LONDON - While the exhibition Originals, focusing on the work of Tord Boontje and Emma Woffenden, opened today at Sotheby’s London, installation began before Christmas. Both Tord and Emma needed time to do things in their typically meticulous fashion. They are both such professionals, I felt more like a fascinated onlooker than a curator who is normally giving the orders.
Sotheby's technicians were brilliant in handling the delicate pieces of work by both Tord and Emma. For instance, the extraordinary Fig Leaf cabinet, which took 49 highly skilled artisans nine months to produce, Tord informed me comprises of 616 enamelled copper leaves made by skilled copper manufacturers in Birmingham, a city that is the most important place in the world for this sort of work (yet another fact I have picked up while working with Tord and Emma).
Inside the cabinet is a cast bronze tree modelled in Paris in a French sculpture foundry that really does look like something out of a fairy tale. This is craftsmanship you simply don't find today and it is a piece that should be in a fine museum collection.
Everything has been so imaginatively installed. I hope many students and young people will come and be inspired. Emma's glass sculptures are stunning and make an interesting pairing with her husband’s work. The romanticism of Tord and the coolness of Emma. Snow and ice.
I am really thrilled to have persuaded Tord and Emma to hold this exhibition at Sotheby's. It is an exciting start to the New Year.