, yet static, representation of the ocean’s movement. 

“I’m always trying to understand how the human brain works, and how to put people in a very specific state of mind,” said Lehanneur. “The piece doesn’t move, but the reflection of light on the polished marble makes it feel like a real sea. The idea is to bring a piece of the water to a place where there is none, to create a contemplative experience.”

The complexities of the ocean’s movement were captured using sophisticated 3D software developed for the film industry. A single block of marble was then machined to replicate the files and hand polished to create a reflective surface.

This is the third installation of Lehanneur’s Liquid Marble series, and the jet-black piece was designed specifically for the Norfolk House Music Room, which was displayed during the Festival in the V&A’s British Galleries. “The space is very ornate and full of colour, so I wanted to contrast it with something absolutely minimalistic,” said Lehanneur. “The original musical function of the room was also a big inspiration to me. The idea of music in the room, and the musical references in its decoration, add a special dimension to this vibratory movement relief, fixed in marble. I also like the contrast between the deep silence of Liquid Marble and the history of the Norfolk House Music Room, which hosted the most beautiful symphonies.”


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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