"Inspired by the V&A" COMPETITION!

Inspired by… is an arts competition and exhibition supported by the Rootstein Hopkins Foundation, celebrating and showcasing new works inspired by the V&A’s collections.

This included an exhibition at Morley Gallery London, May 8th - May 26th 2018

What can't be seen

The piece is inspired by the Middle East section of the V&A, and in particular, an Iranian tile, a caption about geometric patterns and wooden window panels (moucharabiehs) on display.

© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

My background is in mathematics and the descriptions intrigued me to decipher how the geometric patterns were built. My own research took me down a very linear path and my Morley tutors pushed me to think larger & broader as well as to model in non-traditional materials such as sticks & glue gun, cardboard, paint, strings…


I was drawn to the deep Cobalt blue of the Iranian tile, which I mirrored in the use of deep blue perspex and lapis lazuli beads. The description of its construction also intrigued me, with the term “cuerda seca” or dry rope, leading me to attempt to replicate it with nylon cord. I found the result so appealing, I decided to make it a feature with neon orange, rather than hide it.


The moucharabiehs inspired me to delve into the concept of transparency and to “see but stay unseen”. I have used transparent blue & clear perspex and cut-out shapes in the larger star, which allow the cord to be seen, as well as mirror perspex so the person looking at the necklace can see themselves reflected.

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© 2020 by ​Atelier Leana.