london design festival: french designer mathieu lehanneur has relocated his ‘liquid marble installation’ to the victoria and albert museum during the london design festival. on this occasion, the piece takes on a new black hue that invites visitors to enter a meditative state, surrounded by the museum’s norfolk house music room. it is presented on a 30cm high pedestal, offering viewers a close-up experience of the enigmatic effect of contrasting materials – both liquid and solid at the same time – and encouraging contemplation. the installation evokes a surreal vision of the sea by mimicking the look and feel of rippling water. 

(main) image by ed reeve
(above) image by ed reeve



‘liquid marble’ sees lehanneur combine his passion for design, science, technology and art, and introduces an alchemic combination: nourished by science, and with a metaphysical approach. ‘liquid marble’ invites the visitors to experience the most innovative processes whilst letting the mind wander in the movements of the sea, for a moment of meditative reflection.


‘I’m always trying to understand how the human brain works, and how to put people in a very specific state of mind,’ says lehanneur. ‘the piece doesn’t move, but the reflection of light on the polished marble makes it feel like a real sea. the idea is to bring a piece of the water to a place where there is none, to create a contemplative experience.’


this intervention follows its previous presentation at the international garden festival in france.

(above) image by michel giesbrecht 




during its international gardens festival — on from now until november 2016 — french designer mathieu lehanneur brings a ‘liquid marble’ installation to the courtyard of domaine de chaumont-sur-loire centre d’arts et de nature in france. ‘petite loire’ highlights the ways in which marble, water and light come together to evoke a dynamic feeling of a river in motion. comprising a single piece of hand-polished green marble designed using 3D software, the surreal object reproduces the effect of wind passing over the surface of water, transforming an ephemeral moment into something solid. ‘petite loire’ — a continuation of lehanneur’s ‘liquid marble’ series — explores the potential of using algorithms to manifest a transitory moment in time. 


‘I wanted to address the garden with water as my muse,’ lehanneur says. ‘the water whose presence we sense even before we first catch sight of it below the château, flowing uninterrupted to the sea. some say the loire is france’s last wild river; it shapes and nourishes the landscapes, it passes through without ever pausing along the way.’

the installation is sited at the courtyard of domaine de chaumont-sur-loire centre d’arts et de nature
(above) image by michel giesbrecht 




‘petite loire is a freeze-frame, the river’s perpetual movement caught in a frozen, fossilized moment. a few dozen meters above the river’s natural level, petite loire cuts cleanly through the garden’s surface, delving into the soil to reveal a fluvial relief, both vertiginous and practicable, in green marble. I hope that, when passing the chateau gates, the visitor will experience something that comes close to a magic portal, to a forbidden place in so many fairytales. everything is liquid in this space, evanescent, enlightened, and yet it is executed in a material that is the one of the most solid imaginable.’

‘petite loire’ highlights the ways in which marble, water and light come together
image by michel giesbrecht 

the materials evoke a dynamic feeling of a river in motion
image by michel giesbrecht 

the installation comprises a single piece of hand-polished green marble designed using 3D software
image by michel giesbrecht 




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