Each month we exhibit a brand new installation at The QEII Center - the largest exhibition space in Central London. Each installation is based on a series of works celebrating nature, environmental awareness, sustainability and craftsmanship, and we hugely enjoy the creative process of working around these themes each month to create something new.
For our January installation our aim was to create a piece that represents the roots of craftsmanship in the UK. Satin ribbon has long been associated with dress making, fabrics, interiors and soft furnishings from the middle ages onwards. It’s understated luxury and simple elegance transport us into a different world. The art of craftsmanship is an undervalued and dying trend with the fast-paced style of modern day society. We live in a consumer-ridden throwaway culture, unable to slow down and take in the detail.
So with this as the basis of our design we worked with delicate pieces of satin ribbon, suspending them from the ceiling to create a unique, awe-inspiring installation. Liz Marsh said of the creation, named Tunnel Vision ‘I have always had a fascination with satin ribbon, its unique texture is rich, sensual and understated but still special. The feel of it is smooth and gentle and it holds colour so well. The richness and huge variety of colours that it can be dyed make it versatile and very eloquent whatever you are trying to express. The tiny strands hanging from the ceiling remind me of an army, standing to attention, ready to spring to action at any moment, so delicate and flimsy and yet en masse a force to be reckoned with.'
As part of this piece the sides of the ‘tunnel’ were filled with tall vases of flowers and foliage that rose up to meet the ribbon, completing the sense of enclosure whilst the dark moody colours of the ribbon reflected the wintry weather and created a sense of entering a womb or some dark retreat from the world. Our strapline is ‘making magic happen with flowers’ and this comes to life when you look at these flowers and tiny, flimsy pieces of ribbon hanging magically from exactly the same level mid air in this reception area. Their simplicity is further emphasised by the heaters blowing onto the ribbon strands which move gently in the breeze as if taking on a life of their own.
Liz notes that she is ‘intrigued by the sense of a something solid and encasing like a tunnel being created by something as delicate and flimsy as loose strands of ribbon - it reminds me of the curved line sketches we once did at school, joining fixed points on a graph with straight lines which, when they were all joined up created a curved line or at least the appearance of one.’
While the pictures cannot do this piece justice as ultimately it is the experience of this installation that completes it. We hugely enjoyed coming up with and putting this together at QEII, as we do each month. Do make sure to visit if you get the opportunity and we’d love to hear what you think!