Seaweed-inspired Sculpture

"Oki Naganode" an installation made from seaweed by Julia Lohmann at the V&A

A new use for kelp!

This sculpture or installation, made by Julia Lohmann, entitled Oki Naganode, is actually made of an edible Japanese kelp-type of seaweed called Naga Kombu. The Naga Kombu seaweed has been stretched over a frame of canes to create this wonderful organic sculpture that looks as if it is animated – triffid-like – bursting out of the artist’s studio and ready to break through the multi-paned window to join the trees outside and freedom.

In close-up detail, the components part resemble veined leaves glowing green and springlike with transmitted light from the window, but dark and autumnal in reflected light.

It was recently on display at the V&A Museum as part of the London Design Festival 2013. The designer is an artist in residence at the V&A, working in “The Department of Seaweed” where she is creating works that explore the potential of seaweed as a design material.

You can find out more about British species of kelp seaweeds, some of them similar to that used in the sculpture, by clicking on the links below for earlier posts on the subject of kelps on Jessica’s Nature Blog:

Kelp Textures at Ringstead

Oarweed at Lyme Regis

Oarweed in Shallow Water – video clip

Satin-textured Seaweeds at Ringstead

Crinkly Seaweed from Ringstead Bay

Holdfast Habitat at Ringstead Bay

Furbelows Seaweed at Studland Bay

Brown Twisty Things at Ringstead

Kelps at Kimmeridge Bay

Three Brown Seaweeds: Furbelows, Sea Belt, Spiral Wrack from Studland in Spring

"Oki Naganode" an installation made from seaweed by Julia Lohmann at the V&A

"Oki Naganode" an installation made from seaweed by Julia Lohmann at the V&A

"Oki Naganode" an installation made from seaweed by Julia Lohmann at the V&A

"Oki Naganode" an installation made from seaweed by Julia Lohmann at the V&A

"Oki Naganode" an installation made from seaweed by Julia Lohmann at the V&A

"Oki Naganode" an installation made from seaweed by Julia Lohmann at the V&A

"Oki Naganode" an installation made from seaweed by Julia Lohmann at the V&A

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9 thoughts on “Seaweed-inspired Sculpture

  1. I was so surprised to discover this sculpture and simply loved it. It is interesting to learn from her web-site just how much of her work is influenced by Nature.

  2. I’m going to the V&A in November but I imagine it’s already not there. Nature just is inspiring. Whenever I’m stuck I look around me – there is potential everywhere.

  3. I don’t know whether that particular installation will still be on display – but maybe something else of hers – or maybe, even, her studio might be open for visitors. I think I have a brochure about future V&A events somewhere. I’ll look it up.

  4. I’ve found the What’s On brochure for October to December at the V&A. As you surmised, Julia Lohmann doesn’t seem to be around in November. However, the public can visit Residents in their studios or out and about in the galleries to find out about their research, creative practice and work in progress from 1300 -1600 on certain days. The Ceramics Resident at the time of your proposed visit is James Rigler and people can apparently meet him on 2, 6, 16, 20, and 30 November – maybe his work might be of interest? More info about the Residencies on http://www.vam.ac.uk/page/m/museum-residency-programme/.

  5. That’s extraordinary! And who would have imagined a ‘Department of Seaweed’? Only bettered by holding the Chair of Seaweed at some seaside university… RH

  6. I don’t think I would like to hold a chair of seaweed! Might not be so comfortable after a while. ‘Department of Seaweed’ was really the name assigned to the Residency of the Artist at the V&A rather than a formal department within the museum. It was the place where she was exploring the use of seaweed in design work – part of a PhD project I believe.

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