In his ‘Spring’ exhibition at Carpenters Workshop Gallery in London, Mathieu Lehanneur shows some of his most iconic works and takes us into a world of flux. As if the cycle of the seasons and nature’s forces have specially looked at the fate of objects. Here, the artist-designer with a passion for science, grapples with ancestral materials in order to suffuse them with plasticity, fluidity and tone.
The works on show seem to hesitate between solid, liquid and gaseous. They appear to be suspended mid-transformation in a poetic state of metamorphosis. Marble and aluminium become liquid, onyx becomes air and glass softens as in a return to its original state. Although the function of each piece is easily recognised (table, chandelier, lamp), the works transcend such definitions. Their movement and suggested dynamic state force you to question what you thought was true to the point where it seems even the inert is being revived.
The presence of glass accompanies all pieces like a transparent skin protecting the object’s soul. Glass is worked in multiple forms using traditional craft methods: curved tubes for ‘Les Cordes’ chandelier, hand blown glass globes for the new version of the ‘S.M.O.K.E.’ lamps, ribbed glass on ‘Spring’ lamps and laminated panels on the ‘Liquid’ tables. The materials are all worked in their natural color, in their native condition, almost primitive. But this apparent simplicity belies a highly sophisticated technical and technological implementation.
For more of Lehanneurs work to be explored the Victoria and Albert Museum’s exquisite Norfolk House Music Room hosts a presentation of ‘Liquid Marble’ – pieces that evoke a surreal vision of the sea, mimicking the look and feel of rippling water. Made of a single piece of hand-polished black marble, and designed using advanced 3D moviemaking software, ‘Liquid Marble’ reproduces the visual effect of a sea surface, gently ruffled by the wind. The structure reflects and distorts itself, and the intense black of the marble accentuates the colour of the ocean as if fossilized in stone.
‘Liquid Marble’ is installed on a 30cm high pedestal, offering viewers a close-up experience of the enigmatic effect of contrasting materials – both liquid and solid at the same time – and encouraging contemplation. The designer impressively combines his passion for design, science, technology and art, and introduces an alchemic combination that is nourished by science and conceived with a metaphysical approach.
‘Liquid Marble’ invites the visitors to experience the most innovative processes whilst letting the mind wander in the movements of the sea, for a moment of meditative reflection.
SPRING THROUGH 30 SEPTEMBER CARPENTERS WORKSHOP