• Fig Leaf

Boontje, Tord, 2008, Art or design object, Fig Leaf

Abstract or Description:

Boontje is a practice-based researcher whose material outputs over 20 years have been vehicles for ideas, characterised by Teasley (2009) as ‘privileging the processes of making and thinking’, confronting apparent oppositions such as modernism and decorativeness, object and narrative, advanced technologies and craft skills.
The Fig Leaf Wardrobe was based on 18th-century techniques and materials in sophisticated furniture making. Its doors were made of over 600 hand-enamelled metal fig leaves, mounted on a steel armature shaped as branches. It housed a bronze tree structure set against a jacquard woven silk background. It was commissioned by antique dealers Mallett for the inaugural Meta collection of 11 works launched at the Milan Furniture Fair 2008. An extreme exploration of craft techniques, it involved over 75 makers in six ateliers. The research examined the potential for craft techniques and skills in contemporary design, and the processes and materials of 18th-century European production. The process also involved sketching, model making, testing, and prototyping with the artisans involved. It led to new links and collaborations between diverse artisans in the UK and highlighted the risks of losing advanced craft skills.
A central piece of the V&A Museum’s ‘Telling Tales’ exhibition (2009), the Wardrobe evokes myth and fantasy in a modern aesthetic and was extensively discussed in relation to the dynamic between object and narrative in the related book by Williams. The work was also discussed in the Guardian (2009), Independent (2009), Financial Times (2008 and 2010) and New York Times (2008 and 2009). It was also included in the exhibitions ‘Made by Meta’, Milan (2008) and ‘Designs of the Year’, Design Museum, London (2009).

Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W700 Crafts
School or Centre: School of Design
Date Deposited: 03 Nov 2013 14:04
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2018 14:26
URI: https://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/1503
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