Spirit of Ecstasy Challenge
Explore the unveiling of the inaugural Spirit of Ecstasy Challenge exhibition, showcasing three winning artists who created unique objects inspired by the Spirit of Ecstasy, the sculptural figurine that adorns the bonnet of every Rolls-Royce motor car.
The three winning artists, Scarlett Yang, Ghizlane Sahli, and Bi Rongrong, were selected by an esteemed jury of design experts including Anders Warming, Director of Design, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars; Yoon Ahn, Creative Director of AMBUSH and Director of Jewellery at Dior Men; Tim Marlow, Chief Executive and Director at the Design Museum, London; and Sumayya Vally, Founder and Principal at Counterspace Studio, Johannesburg.
Each edition of the Challenge will focus on a different medium, and this year’s edition challenged participants to push the creative boundaries of textiles.
Bi Rongrong’s multidisciplinary practice is a visual record of the artist’s experiences of urban spaces, as she collects imagery from each of the cities she visits. Busy, colourful, and richly textured, her vibrant canvases, collages and installations reflect the dynamism of urban life. Her artwork for the Spirit of Ecstasy Challenge, Stitched Urban Skin, deciphers the city and all of its forms through layers of metal, perspex, LED lighting, and crochet textile. The piece draws together imagery from Bi’s encyclopaedic collection of urban imagery, and much like the Spirit of Ecstasy figurine, utilises both ancient craftsmanship and innovative technologies – weaving together not only locations but also histories.
Installation View, Spirit of Ecstasy Challenge Exhibition, Cromwell Place, London, 5 - 8 October 2022. Image courtesy Muse, the Rolls-Royce Arts Programme. Photo © Luke Walker
Ghizlane Sahli has spent the past decade exploring the poetics of materials through her striking abstract art, which draws together both fine textiles and unexpected found elements. Working closely with artisans in Marrakech’s Medina, Sahli demonstrates how ancestral techniques can be used to engage in contemporary dialogues, while showcasing the rich tradition of textiles of her country. Nissa’s Rina is a joyous celebration of femininity and freedom, resembling the two triumphant wings of the Rolls-Royce’s Spirit of Ecstasy in flight. The sculpture is composed almost entirely of recycled materials, wrapped tightly and crocheted with locally-sourced gold leaf, as well as gold and white thread.
Installation View, Spirit of Ecstasy Challenge Exhibition, Cromwell Place, London, 5 - 8 October 2022. Image courtesy Muse, the Rolls-Royce Arts Programme. Photo © Luke Walker, Ghizlane Sahli, Nissa’s Rina, courtesy Adnane Zemmama.
Scarlett Yang creates futuristic fabrics from biomaterials, before using digital technologies to reimagine them as garments and sculptural pieces. Her artwork for the Spirit of Ecstasy Challenge, Transient Materiality, is an ethereal metre-high sculpture made from algae, collected from the Dorset coast, dried, and transformed into a synthetic biopolymer. Transient Materiality is directly inspired by the soaring Spirit of Ecstasy figurine and Rolls-Royce’s advanced approach to fabrics and processes.
Installation View, Spirit of Ecstasy Challenge Exhibition, Cromwell Place, London, 5 - 8 October 2022. Image courtesy Muse, the Rolls-Royce Arts Programme. Photo © Luke Walker, Scarlett Yang with Transient Materiality, courtesy Mark Cocksedge.
CONTINUE YOUR JOURNEY
Moved By The Spirit
Ever since the first encounter between Charles Rolls and Henry Royce, in 1904, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has been synonymous with limitless imagination.
Reimagining an Icon
Launching this year, the Spirit of Ecstasy Challenge celebrates both tradition and innovation. This biennial design project will invite three emerging design visionaries to create unique works inspired by the ethos of Rolls-Royce, as symbolised by the Spirit of Ecstasy, the sculptural figurine that adorns the bonnet of every Rolls-Royce motor car.
Pushing The Boundaries Of Textiles
In anticipation of the Autumn reveal of the Spirit of Ecstasy Challenge final artworks, Muse sits down with Christine Franck, Head of Colour, Materials & Trim Design at Rolls-Royce, to delve into the enormous creative potential of textiles. The opportunities to imagine something radically innovative in textiles have never been more far-reaching or fanciful. Versatile, delicate, and steeped in history, textile offers up a wide-open terrain of creative possibility.