GROUND LEVEL, GREAT HALL
SPAIN, BORN 1961
LIVES AND WORKS IN MILAN
Recycled woollen island 2020 is the first major installation by the designer in Australia; a large-scale, floor-based installation commissioned by the NGV. The installation is an interactive resting place that encourages audiences to pause and reflect on the intricate details and colour arrays of the NGV Great Hall ceiling by artist Leonard French. The project consists of numerous super-sized ‘socks’ resting on a carpet ‘island’. Drawing on Urquiola’s ongoing investigation into environmental production, recycled textile, and artisanal crafts, the work turns recycled wool felt and upcycled PET textile into sophisticated furnishings – hand fabricated by Valencia-based furniture and textile manufacturer GAN with associated artisans. Continuing Urquiola’s passion for the capacity of objects to have an embedded narrative, message or meaning, this project draws upon the universal language of humour. Giant socks create a quirky and evocative landscape within which to rest and play. Urquiola’s intention is for these ‘soft giants’ to create a utopian space where socks are larger than humans, and where the colours of the ceiling plus the colours of the installation will ‘melt together with each sun ray’.
Patricia Urquiola studied architecture and design at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid and completed her studies at the Politecnico di Milano. In Spain, she has been awarded the Golden Medal for Merits in Art and received the Cross of the Order of Isabella the Catholic. In 2001 Urquiola founded her own studio where she specialised in industrial product design, architecture, art direction and strategy consulting. She has been the Creative Director of Italian designer furniture group Cassina since 2015. Urquiola’s work is exhibited in many art and design museums across the world, including MOMA in New York, the Decorative Arts Museum in Paris, the Triennale Museum in Milan, the Vitra Design Museum in Basel, and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. She has been named Designer of the Year by Wallpaper, Elle Decor International, AD España and Architecktur und Wohnen among other magazines.
The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Lead Supporter Joe White Bequest for their support.