Stepping into Burberry’s recently renovated Regent Street flagship, the interior exudes high fashion and heritage. Celebrating Riccardo Tisci’s appointment as Chief Creative Officer, the store has been redesigned to reflect the synthesis of past and present. Themed rooms showcase staples such as the signature trench, a selection of Tisci’s new collection, and a room devoted entirely to the iconic Burberry check (a tongue-in-cheek reference to the 90s trend of all-Burberry everything, the room seems to reinstate the iconic print in its original home).
The space itself comprises multiple levels of sweeping staircases and mezzanine overhangs, courtesy of the building’s former life as a theatre and exhibition space. Perhaps unsurprising then, to find at the centre of all this finesse an enormous three-storey scaffold occupying the central area of the store’s 44,000 square foot interior. In stark contrast to its surroundings, British artist Graham Hudson has installed a machine-like industrial masterpiece, titled Sisyphus Reclined.
The installation, commissioned by Tisci, is comprised of multiple parts. On the top level, a circle of cameras are poised to photograph whoever Hudson chooses to shoot as part of the project. The images are then fed into a 3-D printing system, where they are turned into models of body parts, which are then cast using a kind of silicone material to create a mould. Examples of these can be seen hung around the work, alongside miscellaneous items such as empty protein powder containers, animal bones and lego blocks. Two of Hudson’s assistants work on the scaffold, operating the machinery and maintaining the structure, all housed within the luxurious retail surrounds. “It’s a tale of life and death in sculptural form,” says Hudson. “Of what it is to ‘make’, be that objects, ideas, bodies and selves.”
The juxtaposition indicates that while Burberry might be a traditional brand, Tisci has his finger firmly on the contemporary pulse. Under his leadership, the label will continue to incorporate dynamic, creative visions, whilst staying true to its heritage roots. Think you know Burberry? Think again.