Fellow blogger Lea Hajner  and myself went to the Swarovski Kristallwelten Store in Innsbruck to meet, interview and experience the inspiring work of artist and designer duo Fredrikson Stallard.
Patrik Fredrikson and Ian Stallard have been working with Swarovski for many years. If you have visited to the Kristallwelten (Crystal Worlds) in Wattens, you will be familiar with their work such as Eden  in the Chambers of Wonder and Prologue III  in the Garden.
Fredrikson Stallard’s entrance
With the support of executing architects Schlögl & Süß, Fredrikson Stallard were given the difficult task of revamping the listed building that houses the store on Herzog-Friedrich-Straße (number 39) in Innsbruck’s old town, bringing British avant-garde to the entrance with contrasting light, colours, and materials.
The use of cardboard and aluminium in the two sculptures represents the hierarchy of materials.
Starting with these basic every day materials, the artists moved up to marble and the Swarovski crystals and jewellery presented in the historical alcoves.
The cardboard is coated in resin and paint, then joined with aluminium to give it a shiny attraction to the entrance. Within the two large glass cabinets housing the works of art are also pieces from Fredrikson Stallard’s “Armory” collection, designed for the spring/summer collection 2016 by Atelier Swarovski. Again, creating an interesting contrast.
Fredrikson Stallard said “We wanted to create a strong contrast between the dark industrial vibe and the delicate, bright and light products of Swarovski. We wanted the work to stand out and have the building to be a quiet medieval back drop.”
What I like is how the rework of the entrance is, in their words, “giving something back to the city” with the way they have brought the stone from outside and let it in. Rather than masking over and developing on top of the original building like most renovations, they have stripped it back and subtly presented the beautiful arches, alcoves and structures. The clean lines and eye-catching contrasts are right up my street!
Fredrikson Stallard created this new entrance as authentically as possible, and with great use of light. There is a computer system that controls the light intensity, so it is always the same no matter what time of day or night.
Swarovski nurtures the creativity of their collaborative artists and designers, and allows them the space to truly work freely. I respect this a lot, and I know from my own experience that this is the only way for creatives to produce their best work.
The Fredrikson Stallard sculptures are on display until November 2018. Visitors can also purchase products by the two designers in the Store.
All photos © Ashley Wiggins, unless otherwise stated.