Dezeen Magazine

Frozen in Time by Studio Wieki Somers at Galerie Kreo

Lighting and furniture that appear to be covered in ice will be on show at Galerie Kreo in Paris later this week as part of an exhibition of new work by Dutch designers Studio Wieki Somers.

Called Frozen in Time, the collection features objects that have been dipped in a clear UV-sensitive resin and hardened by exposure to light.

The exhibition opens 30 January and continues until 20 March.

Photographs are by Fabrice Gousset, Courtesy Galerie Kreo.

Here's some more information from Studio Wieki Somers, written by Louise Schouwenberg:


Studio Wieki Somers
Frozen in Time

What struck us at first was the formal, visual beauty. Well-known forms, hiding beneath a transparent skin, had gained a melancholy glow.

But there was more. On a deeper level the items seemed to have turned into tales from another, yet familiar world. Through the metamorphosis, caused by nature, the strangely familiar items seemed to communicate something which has always been there and was only waiting to be unveiled,

Paradoxically the cover of ice caused a dis-covering. This very tension between down-to-earth familiarity and meanings hiding underneath the skin of products is a theme which surfaces in almost all the designs of Studio Weiki Somers; for instance in High Tea Pot, Bathboat and the Merry-go-round coat rack designed for Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen Rotterdam.

Also the way to produce the subtle merging of functionality and poetry - for instance by freezing a process or by connecting things through an extra layer - can be seen in works like Blossoms, Mattress Stone Bottle and Departed Glory.

Wieki Somers: "I have always been interested in the character and possibilities of materials, in which I believe stories are hiding that can be liberated, much in the tradition of what the classical sculptors claimed to do. Wasn't it Michelangelo who said the figures were waiting in the marble to be released by the artist? Comparable to that idea I was always convinced that materials and techniques have an inner meaning."

Flowering sprigs seem to merge with a lamp, the construction of stools is hiding within a transparent skin and branches bow under the weight of icy layers, seemingly for a few moments only. The objects look like frozen moments in time. They are well-known in their functionality - lamps, stools, vases - but mysterious in their connections of contrasting elements and their silent appearance.


The inspiration for the project was taken from the photographs of a natural phenomenon that struck the north-east of the Netherlands on 2 March 1987, when twenty to thirty millimeters of icy rain poured down from the sky. The glazed frost brought public life to a complete standstill and produced a layer of ice on everything it landed on, branches and trees, lampposts, clotheslines from which drops of ice were drooping.

The half-transparent ice connected things in a matter-of-fact and extremely poetic way. For one day the sidewalk, bicycles and trees merged into one, while cars seemed to stick in the streets forever. Only one day. When the ice started to melt down trees could continue to grow their blossoms and cars could pursue their tours.

The process

"Ice preserves, conserves, protects, eternalises. After the ice has melted life continues. A frozen item is still, white, encircled by silence, while within one suspects a vibrant life, waiting for the ice to melt down. A moment in time. A moment within a process. For "frozen in time" we searched for a material which would have the appeal and workings of ice.

UV Topcoat, a liquid resin, is a fluid material in which items can be dipped while kept in the dark. After exposing it to sunlight the material will 'freeze' into a solid hard layer. Besides it aesthetic qualities the UV Topcoat can bind several elements and strengthen constructions of many kinds. The result is a covered world which uncovers the mysteries that hide within everyday objects."

Studio Weiki Sommers is a collaboration between Weiki Somers and Dylan van den Berg.