The first commission for the V&A’s new Sainsbury Gallery is Shade by Dutch London-based artist Simon Heijdens, an immersive experience of augmented natural light.
Shade is a cellular glass that filters natural sunlight into a play of light and shadow directly choreographed by the elements.
Wind gusts that pass the outside of the glass trigger the cells in the glass from opaque to clear to block or pass sunlight, filling the interior gallery space with a pattern of light driven by the passage of wind and sunlight outside.
As both the patterns of wind and the angle and volume of sunlight are constantly changing throughout the day and year, the otherwise perpetual and static interior space regains the unplanned character of the outdoors.
The Sainsbury Gallery is the V&A’s new 1100m sqm exhibition space. V&A Reveal celebrates the opening of the V&A Exhibition Road Quarter, the largest architectural project undertaken by the Museum in over 100 years designed by architect Amanda Levete.
Shade inaugurating new Sainsbury Gallery forms a momentous occasion that marks the third installation of Heijdens' ongoing work Shade, which was initially commissioned by The Art Institute Chicago in 2010, shortlisted for the Design Museum’s Design of the Year Award 2012 and installed on the 140 m2 curved glass facade of the Now Gallery London in 2014.
It is Heijdens’ second large scale commission for the V&A, after the living digital plant projections of Heijdens’ pivotal work Lightweeds
were illuminating the hoarding of the V&A’s Exhibition Road facade in 2008, when the works to the new entrance and Sainsbury Gallery where Shade is now installed, were just beginning.
Click here for more images and video
of other installations of Shade
Shade is open to the public at the V&A Museum from June 28th
Victoria & Albert Museum
London SW7 2RL
June 28 - July 5 2017
Weekdays 10pm - 6pm
Friday June 30 10pm - 10pm
Shade is directly affected by natural sunlight. It is active all day but recommended to be viewed between 11 am and 3pm.