words dance inside eyes, imagination sings out loud, awakening slumber time, when first impressions touch, anxious phoenix dreams, that reveal surprise petals, blooming on second glance ~ ebon heath
last week i was invited to berlin for the launch of villeroy & boch‘s second glance project, in collaboration with brooklyn-based graphic artist ebon heath, best known for his unique spatial installations.
more often than not, as ceramic experts villeroy & boch identified, ” it is well-placed (style) clashes and targeted disruptions that drive the dynamics of innovation.” as a brand that has strived in the past to explore and break new ground in terms of technology and design, it seemed a natural progression for them to pursue a new and exciting direction for the modern age, and encourage “exchange and cross-pollination of different and diverging approaches to allow something entirely new to spring from it’s contextural, technological and aethestic intersections.”
the second glance project is designed to “imbue art with tangible immediacy, with surprising moments and frictional aesthetics that breathe new life into the streamlined elegance of a gently curved ceramic object…[and] throw a welcome spotlight on the merits of creative/craft combinations that might seem unusual at first look.”
it was certainly a unique and intriguing apprach, and i was eager to see the results of this interdisciplinary collaboration; a series of 100 limited edition loop & friends ceramic basins hand-decorated with 18 carat white gold embellishments in an abstract design representative of the company’s rich brand history. each design is unique and requires a second (and sometimes third!) glance to decipher the context of the various drawings depicting historical products, buildings and people who have influenced villeroy & boch’s rich heritage; a first glance shows modernity, the second glance reveals tradition.
even more awe-inspiring however, was the typographic mobile that ebon was inspired to create, taking advantage of villeroy & boch’s material and décor expertise and blending their core competancy ceramics with his pronounced penchant for typography. the resulting installation comprised 166 individual ceramic letters and was assembled especially for the presentation at the seven star gallery on gormanstraße. under an ever-changing lighting sequence, the words of the second glance poem were revealed as if in a dreamlike state, and it was fascinating watching the reactions of all those in attendance, as they first viewed from the fringes, before moving into the installation to further immerse themselves in the work, as if the words have been brought to life.