Transmission by Ross Lovegrove




10am-5.45pm, All days except Friday. 10am-10pm Friday.

Tapestries, Room 94, Victoria and Albert Museum


V&A Commission

Transmission is a 21 meter long fluid sculpture of folded material. Presented by Alcantara, Ross Lovegrove’s installation is an intuitive and evocative response towards the immersive physical atmosphere of the V&A’s tapestry room.

Ross Lovegrove's Transmission is a soft, undulating sculpture that snakes down the centre of V&A's Tapestries Gallery.

Its folds are inspired by the red gown, lined with miniver, worn by a lady in one of the hunting scenes on display in the darkened room. As the 21m-long, free-standing piece of the material divides the space, its serpentine form frames new and surprising views of the 15th-century tapestries.

The installation is created using Alcantara, a tactile, sound-absorbent and pliable material that, Lovegrove explains, "is a great host for the graphic printing and digital embroidery of my installation". It is streaked with gold and silver threads, which create an ornamental pattern of over 2 million flecks that run along the edge of the sculpture, glinting in the dramatic gallery light, and reflecting the rich scenes of wealth and aristocratic fashion depicted in the medieval wall hangings.

"The tapestries are an oasis of calm," says Lovegrove of the dark, meditative space. "It's like stepping back in time, so one's senses become elevated." Transmission is intended to transmit the visceral feelings one experiences within the space: "It's a direct response towards the colour and physicality of the folds of the tapestries using modern software and materials."

Lovegrove's work, as he puts it, "often alternates conceptually between design and art". He invites visitors to use and touch his sculpture, in a subversion of the usual museum experience. The industrial designer hopes that his tactile presence will serve to "bridge time and give a sense that visitors can view the tapestries while feeling them in some sense at the same time".

Presented by Alcantara, Transmission builds on the organic, high-tech forms for which Lovegrove is well-known - as seen in his recent career 'introspective' at the Pompidou Centre. Transmission is the second collaboration between Lovegrove and Alcantara, following an installation at IMM in Cologne earlier this year. Frequently the contemporary material of choice for the automotive, fashion, consumer electronics and aviation industries, and previously showcased at museums and institutions globally, Alacantara is fast becoming a favourite among the design community due to its versatile nature and scope for multiple interpretations.

Ross Lovegrove

Ross Lovegrove is a designer and visionary who's work is considered to be at the very apex of stimulating a profound change in the physicality of our three dimensional world. Inspired by the logic and beauty of nature his design possesses a trinity between technology, materials science and intelligent organic form, creating what many industrial leaders see as the new aesthetic expression for the 21st century. There is always embedded a deeply human and resourceful approach to his designs, which project an optimism, and innovative vitality in everything he touches from cameras to cars to trains, aviation and architecture.


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