Design extraordinaire Ron Arad has taken over London this month, with his creations popping up at The Roundhouse, St. Pancras station and The Royal Academy of Arts.
The Tel-Aviv born designer and architect has called North London his home for 40 years now. Often described as the ‘bad body of British design’ Arad is known for breaking convention. He launched his career with the Rover Chair in 1981, which he made from a Rover P6 leather seat and steel bars from a milking stall, all of which he found at a Chalk Farm scrapyard one lunchtime after quitting his job that morning.
Let’s look at some of his remarkable designs cropping up this month ...
1/ Curtain Call at The Roundhouse, Chalk Farm
Open until 29th August 2016
Ron Arad has always insisted on dispensing with the boundaries between art and design and Curtain Call is all at one an artwork, an installation, a cinema and a concert venue. It’s a remarkable structure, constructed of 5,600 silicone rods which form a 360 degree curtain within the Roundhouse’s main space. The work was shown back in 2011 and has returned to celebrate The Roundhouse’s 50th anniversary. Arad has invited returning and new artists to create projections for the structure. The projections are short films in themselves, some are surreal, some experimental and others are technological and complex - all are ingenuitive and captivating. They include projections from Mat Colishaw, David Shrigley, Greenaway & Greenaway and Christian Marclay.
2/ Spyre at The Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly
On display until 21st August 2016
This extraordinary piece of kinetic art is made from COR-TEN steel for The Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition. The four rotating joints allow it to continuously morph into countless positions. It’s fitted with a camera at the top end which records and live streams arriving visitors onto a huge screen at the entrance of the RA. Ron Arad is known for pushing materials to their limits and creating art and architecture which go against the grain. Spyre is unpredictable, humorous and engaging, much like its creator Ron Arad.
3/ Thought of Train of Thought at St Pancras International Station
This monumental aluminium sculpture in London's St Pancras station comprises one 18-metre twisted blade. The blade rotates slowly, creating an optical illusion as light and reflections hit its surface. In a bustling and chaotic station, it welcomes visitors with an opportunity to reflect and invites a moment of calm.
"The rotation and the horizontal movement take turns in the viewers' perception as the readings of the object alternate and the hypnotic effect is greater than the means, so will hopefully be the delight of the public at St Pancras" - Ron Arad.