Omer Arbel’s stay glass-blowing for London Design Competition

Omer Arbel’s stay glass-blowing unites sculpture and experimentation on the V&A

Canadian inventive Omer Arbel’s design observe is a collision of worlds, uniting sculpture, design, invention and – in his present ‘Materials Experiments’ on the V&A for London Design Competition 2022 – efficiency

Canadian artist and designer Omer Arbel stands within the John Madejski Backyard on the V&A, watching the newest factor of his sequence 113 unfold. ‘Materials Experiments’ sees a small group of glass-blowers perform the continued sequence in a ritualistic re-calibration of supplies till Friday 23 September and ending in a particular late-night efficiency. 

The method of Arbel’s sequence begins in native charity retailers round London, the place a gaggle of 11 artists have chosen objects made out of glass and copper alloys. The objects are then displayed within the V&A’s Santa Chiara Chapel, the place they sit till they’re chosen by the group to be repurposed. The glass items are melted down and blown to kind irregular vessels; bowls are stretched into hole, elongated droplets and a sherry glass is morphed right into a lopsided sphere. 

Omer Arbel, ‘Materials Experiments’ within the Santa Chiara Chapel on the V&A, a part of London Design Competition 2022

Subsequent, the group soften down the chosen metallic object and pour the molten liquid into the shortly contracting containers, inflicting them to shatter on the floor of the metallic and leading to a rigorously designed collision of science and artwork. 

Arbel’s work is process-based, ‘so a set of parameters are given to us for the design course of’ explains Jay MacDonell, glass-blower and director of fabric explorations at Bocci, ‘then we simply select no matter it takes, and the completely different points come collectively to kind a pathway’.

Omer Arbel, ‘Materials Experiments’ within the John Madejski Backyard on the V&A, a part of London Design Competition 2022

The enter from every resolution leaves imprints of the people concerned within the course of. MacDonell describes the patterns inside the copper alloy buildings as ‘like a reminiscence of the glass kind’, and this thread of recollections runs easily by Arbel’s idea for 113

The end result of the continued works, which Arbel began experimenting with in 2019, are spindly copper buildings, fragments of metallic are left suspended, floating however sustaining their new-found kind. The outside floor of the metallic contrasts with its opposing facet, having been shielded from oxidation by the seal of the now-shattered glass – one other shining element within the experiments that, deliberate or not, nods to the traits of the pure supplies. 

Omer Arbel, ‘Materials Experiments’ within the John Madejski Backyard on the V&A, a part of London Design Competition 2022

Arbel oozes with pleasure for the potential of a fabric overhaul: ‘What I’m proposing is type of a complete reconfiguration of the identical uncooked materials,’ he says. ‘I need to ask – what are valuable antiquities, what have they lived by and what’s their religious presence?’

Macdonnell takes the same tone, explaining that ‘we create this play on the worth of items from thrift retailers that value so little, however now they’re being proven on the V&A’.

Arbel’s inquisition begs the query: ought to we soften all of it down and begin once more? And why can we maintain so firmly onto relics of the previous. His clarification seems like a philosophically fuelled delve into how we worth bodily types, and with that question lingering within the air, he units one other intriguing parameter inside which our ideas can flourish. ‘It’s an ideal metaphor for the type of modifications which are taking place. Taking outdated issues, melting them down, after which a kind being formed by one thing that breaks.’ §

See the efficiency and course of


Leave a Comment