Image Credit: Philip Beesley/ ROM
Updated 12.16.2018 / I developed a concept for a global outreach program for the “Philip Beesley: Transforming Spaces” exhibit.
I recently volunteered to work in Philip Beesley’s studio for a handful of days (for creative practice hours), helping with fabrication for an installation that was commissioned for an upcoming tour beginning in Vienna in October. The evening of my first day, I was invited to “Le Metabolism: Transforming Design on Film,”an artist talk at the Royal Ontario Museum — including a screening of the film “Le Metabolism” about the making of the ROM Dome Dress; access to the 2 exhibits “Philip Beesley: Transforming Space” and “Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion”; and a private reception. The ROM commissioned Dome Dress was the focus of the documentary and artist talk, and became the hinge between the two exhibits. Four (of their ten) shared designs are on display in van Herpen’s adjacent exhibit. A Dutch designer known for “her otherworldly dresses, and shoes that defy the laws of physics, [van Herpen] has become a designer of choice for culture-bending style icons, Lady Gaga, Cara Delevingne, Beyonce and Bjork” (Style Meets Science).
Given how expansive the two exhibits are and their thematic differences, I have chosen to focus on “Philip Beesley: Transforming Spaces” for my exhibition reflection. Just to provide further context, in their studio, I spent several days working on the fabrication of the star/ globe pieces in acrylic and the conical spikes for the larger globes (the Noosphere structures) — laser printed, acrylic heat formed pieces, meticulously constructed with tiny fasteners (joiners, tubing, acrylic nails) in the shape of a globe with star-like spikes. Twenty small acrylic globes were needed for their upcoming exhibit, although there were several larger and similar sized ones to be made from metal as well. Each (small) globe took an entire day for one person to fabricate. Not only was it really insightful to see how a studio at this scale manages their workflow/ spaces for the development of int’l touring exhibitions, but it was really cool to see similar fixtures in the exhibit to what I had spent the day fabricating in their studio.