French multi-disciplinary designer Mathieu Lehanneur invites viewers to enter into a meditative state with his work Liquid Marble, a large piece of black marble sculpted into a realistic, yet static, representation of the ocean’s movement.
Installation for the London Design Festival 2016 at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
“I’m always trying to understand how the human brain works, and how to put people in a very specific state of mind,” says Lehanneur. “The piece doesn’t move, but the reflection of light on the polished marble makes it feel like a real sea. The idea is to bring a piece of the water to a place where there is none, to create a contemplative experience.”
The complexities of the ocean’s movement were captured using sophisticated 3D software developed for the film industry. A single block of marble was then machined to replicate the files and hand polished to create a reflective surface.
This is the third installation of Lehanneur’s Liquid Marble series, and the jet-black piece was designed specifically for the Norfolk House Music Room, which is currently on display in the V&A’s British Galleries, Room 52. “The space is very ornate and full of colour, so I wanted to contrast it with something absolutely minimalistic,” says Lehanneur. “The original musical function of the room was also a big inspiration to me. The idea of music in the room, and the musical references in its decoration, add a special dimension to this vibratory movement relief, fixed in marble.
I also like the contrast between the deep silence of Liquid Marble and the history of the Norfolk House Music Room, which hosted the most beautiful symphonies.”
Text by London Design Festival