Designed by Ray G. Brown, the immersive installation taps into the often ritualistic nature of textiles and clothing. For Rubelli, the collaboration presented an opportunity to place its collection in the hands of a designer practising outside of textiles, who could provide a new interpretation of its work.
The installation's name, "Spiritus Mundi" is drawn from the work of poet William Butler Yeats, who used the term to describe society's collective unconscious - the mysterious, transcendental source from which all images and symbols are derived.
“I was immediately captivated by the lustrous quality of the Rubelli fabrics,” says Brown. “They seem special, out of the ordinary - as if they are intended for some special ceremonial function. I did some research into ritualistic costumes from various cultures across the world, and became interested in the transformative power of these costumes and their ability to access levels of experience not ordinarily available to the conscious mind.”
Rich, regal coloured fabric is draped over a timber structure that snakes its way around the first floor. Visitors are encouraged to walk through an archway, as if entering a portal into a dreamlike world.
On the floors above, Brown has wrapped fabric around skeletal timber frames to create mysterious textile figures. On the second floor, six bodies face a cloaked central figure, stood as if about to perform a ceremony. The shapes cast long shadows as you move around the gallery while spotlights ensures that the fabrics shimmer. The walls of the top floor have been wrapped in an opulent gold fabric to create a cosy space for contemplation.