TULLE, AN IRON AND AN ARTIST’S MIND: 45 PARK LANE LONDON HOSTS BENJAMIN SHINE EXHIBITION, ‘EVANESCENCE’
Just a week after we talked about art and the hotel in Asia, we found ourselves heading to 45 Park Lane London (part of The Dorchester Collection and art deco sister to The Dorchester across the street) on an early autumn evening for another dose of hotel art.
As part of the hotel’s programme of art exhibitions and coinciding with Frieze Art Fair, 45 Park Lane is hosting Evanescence, a selection of tulle works from British artist Benjamin Shine, until December 5.
Made by pleating and manipulating the tulle with nothing but his hands and an iron, the pieces in the series explore “ideas of impermanence, energy and the fleeting moment”. Four on the ground floor include the incredible portrait of Elizabeth Taylor above, on loan from Grace Belgravia nearby. Upstairs, smaller pieces are dotted around the walls of the bar.
Earlier collaborations have seen Benjamin’s work transported to the runway, with Givenchy using his reinterpretation of religious prints on sweatshirts and t-shirts to ‘question notions of strength, fragility and masculinity’.
On a much – much – larger scale was last year’s ‘The Dance’, commissioned by Canberra Centre Australia: an installation “reflecting the mystery and flow of creative energy”. Over two and a half months of work and more than 2,000 metres of tulle – ironed, hand-sewn and compressed into form – went into the dramatic piece of a male and female ballet dancer coming to life, the fabric lending additional fragility to the grace of their movement. A Huffington Post video of the work (you can see it here) has been watched over 65 million times.
Installation ‘Hands of Time’, displayed at London’s SCIN Gallery during London Design Week 2012
[Photos: Paul J DeVries, Benjamin Shine Studio]