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Mathieu Lehanneur



Carpenters Workshop Gallery

7 - 28 September 2016

About the Exhibition

In his ‘Spring’ exhibition at Carpenters Workshop Gallery in London, Mathieu Lehanneur 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 in the ‘Spring’ exhibition 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.

The ‘Liquid Aluminium’ and ‘Liquid Marble’ tables were designed, for example, using 3D special effects software created for the film industry and the designer sought advice from laboratory equipment manufacturing experts in order to bend the curved glass tubes of ‘Les Cordes’.

Mathieu Lehanneur, the designer of ‘Tomorrow Is Another Day’, a wall light installation that conjures up the daily rhythm of weather changes, and of a work for Audemars Piguet that saw rocks apparently levitating mid air, continues on his optimistic quest to soften our world and bring us joy.

As part of London Design Festival 2016 (17 – 25 September 2016) award-winning designer Mathieu Lehanneur installs another spectacular work from his ‘Liquid Marble’ series in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Located in the V&A’s exquisite Norfolk House Music Room throughout London Design Festival, ‘Liquid Marble’ evokes 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’ will be presented 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.

In this installation – a variation of Lehanneur’s ongoing series exploring the materiality of marble – the designer combines his passion for design, science, technology and art, and introduces an alchemic combination: nourished by science, and 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.

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