Friday, 15 July 2011


The Royal College of Art degree show is a rendez-vous I never miss. As specified in their  website : "Art, Architecture, Communications, Design, Fashion & Textiles and Humanities come together at Show Kensington in a remarkable gathering of design talent". What impressed me most this year was the students' creativity in material use. This post will therefore be focused on some of the most fascinating and clever objects discovered at this show.

Erik de Laurens has, during his two years at RCA, "extensively explored the realm of materials. Challenging what they are and asking what they could be. For instance, creating new materials from fish scales and human hair". 

Those tumblers are made of coloured fish scales.

Erik de Laurens. Photos Isabelle Busnel

Sarah Colson's artist statement says: "at the forefront of my practice is an investigation into manipulation of materials. I apply my ideas using a range of juxtaposing techniques. My current work explores the personal boundaries that we project to the outside world, and how public and private intimacy can be expressed through our clothing. Processes such as body art, adoration and armour communicate identities and create boundaries, which are used as tools to express different levels of privacy." 

This cape is made of white plastic nails.

Sarah Colson. Photos Isabelle Busnel

Fabien Caperan  states: "my work focuses around encouraging the subtle interrogation of behaviours. A recurrent theme is the idea of ‘slowness’, particularly regarding everyday rituals, which have become depreciated in modern society. It is about re-appreciating the moment [...].  
This project "explores the long-standing significance of bread, through an imagined narrative. More than this, bread, as the oldest edible constituent of our society, is the ideal vehicle to explore methods of production". 

This object is made of bread crumbs.

Fabien Caperan. Photo Isabelle Busnel

Shi Kai Tseng's PhotoGraphy project "is the creation of a process in which the environment, time and light react to each other and generate images on 3D objects. The objects are coated with a ‘light-sensitive’ layer, put in a black box with strategically placed holes, and exposed for five to 50 minutes, depending on the brightness of the environment. It is a new way to capture a moment in time; no matter whether the image on the object is focused or losing focus, the object will carry the trace of its first moments of experience, its first exposure". 

The two vases have been made using this process.

Shi Kai Tseng. Photos Isabelle Busnel

Markus Kayser's project is very original as well. He writes: "In a world increasingly concerned with questions of energy production and raw material shortages, this project explores the potentials of desert manufacturing, where energy and material occur in abundance. Sunlight and sand are used as raw energy and material to produce glass objects, using a 3D printing process that combines natural energy and material with high-tech production  technology. Solar Sintering aims to provide a point of departure for fresh thinking about the future of manufacturing, and to trigger dreams about the full utilisation of the production potential of the world’s most efficient energy resource — the sun"

The first two objects are obtained using solar energy to create sand in fusion, and the last picture represents the machine he used to achieve this process. You can find an interesting video about his Solar Sintering project on Markus Kayser website.

Markus Kayser. Photos Isabelle Busnel

Alkesh Pamar's  statement explains: "in addition to presenting light as a form of de-materialised matter, I am engaged in thinking about processes of re-materialisation; materials being transformed from one sphere to another, specifically materials that are normally destined to become waste products".

Those objects are made of orange peel powder.

Alkesh Pamar. Photos Isabelle Busnel 

Nevertheless, David Roux Fouillet's "Riviere de Diamants" remains my favourite project. It tackles a challenging question : "Could a delicate moment of beauty last forever?"
His diamond-shaped steel necklace rests on a rotating device, and is plunged into soapy water. Every time one of the shapes emerges from the liquid, a bubble has formed over its structure, creating an ephemeral surface, which imitates a real diamond until the bubble bursts. A clever, fascinating and thought provoking way of questioning the value of beauty and preciousness. 

David Roux Fouilet. Photos Isabelle Busnel

Tuesday, 5 July 2011


"To photograph is to confer importance. There is probably no subject that cannot be beautified". 
Susan Sontag, On Photography (1977)

Photos from Isabelle Busnel