BlingCrete linocut, Task Architekten
Things have been a bit hectic around here, between the opening of Interloqui and gearing up for the installation of Songs of the Sea - but I wanted to post one last entry about a work from Facade: Through a Glass Darkly. The two large slabs of concrete propped against the back wall of the gallery are perhaps two of the more unassuming objects in the exhibition, but that's also what makes them special.
Upon closer inspection, the textured surfaces of the slabs are distinguishable as individual spheres of glass partially embedded in the concrete. This is BlingCrete, a material that is being tested and publicised for many different uses both decorative and practical. The name of the product is also the name of the group which pioneered its manufacture and is also exploring the creation of other new building materials and their applications. BlingCrete is headed by artist Heike Klussmann and architect Thorsten Klooster.
The most striking thing about the BlingCrete, I think, is the way its appearance alters depending upon how it's lit. The natural light coming through the windows in the Contemporary Gallery creates a gentle shimmering effect as the slabs are viewed from different angles. This illustrates two of the possible functions of BlingCrete: directional signage, which would only be visible from certain positions; and as a means to amplify a light source through reflection. (On the BlingCrete website, there are several beautiful examples of the reflective powers of this material - can you imagine a room made entirely of BlingCrete bricks in bright colours? Perhaps a garden wall, or a kitchen backsplash....)
On display alongside the BlingCrete slabs are smaller sections of different variations, as well as a series of linocuts that were made to illustrate the physical attributes of the material. They are simple cross-section illustrations, but the bold black-and-white geometric shapes are pleasing in and of themselves.
If you're intrigued, definitely have a look at the website - there are lots of photographs as well as detailed explanations of BlingCrete's many forms.