Spanish architect and designer Patricia Urquiola has partnered with GAN in a strong creative alliance –a collaboration that has produced successes like MIRAGE, NUANCES, BANDAS, MANGAS ORIGINAL, MANGAS SPACE, GARDEN LAYERS and DEGRADE– and now includes her first big project in Australia within the context of the NGV Triennial “Recycled Woolen Island”, open until April 18, 2021.
The island of recycled wool, devised by Urquiola and developed together with the team of GAN creators and craftsmen, uses only leftover materials and aims to find a new idea of beauty that starts from waste. It narrative is built around the spontaneous simple gesture of leaving socks on the floor, as it happens perhaps in every household. These large-scale socks become seating modules, enabling the creation of shared lounging areas that can be changed and adapted freely by the public. There is no right disposition; the audience is encouraged to play with the pieces, to make themselves comfortable and to look up at the mesmerising view of Leonard French’s stained-glass artwork on the ceiling of the hall.
The choice of the terrazzo look of the pieces was fundamental because it allowed using fibers from leftover material. Indeed, working closely with GAN, Patricia Urquiola chose to design an installation using felt manufactured with a special technique that makes it possible to use wool from discards or surplus from production, while 100% recycled PET yarn is used to weave the letters in the bands and in the wall pieces.
A tapestry made of recycled felt and a manifesto made from polyethylene fibers welcome visitors to the installation, displaying a striking mission statement: “Welcome to the Woolen Island: just lay back and feel at ease. Waste is part of my beauty. Regeneration is my nature. Hop on, look up. I am a creation of my woolen ancestors. We are all connected and interdependent. Waste is reinvention. Reinvention is progress. A metamorphic world. The mesmerising view”.
Alongside Patricia Urquiola, a hundred artists from more than 30 countries are participating in this event, which comprises an ambitious and diverse selection of works showcasing the vanguard of contemporary practice and offering a visually arresting and thought-provoking view of the world in an exhibition underpinned by four themes: Illumination, Reflection, Conservation, and Speculation.
“Recycled Woolen Island” can be visited from January 18 up until April 18 at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, the oldest, largest and most visited art museum in Australia.
You can find more information about the NGV Triennial at https://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/