Shintaro Ohata

Shintaro Ohata has a gift for light, and paints both the canvas and the accompanying polystyrene sculptural pieces in such a way as if to make it look like there is really light coming from the painting behind person. From whatever angle you look at the piece, it works in the same way, making it seem as though there really is a light source when there isn’t. I love the three dimensional aspect to these works as well, with the characters standing outside of their own worlds. This, combined with his monochromatic colour schemes lend each piece a dream like feel.

I really am interested in the combination of a flat background with a separate 3d piece, as it lends the sculpture more context, and almost gives it a home.

What is Luxury?

An exhibition at the V&A looked into what defines luxury- I found that it requires high skill, long labour time and sometimes rare materials, though that’s not completely necessary. I realise in retrospect that my favourites were mainly white or clear, because I didn’t like any of the others, they felt often too much like a random mishmash of too much stuff.

My phone camera did not do justice to this first piece. The Fragile Future Chandelier, by Studio Drift, is a light fitting made up of copper, which acts as the conductor for the electricity, and led lights inside dandelion heads. The time it took to conceive and create is mindblowing, let alone the delicacy and patience involved.

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This piece, by Nora Fok, entitled Bubble Bath, is made from knitted nylon microfilament, and designed to make the wearer look as though they are in a bubble bath. I’m attracted to circles and spheres, so I really love it, particularly the transparency. It reminds me of cartoons where someone would put too much washing powder in the dishwasher and it would overflow with bubbles.

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TENT

In london, with college, i went to TENT which is an exhibition for makers and artists, and it was full of interesting things that fit in perfectly with my current project brief ‘beautiful & usable’.

I found myself particularly attracted to the plant based ideas, for example a machine which looks like a mini UFO that is designed to take care of plants from seeding to harvesting time, with minimal input from the owner. The blue light that it shines on the leaves made it look very sci-fi (alien plants?!) which I loved, and cast multicoloured shadows on the table.

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I adore this piece because it combines two things that I love, which is lighting and greenery- I’m always fascinated by the sunlight filtering through leaves, and this terrarium twists that and gives it the look of a portal inside a tiny forest. I could imagine heroes and heroines from books walking through this to complete a quest in another dimension.

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This set of iridescent bubble lampshades really caught my eye too, as they were visible from the window before we went inside. They remind me of magic and made me feel a little small- like a giant had blown bubbles next to me.

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Beate Gegenwart

These futuristic panels are something i would expect to find on a spaceship; they look from a distance like moons and planets silhouetted by distant suns, but when I came closer I was surprised to find that there is a great deal of intricately cut holes, paragraphs, and patterns cut into the plastic and metal, to create gradients and reflective textures.

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Claire Curneen

The works of Claire Curneen are simultaneously dark and light, with themes of angels are otherworldly creatures. When I first saw the first one, I couldn’t work out from a distance whether it was a gorgon, or it it was someone with a forest atop their head, but when I looked closer I was surprised to find tiny porcelain fingers attached to branches. Is the mysterious figure collecting them? Why?

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The terracotta angels, with their gold dipped hands, wings and feet, make me think that the gold lustre is blood. Maybe it’s because of the genre of books I read, but I imagine angels to be vicious creatures, so maybe there is a corpse or something that we can’t see, and they are covered in blood from it. The sideboard says that the gold signifies high status, but that doesn’t explain why it’s dripping all over their hands and faces…

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Phoebe Cummings

At the Fragile exhibition in the National Museum of Cardiff, this particular exhibition by Phoebe Cummings caught my eye. I spent the longest time looking at this one, possibly because there was just so much to look at. The interior walk-in space had an underwater feel to it, and the boxes that surrounded the exterior were all filled with similarly atlantis-like scenarios, all made from press moulded clay. the monochromatic colours give it a dark, bottom of the ocean aura, even though it was all lit up, I could still imagine myself floating far beneath the surface.

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