Tuesday, 28 August 2012

On Display

On Display © Alberto Ferretto
Fabrica and &Foam: Still Lights series

On Display, plate cabinet (Kirsty Minns, UK)

It's a peculiarly English thing, it seems, to hang plates up on a wall. I've never seen the sense in it myself, but apparently plenty of people are quite happy to treat them as objets d'art rather than objets d'eating.

An Englishwoman herself, Kirsty Minns chose to create On Display for the Still Lights collection in reference to this odd national characteristic. However, perhaps in reaction to some of the more rococo designs you often find on the walls of some English homes, On Display is more geometric and, dare I say, quite hip.

On Display © Alberto Ferretto

Above all, On Display is an interpretation of the technique of contre-jour, whereby a subject is photographed against the light source, creating a dark silhouette and a halo of light at the subject's edges. Minns achieves this effect by using powerful strip lighting (provided by project partner Philips) to produce a cool, silvery glow behind and around On Display's oak casing, which itself follows the proportions of a standard 10x15 photographic print. There is hanging space inside for twelve dinner plates, although you might not notice them at first. Each plate has its own unique set of platinum glaze stripes that, when aligned with the laser-cut gaps in the steel sliding doors, effectively camouflage them inside. It has taken precise measuring, along with plate numbering and positioning, to ensure they are all hung in the correct order and angle.
On Display © Alberto Ferretto

I may have been missing the point but I had to ask. Could these plates, in fact, be used for dining? Minns assured me they could, being all coated with standard ceramic glaze. Good to know, I thought. So now you can turn your dinner party into a parlour game as you all try to figure out how to put them all back in the right place.

On Display © Alberto Ferretto

Jonathan Crawford

You can see On Display and the other products in the series Still Lights at &Foam until 21 October 2012.

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