CorTen Steel, HQI Lighting

L800 x D50 x H400cm (L315 x D20 x H157in)

Veuve Clicquot – Hotel du Marc, Reims

Commissioned by Veuve Clicquot and The London Design Festival. Originally sited at The River Terrace of Somerset House in London, Portrait is now part of the permanent collection of Veuve Clicquot at the Hotel du Marc, Reims. With the theme of the London design Festival at its core, Fredrikson Stallard have used as their starting point one of the oldest and best known building blocks of design – wood. A single piece of wood has been magnified and transformed using a combination of steel and light to recreate the familiar grain structure of wood. In daylight the steel sections, representing the light wood grain laid down by the tree in summer, are the dominant feature. At nightfall the spaces in between, representing the dark wood grain laid down in winter, illuminate in Veuve Clicquot’s famous yellow, as the steel itself now becomes the negative space. Fredrikson Stallard have become well known for their use of experimental materials and wanted on this occasion to celebrate more traditional materials, but by representing wood in steel and light they are continuing to explore materials by cross referencing in this way.
Typical of much of Fredrikson Stallard’s work, the piece has a broad contextual foundation and is hard to classify. It could be considered as fine art sculpture, but also in design terms as a lighting piece or screen and architecturally as a wall. ”Being furniture designers, wood is something so obvious as a material one might tend to neglect it in a quest for new materials and related processes. It felt correct to translate this by celebrating a material but without using it. In a sense the piece becomes an altar for the very fabric of design which we felt appropriate for the Design Festival”.