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“Blush - Design In Full Colour”

Scholtens and Baijings’ first full retrospective has opened at the Stedelijk Museum ’s-Hertogenbosch.  We look at the accompanying film that captures both the duo’s aesthetic and process.

By Gabrielle Kennedy / 05-05-2011

The film playing inside the “Blush - Design In Full Colour” was created by Scheltens and Abbenes, with whom Scholtens and Baijings have collaborated on past projects. 

“They had their products but they wanted to add an extra element to the whole exhibition experience,” explains Maurice Scheltens of the award-winning design duo’s motivation.

Both he and Abbenes, who almost always work together, were given complete artistic freedom.  To come up with a concept, they locked themselves in a studio with ’ work and thought hard about what characterized their work.  Traditional craft, original form, a certain respect for materials – an approach that fed them and which they also could relate to.

The result is a magical piece about colour, materials and process.  It’s repetitive, mysterious, and feels somewhat unpredictable  - not unlike the actual design process.  At times it even feels like the viewer might have landed inside a swatch of textile and is traversing the boundaries and limitations of experimentation.

 “Scholtens and Baijings don’t sit down at a table and draw objects,” Scheltens says. “They go into a studio and make things.  We worked together on the ‘Amsterdam Armoire’ and during that time I saw them sitting on the ground with paper and scissors making shapes and sticking them together.  There was a lot of trial and error, which is also how we work.”

The two couples have a similar fastidiousness regarding details.  “The way we both work is very precise,” says Scheltens, “and despite an almost slick finis, both our work and theirs always has traces of the human touch, or a proof of process.”

A lot of products were filmed for this piece, although one complete product is never seen.  “Instead we used movement, horizontal lines and tried to focus a lot on weaving structures,” says Scheltens.

After a week in the editing suites, Scheltens showed a few seconds of the film to Scholtens and Baijlings.  “They loved it,” he says, “but they said what is it?  They didn't recognize it as a stem of one of their own wine glasses.”

Included in “Blush - Design In Full Colour” are lamps, rugs, tables, scarves, glassware, tableware and furniture. The film is playing in the middle of the exhibition and the music, which Scheltens and Abbenes had a sound engineer create from the noises the actual objects make, plays everywhere.

See Scheltens and Abbenes film here.

“Blush - Design In Full Colour” runs until August 28th at the Stedelijk Museum ’s-Hertogenbosch.

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