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  • Stealth Visor for the Duke of Wellington

Mclean, Flora, 2012, Art or design object, Stealth Visor for the Duke of Wellington

Abstract or Description:

This site-specific installation was created as part of the Hatwalk open-air sculpture walk (London, July–August 2012) created for the Cultural Olympiad 2012. A collaboration between the Mayor of London and Grazia, and curated by Stephen Jones and Philip Treacy, Hatwalk brought together 21 of Britain’s most renowned milliners to create bespoke pieces to be placed on the heads of well-known London statues across the city.
McLean’s contribution, Stealth Visor, was created for the statue of the Duke of Wellington at Wellington Arch. A large, semi-opaque red Perspex visor, the piece was inspired by the construction of paper aeroplanes and modern military technology, with its ambiguity – being transparent yet visible – evoking the nature of stealth bombers. McLean took into account the unconventional size and purpose of the hat when researching and planning its construction. The Stealth Visor underwent rigorous testing by structural engineers at the MIRA wind tunnel testing facility, to ensure that the hat and its bindings could withstand extreme weather conditions. McLean then made revisions to the design. To realise the final piece, McLean used laser-measuring tools, while assembly and fitting was facilitated by crane.
Hatwalk brought new meaning to the familiar faces of national public authority. With Stealth Visor, McLean created the effect of surprise and a Brechtian ‘de-familiarisation’ resulting from the unexpected – a carnivalesque inversion of authority.
Replicas of all the pieces were displayed at the BT London Live exhibition in Hyde Park, London during July and August 2012 as part of an interactive event which encouraged imaginative audience participation through social media. Hatwalk received wide national and international attention (e.g. Vogue’s website featured an image of Stealth Visor, 2012). The hats were later auctioned to raise money for the Mayor’s Fund for good causes.

Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W100 Fine Art > W130 Sculpture
Creative Arts and Design > W200 Design studies > W230 Clothing/Fashion Design
School or Centre: School of Material
Date Deposited: 26 Oct 2013 20:03
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2017 14:48
URI: http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/1457

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