Currently showing at the La Galleria on Pall Mall is the exhibition Wool Modern http://www.campaignforwool.org/woolmodern/. Part of the ongoing campaign for wool as run by HRH the Prince of Wales.
The Curator, Charlotte Lurot had commissioned the design studio Not Tom http://www.not-tom.com. to create an original piece for the exhibition and they in turn contacted me for a possible collaboration, knowing me for working in costume and textiles. I was more than happy to join them in this creative endeavour as they are a fantastic design team and will buy you a sandwich at lunch time.
As I am no good with words I will use the lovely description Not Tom have on their site, to explain the installation
“The outside edges of the room are lined with assorted paint tins filled with various coloured dyes. Stood in each jar, and set at random angles are large sticks and sections of tree branches completely wrapped in natural wool top. If the wool is dampened, capillary action causes the coloured die to rise up the sticks, eventually forming a gradient from the natural colour of the wool to the bright colour of the dye.
The full effect of the installation is that of a strange woollen forest, with a subtle, colourful glow around the bottom of the room. The mummification in wool of the dead branches is juxtaposed by the capillary action re-creating the natural movement of water up a living branch. Meanwhile acting as a demonstration of dyeing processes.”
The sticks themselves, even without dye have become quite popular, being used in the windows of Pringle’s Sloan Street shop and in the windows of La Galleria itself. I was also lucky enough to represent our team when we were asked to bring the branches to a viral video shoot, part of Harrods contribution to the campaign…
Through hard work, many hours, a few branch related injuries and hands and arms dyed blue/pink/yellow we created something I am very happy with, a surreal creation that could be as imposing or subtle as you wish it to be. It has planted several ideas for sets/costumes in my head already, and I hope it does the same for all who look upon it. If you happen to be a native Londoner or are passing through between the 8th to the 29th of September I urge you to go see it, the whole exhibition is fantastic.
there is talk of the show traveling on to Berlin and maybe further, fingers crossed – I would love to know that something I worked hard on and was proud of was being shown around the world.
All photos by Harry Osborne