During the Renaissance period, there arose in the homes of royalty and noblemen a ‘cabinet of curiosities’ or a room of bizarre items and antiquities of unknown origins. It was meant to be a precursor to a museum. The ‘Wunderkammer’ as it was called has shifted slightly in meaning over the ages. In today’s world, it is an artistic space where all kinds of exquisite, modern, abstract art are presented. To celebrate 120 years of Swarovski, one such room of ‘frivolous expression’ has been created by well-known Belgian designer Studio Job. The installation is at the recently reopened Swarovski Crystal Worlds or Kristallwelten in Wattens, Austria.
In a room that appears like a kaleidoscope with stained glass and a burst of colours, a model of an exquisite mountain has been built by a team of artists. The mountain is cast in iron and has a sheet of white snow made of Swarovski crystals.
The man-made crystal slopes have diverse monumental wonders as well as traditional and quaint charms of the Alpine haven. New York’s Statue of Liberty, London’s Big Ben, Saint Basil’s Cathedral of Moscow, the Kremlin, the extravagant 19th century Hungarian Neuschwanstein castle and inevitably, the Swarovski factory.
Snaking down the slope is a freight train carrying gold and running on golden tracks. There is also a subterranean train station that looks like the ‘Railway Cathedral’ Belgium’s majestic Antwerp Central Station, in a gap in the rockface.
There is also a helipad with a Chinook helicopter, at the summit it seems.
Statues of Napolean and David appear in between, as well as a mine shaft, tunnels, bridges and traditional Alpine chalets.
All the figures are gilded and hand painted … and very colourful.
The room has a ceiling that resembles the Pantheneon of Rome, featuring mirrored panels. The walls have stained glass windows with colourful patterns of musical instruments, which is also the print beneath the mountain structure.
The sculpture is detailed and complex, but most of all it seems like a bit of an eye sore, to be honest. All the colours, geometric patterns and quirkiness seem like a one pot meal with too many flavours for the palette.
[Via – Dezeen]