A Mirror Darkly
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Nick Ross was born in Scotland in 1986. He studied at Gray´s School of Art in Aberdeen on the Industrial Design programme where he was awarded the Arts & Heritage prize for his graduation project in 2008. In early 2009 he moved to Rotterdam to work under Tomáš Gabzdil Libertíny and later moved to Stockholm to work for FRONT until the spring of 2010. In 2011 he became a tutor at Gray´s School of Art and worked there until enrolling on the masters programme in Interior Architecture and Furniture Design at Konstfack in Stockholm where he received his MFA in 2013. Upon graduating he worked as assistant to Matti Klenell until founding his own studio in early 2014.
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The fact that human beings, unlike animals, recognize themselves in the reflected images of their bodies forms speculations on the role of the image in the development of the human psyche. One’s awareness of one's own position within the physical world and the ability to imagine that position in relation to other physical objects is one which makes the mirror such an alluring object to study. To start off I wanted to go back to a point where humans had just started to place importance on the ability to see themselves in some sort of reflection which they could control and contain in some form. There is actually no concrete evidence but some historians believe that small ceramic bowls may have been used to contain water which could be used as table top mirrors during the late Stone Age. The fact that it cannot be proven also adds to the objects mystery. Is this a new object, or an old one reinvented? I wanted to take this notion and create a modern object which questioned its possible past and its relation to ‘the self’. 2013 Mirror, Copper, Digital Print, Silver Oxide, Carnauba Wax - 30 x 30 x 10 cm
The choices made by those who write and disseminate history can become so deep set that once our understanding changes we are still unable to accept them. We choose to curate or direct the past in the way we want it to be seen as it affirms the decisions we make in the present. If we later find this to be untrue it can question the reasoning behind those past decisions which are in turn based on the then present understanding of past decisions. In this case I chose to look at our connection with the marble sculptures of the ancient Romans and Greeks. These to us are symbols of artistic and cultural good taste. The opposite of this could be seen as what the Romans might call barbaric. We have known years that Roman and Greek sculptures were painted and in recent years thanks to new technology we have been able to re-create some of those vibrant works of art as they originally might have looked. Although this is what we would now consider to be true representations we still cannot accept them. To us they are garish, crude and kitsch. But can a new object change our mind-set? 2013 Bianco Carrara Marble, Transparent Spray Paint (blue) - 45 x 45 x 80 cm
'Baltic Gold’ looks at cultural transfer and trade routes in ancient times. They serve as the carriers of information yet due to the large distances travelled and the many exchanges of hand which take place during trips information can get twisted. The hypothetical ‘Amber Road’ is a trade route of amber from Scandinavia and the Baltic states down to the Mediterranean, which may have existed as early as the late Palaeolithic era. It is said that the amber road may have caused the bringing of the bronze age to Scandinavia due to the flood of new information coming in from the south when trading with cultures such as the Mycenaean’s and the ancient Egyptian’s. I wanted to take this notion and transform it into an object, using the story of the Object Mediator as a method for creating the narrative around it. The outcome is an archetypical bookshelf in raw polyurethane, the bookshelf was chosen as it holds knowledge yet it is not seen as an item of high status. Overtime the material darkens in UV light which means after years of usage it will contain the ghost shadows of the books and objects which filled it shelves, glimpses of its past use. 2013 Raw Polyurethane, Brass - 40 x 30 x 200 cm
Since ancient times awards have been given out to recognise success and achievement, the modern ‘trophy’ is based on the vessels given out during the Olympic Games in ancient Greece which were designed to contain sacred oils. Over time the focus of the trophy's form has shifted from a container to what is now merely a symbol of its past function. The awards were created by casting synthetic plaster into sports trophy forms. With the awards for 2011 we wanted to put the contents back into the trophy to create something with more substance. By taking iconic trophy shapes we created solids from the inside vacuum within to create a type of inverted form. These solids are then placed upon tripods (a form used in ancient Rome for a similar purpose) so that the pieces are suspended, placing a sense of importance and fragility upon them. 2011 Steel, Copper Plating, Jesmonite - Various sizes In collaboration with Fraser Reid
Ever since architects started taking down interior walls to create airy open spaces, a new set of problems have arisen. Whilst these areas are more communal, there is an issue with finding discrete, private areas which take you away from the noise of open spaces. Confession is a new furniture archetype which seeks to resolve these problems of privacy and seclusion. It enables the creation of a space for a quick meeting, to hear a personal story, a quiet place to read the paper with a coffee or even somewhere to indulge in office gossip. It also reminds us of what we lose in the era of shared and open communication. Instead of erecting walls to create personal and confidential spaces, which can prove expensive, these communal areas can be furnished in a new way at a fraction of the cost and hassle. 2012 Steel, Oak, Polyester Felt - 183 x 70 x 100 cm
The chair is the pinnacle piece of human creation as it holds our form and raises us off the ground, a sign of our movement form simple cave dwellers to the people we are today. But in most cases in nature we revert back to our humble beginnings by sitting on the ground. This can be seen as a form of escapism from our built environment, with all our tools and technology, but since the modern human (homo sapiens sapiens) was born with tool in hand there is no such thing as a tool free humanity. It is human nature to create tools or aids, an existence without this would not be a human existence. With this in mind I wanted to create something that was symbol for our human nature to create new tools or aids. The natural world is not safe from our ‘human’ nature to populate it with man made objects. Stray is such an object, it challenges our assumptions about furniture and seating. Imagining a new object type and tapping into our curious nature. 2008 Birch Plywood, Steel - 80 x 45 x 45 cm
Unable to start with a blank canvas, nature must work with what already exists to create improved variants in what is a constant development process. The application of this fluid method to the project enables a never-ending variety of forms, colours, and materials to be used; a working platform that continues to expand. Unconstrained by time, the collection is never quite complete, instead a perpetual work in progress. 2011 Pine, Rubber, Ink, Wool - Various sizes (Aboriginal chair 85 x 45 x 34 cm) In collaboration with Fraser Reid
With modern mapping technology we can accurately create digital versions of our planet and with new machining technology we can then physically produce these forms with extreme accuracy. The physical data is taken from a lakes bathymetry scan and this data is then imported into a 3-D programme to the create digital form. This form is then re-translated into the physical object. 2008 Pewter - 10x 12 x 7 cm
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