From the rugged seaside to the forensic lab, London-based Spirit of Ecstasy Winner Scarlett Yang’s process explores nature, humanity and technological approaches that intercept design.
In keeping with the hybrid nature of her practice, her final artwork is composed of two elements. The first is a physical object, an ethereal metre-high sculpture made of intertwining ribbons of synthetic biopolymer produced from algae, collected directly from the ocean and dried.
Scarlett Yang, 2022, Transient Materiality, for Muse, The Rolls-Royce Arts Programme,
photo by Mark Cocksedge.
The sculpture’s form, surface and colour all reflect the natural world: its delicate texture was inspired by dragonfly wings and made by pouring the liquid bio-polymer into a custom-made mould, while the ribbons’ green and purplish hues were created through experiments with spirulina and other bio products. Suspended in the air and illuminated with a spotlight, visitors are able to marvel at the piece’s shimmering, diaphanous qualities.
Alongside the sculpture is a film which forms the second part of Yang’s project. Here viewers can see footage documenting the artist’s process as well as digital renderings of the sculpture set to a futuristic soundscape.