Veil by Paul Cocksedge



Milan 08: at Swarovski Crystal Palace designer Paul Cocksedge presented Veil, a crystal screen which contains an image of the Mona Lisa that is only visible when you look at it in a mirror.


The screen is four metres high and consists of 1,440 Swarovski crystals.


See our previous story for more about Swarovski Crystal Palace in Milan. See more from Paul Cocksedge in Milan here.


Here's some text from Swarovski:


‘Veil’ by Paul Cocksedge Studio creates an incredible visual illusion; when viewed through a mirror, the shimmering curtain reveals its hidden secret: an iconic image set within the canvas of crystals, and when the viewer looks back at the curtain, the image disappears. Cocksedge sees this first edition of ‘Veil’ for Swarovski Crystal Palace as a romantic illusion.

Following four photographs by Mark Cocksedge.





Posted on Tuesday May 13th 2008 at 2:59 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • JC

    can’t be so complicated. The mirror is placed quite high, from the mirror point of view (about 3.5 m high) one can see the pattern. a bit like the persian shutter system. what do you think?


    Well I was thinking of something similar as well. It cant be magic :) but the fact that everyone is trying to give an answer to this “mystery” makes this design more and more interesting. Great work though!!!

  • Fling

    Woooahh! Like the Da Vince code. The Mona Lisa was a man, y’know. But I would say that this isn’t design. Its a kind of art. The same kind of art where you can get the image of a sailing ship 3d etched internally into a block of perspex, ie. tacky.


    Nobody said that this is a product Fling. People nowadays can not accept this marriage between art and design but come on guys, a product does not have to be just a functional piece. It can very well be a statement piece. Art is creation so design. Two different disciplines but perceiving a product as a piece of art, makes the product more valuable and unique instead of another one sterile product that a machine created millions of times.

  • Will

    Its Art- not Design-Art thankfully

    Best thing at Crystal Palace

  • Bonzo

    Fling has a point – why pick an image as naff as the mona lisa? its because it is neither art nor design – it’s a facination with a technique, and the artist/designer has not managed to rise above the basic knowledge to really originate. Its a showcase for a process.

  • blank

    I Don’t know, John Maeda did something similar with Pantone pens and the Mona Lisa. If you didn’t recognise it instantly then the ‘trick’ would be lost in the time taken to figure out what the image was. Really clever installation. It’s creative. Not art or design but simply creative.

    The crystal palace is a branding exercise (same as Bisazza), showcasing creativity and crystal within the confines of a design fair.


    Thats a piece of design and definately not a piece of art Will. Artist do not take client projects. Designers do. When we speak about design we do not necessarily refer to product design.

  • jek

    this is great, its not clear how it works and I like that. Interesting. Actually to me this debate about the chosen iconic image is pointless, if no-one had told me that was the Mona Lisa, I probably wouldn’t have even noticed, ha-ha. Its a cool trick that could develop into something much more interesting should Mr P Cocksedge want to take it further. I’d like to see it developed further.

  • Will

    Paolo, thanks for disagreeing with me- lets agree to disagree-

    I would opinion that this is in the same vein as Artist Mark Wallinger’s
    ‘ Time and Relative Dimensions in Space’.

    ‘Artist do not take client projects’ er.. since when Paolo?

    Artists call them ‘Patrons’.

    Examples – Chapman bros (product graphic), Beleschenko(Architectural installations), even Tracey Emin(Fashion design)

  • Justina

    When was design estranged from art or technology? Isn’t it one in the same? I believe this object proves it …Fling.

  • Gen_Eve

    I disagree with ‘Bonzo’. Choosing the Mona Lisa as the image was not ‘naff’, it was a fitting and intelligent decision. Seeing as the Veil piece was shown in Milan and the history of the Mona Lisa being taken from Milan by Napoleon. To have it magically ‘reappear’ there was brilliant. Whether this was part of his thought process or not, it was poetic.