THE STORY BEHIND THE MESMERIC, MOVING LIGHT INSTALLATION AT BURBERRY
By Alice Newell Hanson / The New York Times
It was no surprise that Christopher Bailey had time on his mind this season. On Saturday in London, he presented his final collection for Burberry after serving 17 years as the brand’s chief creative officer and president — a role in which he honored the label’s 150-plus year legacy, while also ushering it into the future.
What did surprise were the clothes themselves — a rainbow-striped tribute to ’90s British style tribes and contemporary LGBTQ+ youth — and the choice of setting. For the finale, Bailey transformed his industrial show space into a cathedral of club culture, lit up by planes of neon-bright laser lights. But mostly, the models walked beneath the more subtly dramatic pendulum lights of “Our Time” (2016), the epically proportioned art installation by the British art collective United Visual Artists (UVA). Bailey had loaned the piece from its permanent home, the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Hobart, Australia.
The large-scale installation, like Bailey’s collection (aptly titled “Time”), is a meditation on the passing of hours. Composed of multiple hanging lights that swing to rhythms disconnected from the ticking of seconds or minutes, the work hints at the subjectiveness of time. “‘Our Time’ (2016) can be considered a kind of special instrument with which we choreograph to light and sound to manipulate the viewer’s sense of time,” Matt Clark, founder of UVA, told T. Clark was intrigued to collaborate with Bailey, he says, because of the philosophical nature of their early conversations, “which centered around the concept of time and how it drives the work we both do on a conceptual and practical level.” He added that he hoped the work would literally show Bailey’s work for Burberry “in the best light possible.”