Champagne-Inspired Glithero Installation Unveiled at Design Miami/

Vanessa Martin
Lost in Time by Glithero
New Times: Tell us about the piece and what it represents.
Tim Simpson: We wanted to make a sculptural installation that was somehow a material or not a physical material, and so we borrowed the principal of Gaudi who made the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. In making that church, Gaudi had this fascinating way of thinking and sketching using configurations of string that were hung from the ceiling with weights that when you flipped upside down, revealed a kind of beautiful way of creating a curve that was also structural.

The idea was to take that principal of something only existing in reflection and turning into a landscape to sort of go bigger in scale. So the piece is made from nickel strung beads; they have a kind of poise and perfect weight and stillness that you don't find with string or thread or something lighter that can settle in a still way. They hang over a shallow basin of water. Some people at first don't realize it's water and they come in and touch the water, and that's great, I love it when it happens because they upset the water and the sculpture sort of instantly disappears. For us, the most important thing is what's happening in that water, it's really about that view and the part that's hanging above it is almost a consequence of that.

Vanessa Martin
Reflection of the descending strings in the water. Pictures just don't to do it justice.

You both visited the Maison Belle Epoque in Epernay earlier this year -- can you tell us how that influenced your work?
Tim: We visited the house where the Champagne was made and that was an important part of working with Perrier-Jouet, to understand how they make their product. It was an important experience because some of the things we felt there or some of the things we saw and experienced were some of the things that we wanted to evoke here in Miami.

We were particularly interested in this particular moment where there's a transition between the upstairs, where one moment you're in a gorgeous chateau in Epernay with a bright landscape, and the next moment you descend through a door and down some stairs and the ambience changes instantly to a damp, moist environment. We loved the idea that it was sort of a parallel world that existed. You having reflection.

Sarah: There's also this interesting thing that, upstairs in the Maison Belle Epoque, you have this Art Nouveau collection and Art Nouveau uses impressions in nature a lot and if you go down into the cellars, you get this humid atmosphere that is really like a natural experience in a way with puddles and chalky textures of the walls. It somehow has to do with the same natural theme in two different ways of interpretation.

What are the different types of reactions or emotions you aimed to provoke in the common viewer of this piece?
Tim: First of all, it's about a moment of revelation or reveal. You don't see the reflection when you walk in, but you do when you approach it so you get this other dimension to it. That's actually something that we are always interested in all our work, being authors of a kind of moment and how that moment is delivered. We wanted to make something that was peaceful, that sort of evokes the experience we had in Epernay.

How long did it take to create?
Tim: We started in the summer, so half a year.

Sarah: It stared with a conversation and then we went to see the cellars in Epernay. All the ingredients slowly gathered and the idea gradually became clearer and clearer.

So yo got to drink lots of Champagne?
Sarah: Yes. We had to taste everything, of course.

As a team, is there a specific approach you take in the process of designing and creating?
Tim: We are sort of switchers as we work. We always work on things together, not always at the same time. It's sort of like a baby that gets handed between us. Sometimes we completely swap points of view and that's always really important part of the process when we are handling each other's ideas.

Sarah: We tend to start with our own vision but the same direction and then we talk and talk to sharpen our vision and to explain our vision to each other. What happens a lot of the time is that I end up with Tim's vision and Tim ends up with my vision. We tend to understand one another's position and we even get more enthusiastic about one another's position and that's an idea slowly forms itself.

Being here in Miami for Art Basel, what's it like for you to be a part of it all?
Sarah: This is our first time in Miami and it's an incredible experience. It seems that there's a real nurturing of young design talent. It's really important for designers like us to be a part of it.

Tim: It's really important that there are these hubs here in Miami, Basel, and Milan. It's really important that it's so big, that it attracts big numbers of visitors and sponsors because for us it means that we can undertake projects that we'd otherwise never have a chance to realize, or try things, or make things that are experimental or unfinished.

Sarah: Also to make a larger statement as designers. Getting this opportunity is a very special occasion.

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