Visits- The V&A -FOIL-Benjamin Hubert.

Back in September 2016, I managed to do a quick visit to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and I think I was so overwhelmed I just wanted to sit down as I couldn’t believe I was there. I didn’t take many pictures of things that I saw as I spent a lot of time staring and gazing instead. I liked the Japanese section and I would very much like this screen in my bedroom.

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After a lot of walking and looking I came across Foil. I didn’t know what it was and I wandered in to be met with a mass of  moving mirrors, lights, graphics and music. I could have quite happily stayed in there forever.

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I wasn’t sure if you could take pictures of the piece, plus I didn’t want to as it was so nice to be in there and experience it. Instead I have shown below some images from The London Design Festival site and the explanation of the piece. The website is here- http://www.londondesignfestival.com/events/FOIL

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Images from- http://www.londondesignfestival.com/events/FOIL-accessed 20th February 2017

‘The large-scale installation comprises 50,000 mirror-finish stainless steel panels on a 20-metre by 1.2-metre undulating ribbon that runs down the length of the gallery and is driven by a high-power German motor in a constant sine-wave motion. Light from LEDs reflects off the panelled surface to create a slowly morphing and evocative pattern of scattered light, moving across the walls and ceiling of the gallery. The installation is accompanied by an atmospheric soundscape that emulates the fluid motion of the sculpture and the reflected light. The shape of the metallic elements is informed by the precision engineered shape of the Braun shaver foil and the movement is inspired by the 360-degree movement of the Braun shaver head.’

“The idea is to elevate and celebrate the foil finish on the next generation of Braun shavers,” says Hubert. “The shavers are industrialised consumer goods, and most people don’t appreciate the engineering that is behind individual elements. We thought it would be interesting to take inspiration from something that is often overlooked and create a highly engineered immersive experience.”

‘Layer chose to display FOIL in Room 94 – which is dominated by three hunting tapestries made between 1425 and 1450 – due to the gallery’s unique atmosphere. As light, humidity and temperature in the gallery are carefully controlled to protect the tapestries, visitors are immersed in a unique and emotionally engaging environment, which is enhanced by the multi-sensory installation.’

“As a studio, we’re very research-based – we understand and collect insights from the world around us and translate them into the next experience to improve the everyday, usually in the form of a product,” says Hubert. “This project is particularly exciting for us as it’s our first artwork, so it’s less about conventional functionality and more about creating a heightened emotional experience. I want visitors to remember this sculptural landscape viscerally through all their senses.”

Adapted from- http://www.londondesignfestival.com/events/FOIL-accessed 20th February 2017

If I am honest I didn’t realise it was emulating the movement of a razor, the word Braun obviously escaped my brain at that moment. I just thought it was really good with the visuals and the music as well as the lights bouncing onto the tapestries. I think I was just too tired and it made me sleepy but once I got home and researched it, I did a ‘Oh, I see’ and immediately wanted to go back and see it again.

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I am hoping to go back down to London in the summer and I have promised myself that I will do a whole floor at the V&A at a time. For a first time visitor to it like me it was stuff overload and I think I need to live in it so maybe I will do that.

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