On entering a black-cloaked room – mysteriously accompanied by a pair of black woollen gloves – visitors were greeted by a six-metre (20 ft) high sculpture called ‘New Spring’, which is made from recycled aluminium. According to Japanese designer Azusa Murakami and British artist Alexander Groves of Studio Swine, the tree was inspired by a combination of traditional Murano chandeliers and also cherry blossom trees.
It became quickly apparent what the gloves were for – catching the bubbles that slowly dropped from each ‘branch’. If the milky-white bubbles came into contact with skin they burst, emitting a pale mist; if they touched fabrics they stayed intact, which meant visitors could handle them.
‘We wanted to encapsulate a lifespan of emotions in an instant. To create an experience that was fleeting, but in its time evoked joy and vitality, if only to remain as a memory,’ explains Studio Swine.
Both children and adults alike appeared to be enamoured with the installation held within the art deco Cinema Arti, which certainly had a magical quality to it.
Studio Swine’s design ethos is to experiment with unusual materials to create a dialogue about the future of resources in the context of globalisation, and is swiftly gaining international credibility, having exhibited at the V&A, Museum of Art and Design New York, and the Venice Art Biennale.