IN COLLABORATION with LONDON DESIGN FESTIVAL
and Victoria and Albert Museum - September 14-22, 2019
Canadian designer Matthew McCormick is proud to present AVALANCHE, a temporary installation at the Victoria & Albert Museum for the 2019 London Design Festival. A highly experiential exhibit, the installation seeks to fuel thoughtful introspection on the effects of climate change through the artist’s interpretation of what it feels when trapped inside a torrential snow slide – a tangible result of our planet’s fluctuating weather conditions.
A nod to the chaos and power driven by Mother Nature on our environment, McCormick marries light with material within an imposing, seamlessly executed box at the V&A conspicuously located on the landing of the British Gallery. The exterior exhibit highlights McCormick’s contemporary design ethos in the classically historic space, making it impossible to ignore. From within, it is a hybrid between an interactive reflection chamber and an artistic metaphor representing a skewed sense of scale and reality. More specifically, it is a designer’s interpretation of a suspended moment in time where visitors are caught in an avalanche and faced with a mindful revelation of their own mortality.
Originally hailing from eastern Canada, McCormick moved to the majestic west coast for its epic mountain range - something he has watched change dramatically over the last number of years due to metamorphic changes in the weather conditions. While the desire for the Avalanche exhibit is to elicit an emotional response to a real issue on our planet, it also reflects on a very personal loss as an avid backcountry snowboarder.
“AVALANCHE is a poetic metaphor meant to offer visitors a moment to take pause between the darkness and light – even if for a brief moment - and reflect on the limited opportunities we are afforded to make impactful personal decisions, specifically when it comes to our planet.”
“I’ve been a long-time advocate for the outdoors and have come to know backcountry snowboarding terrain well, but more recently become more sensitive to the substantial shifts in snow pack due to environmental flux,” says McCormick. “Having recently experienced the death of a friend to an avalanche on a mountain he rode almost every single day – a place which did not have a single reported snow incident in its history – became a true eye opener in becoming more weather aware. The inspiration behind Avalanche at the V&A combines my newfound awareness in avalanche survival and the truth behind the devastation in experiencing it. It is a poetic metaphor meant to offer visitors a moment to take pause between the darkness and light – even if for a brief moment - and reflect on the limited opportunities we are afforded to make impactful personal decisions, specifically when it comes to our planet.”
On entering, small groups of visitors will find a lowly lit, deceptively reflective space, bringing a sense of entrapment and confusion around the uncertain pathway through. Urged to navigate a series of mirrored glass barriers which inherently lead each participant into an abyss of heightened darkness and compression, they will be subject to a highly personal experience in finding an escape route and the grandiose power of the encounter itself. At this heightened sense of consciousness, self-reflection is imminent at every corner.
To achieve a feeling of isolation and distress experienced when getting trapped in an avalanche, McCormick arranges a number of high-gloss surfaces positioned in a progressively constrictive sequences to create the illusion of tangible restriction, layered with mirroring. Avalanche will be constructed using Barrisol® - a versatile and sustainable material which can be stretched and moulded to infinite precision. An internal Barrisol® wall will be fully backlit using Osram’s LED strips, creating a dramatic contrast from the surrounding darkness. Support for the design and upcoming installation is being provided by Barrisol Welch and Osram, with further support by the High Commission of Canada in the United Kingdom.
The installation highlights dematerialization and minimalism as a result of McCormick’s design ethos and his response to climate change. More specifically, he examines a means to link art in a way that shapes public memory, responsibility and action: “We recognize that a critical mass is required to instigate societal change when it comes to the shifts in our environment, however this collective awareness has to start with the individual,” says McCormick.
Via Popoli Uniti 11-13, Milan
9-14 April 2019, 11 am - 7 pm
Alcova is an experimental prototype for an itinerant cultural institution in development by Space Caviar and Studio Vedèt. Currently operating as a roving platform for art and design across multiple sites in and around Milan, it activates forgotten locations and spaces of historical significance, temporarily recasting them as venues for performative activities.
Alcova Popoli, Milan Design Week 2019 - Matthew McCormick has created a site-specific, limited edition lighting installation for Alcova that will be presented during Milan Design Week, April 9 - 14. Sitting midway between a lighting sculpture and design-art object, the gestalt configuration will be an undulating cluster of McCormick’s Mila pendants combined to create a randomized, multi-layered composition.
Invertere is made up of 19 oblong forms finished in brushed sterling silver, featuring the newest iterations of his notable Mila fixture in four varied sizes and diameters. Suspended from the ceiling by a series of thin cables, the elegant collection of balanced and inverted globes imbues Alcova Popoli Uniti’s Room 11 with a sense of poetry and grandeur - balancing both shape and mass to create its dynamic effect.
Invertere is intentionally designed with the observer in mind. Presented as an exhibit that can be navigated and explored, the sculpture exudes a visual tension from every vantage point,” says McCormick. “The harmonious mix of impossible balance and gravity defied is seemingly random in nature; however the shape of each Mila pendant are intentionally positioned to create a unique, billowing dialogue between each form.”
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MOre about alcova:
Preserved in a state of semi-abandonment and partly overgrown by spontaneous vegetation, the monumental building of the former panettone factory of G. Cova & Co. is a key site in the history of Milanese industry.
Located adjacent to Stazione Centrale and directly in front of the Rovereto stop on the red metro line (approximately 10 minutes from Duomo), it is easily reachable from all parts of the city.
Via Matteo Bandello 14-16 20123
9-14 April 2019, milan
CASCADIA, the latest addition to Matthew McCormick’s collection, will make its global debut during
Milan Design Week 2019 at Spazio Rossana Orlandi, April 9-14.
Galleria Rossana Orlandi, Milan Design Week 2019 - Distinguished by its slender shape and the soft gradation of light from its hand-made, artisan glass tubing, Cascadia pendants are articulated and finished by its hand-polished metal fitting. The soft glow of the pendant is achieved through an opaline LED hue, balanced by the more industrial look of the metallic accents. Whether hanging alone as a delicate fixture over a bedside table, undulating over a dining table or cascading down a grand stairwell in a showering effect, the technical precision of Cascadia cohesively translates into in a piece that is both contemporary and timeless.
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about GALLERIA Rossana Orlandi:
Gallery Rossana Orlandi opened in 2002 at a former tie factory in the Magenta neighbourhood. Galleria Rossana Orlandi is known for forecasting new and upcoming designers, and has been established as one of the most revered platforms for avant-garde design and lifestyle. Rossana started her work focusing on the rising Dutch design wave with designers including Piet Hein Eek, Maarten Baas and Nacho Carbonell. Since then, her reach has moved widely around the world creating a catalog which reflects the most innovative design scenes from Europe to Asia to the Americas. The space is articulated in a non-traditional way: part showroom, part retail store, part offices and a courtyard for events – which all come together in a way that meets no boundaries.