THE EARTH SERIES
CANDECE OLSEN DREAM ON
THE AVERAGE HUMAN EYE IDENTIFIES COLOUR THE SAME WAY, BUT HOW WE IDENTIFY WITH COLOUR OPENS UP A WHOLE NEW SPECTRUM. IN THESE GREY AREAS, AS IT WERE, WE EXPLORE A WORLD OF COLOUR THAT IS RICH WITH INDIVIDUAL PERCEPTION.
The elixir of life that the human race has for centuries sought has been in front of us all along. And today, we are seeing the wrath of the very natural forces that are otherwise life-giving. The blue planet is drying up and our vulnerability to it is spurring a kind of creative activism beyond the usual agitations and protests.
Art and activism are no strangers to each other. Some would go as far as to say that art is activism. When something as basic to our existence as water is threatened, the response tends to lean towards the primal or the abstract. The duality of water in its many forms becomes fodder for the imagination. Its fluid yet definitive, fierce yet calming, and daring yet mellow qualities ar e inspiring design, music, poetry and the visual arts in a way that
reflects our current need for strength and optimism.
A central part of our political and social discourse, water has come to mean many, often contradictory, things. Nourishing and destructive, resilient and fragile, vast yet disappearing. Its ebb and flow is a telling metaphor for the balance between what we seek and what we fear losing. While the confluence of sacred rivers in the north brings millions together, another river down south keeps neighbouring states apart. This idea of water calls for introspection, a process that can stimulate unconventional thought and creative expression.
Arising out of the hope and desperation of our times, the decor palette plays on duality. Reflecting this conflicting mood, there is an underlying restlessness — a rise of creative activism that embraces unconventional, strong and sensitive voices. Reflecting the nature of water itself, transparent and fluid, yet strong enough to penetrate some of the hardest materials known to man, design tends towards layered narratives. Deceptively soft and incredibly enduring, materials
like velvet, oakwood and titanium work with a colour palette of delicate tones and powerful finishes. Patterns inspired by its flow, and textures, by its effect (rust and flocking) hint at the subconscious awareness of its fragility. Spaces resist confinement to a label or a fixed structure, not just taking the shape of boundaries (as water does) but carving its own boundless iden tity (as water ultimately will).