Studio Swine New Spring Interview
COS at Salone del Mobile

Studio Swine New Spring 2
Studio Swine New Spring

For this year’s edition of Salone del Mobile, Milan’s annual design and furniture fair, COS has recruited Japanese architect Azusa Murakami and British artist Alexander Groves, the enigmatic duo behind Studio Swine. The London based firm works across many mediums, from fine art to film and their multidisciplinary work has previously been exhibited at the Victoria & Albert museum and the Museum of Art and Design in New York. While Studio Swine is a name few are likely to forget, the duo’s animalistic monicker is actually an abbreviation. Swine stands for ‘Super Wide Interdisciplinary New Explorers’ – and the studio’s work follows suit. For their 2015 work North Pacific Gyre explores traditional crafts using materials found at sea ( a Studio Swine sculpture from the series is made of sea plastic, green abalone shell, rope and shackle), Murakami and Groves set out on a seaborne exploration, travelling from the Azores to the Canaries through the North Atlantic Gyre. For this year’s Salone del Mobile, Cos extended Carte Blanche to Studio Swine. “We really had an open brief from COS”, the duo tells us from sunny Milan, explaining the commission. “They wanted us to execute our first idea we presented, which was very gratifying.”

Studio Swine New Spring

Guidance for the duo’s immersive New Spring installation came from the city itself and their chosen location. “Of course there are guiding factors, like the space itself, which we were so inspired by”, so the artists explained. New Spring, which is open to the public to visit, takes over Cinema Arti, a decommissioned and abandoned theatre in the city’s historic centre. “We were immediately drawn to the Murano chandeliers housed in private Milanese palazzos and, by contrast, the tradition of modernist Italian design – these helped inform the central structure of New Spring. With a desire to create a communal experience, another key reference for us became Italy’s public fountains, one of the country’s greatest luxuries”, the two creatives said,  describing their work.

“The multi-sensory installation centres around a blossoming sculpture which evokes seasonality with something ephemeral and fleeting”, explains Studio Swine their New Spring installation, which features snow-like white gelatinous spheres dropping from a sparse aluminium tree, ready to be caught by visitors. “2016 was a year full of changes and crisis, we wanted to create an installation that could be a moment of contemplation.  The inspiration for the installation was nature and the changing of the seasons which has a universal beauty creating a democratic experience. Like the cherry blossom festival in Japan, the installation is designed to bring people together by creating a special moment, giving people a shared experience”.

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The Royal Academy of Arts
Studio Swine New Spring 2
Studio Swine New Spring