The Urchins

Adventures in Time & Lace

There’s certainly some really spectacular things going on in the world of lace right now. Following on from some of my previous Adventures over the past few months, I’ve come across another amazing large-scale lace installation to bring you this month – Choi+Shine Architects The Urchins. It was only a few months ago that I featured Choi+Shine’s The Lace & they’re back with another stunning lace installation.

The Urchins was created in response to a call for art installations to form Marina Bay, Singapore’s iLight Festival 2017.

In Choi +Shine’s description of the concept for the piece we learn this project is inspired by sea urchin shells, which are enclosed yet light weight, delicate and open. Their textured and permeable surface interacting with light creates openness, while the pattern’s mathematical repetition brings visual rhythm and harmony. Against light, the sea urchin natural form reveals one of the most spectacular patterns found in nature.

The project mimics this orderly, repetitive pattern and soft forms, achieving a visual harmony from the contrast between nature and the man-made environment, and between the firmly grounded masculine skyscrapers and the hovering feminine object.

The Urchins Photo Credit: Choi+Shine

The lace urchins are constructed from woven double braided polyester chord, illuminated by white spotlights. Each urchin uses around 17,000 metres of chord. The shell is held in tension over an aluminium frame. The structures are lightweight allowing the suspension cables to be fine, creating the illusion that they are floating in mid air. The Urchins interact with the natural light during the day, and glow when illuminated at night.

The Urchins
The Urchins Photo Credit: Choi+Shine


The Urchins Photo Credit: Choi+Shine

At night, the mysteriously hovering and glowing large Urchins create a sense of magic as if time has stopped.  When viewers enter into the Urchins, they will be surrounded by a single layer of glowing, lacy surface, where they can enjoy the detail and texture of the Urchins and see the city, water and the sky through this visual filter.

Seeing hovering and glowing lacy objects against majestic skyscrapers and dark water would make them pause and gaze.  This momentary pause of the mundane routine of our life would hopefully give us an opportunity to find the poetry around us.

The Urchins Photo Credit: Choi+Shine
The Urchins Photo Credit: Choi+Shine

These giant lace urchins are indeed magical, even more so I feel against the urban landscape. The Urchins is doing what I love about all the large scale lace installations that I have explored; it brings lace away from the oftentimes hidden, small scale and magnifies its beauty, giving it the public visibility that it deserves.

Check out Choi+Shine Architects’ website for more of their stunning work.

Should The Back Of Your Embroidery Look As Good As The Front? | Mr X Stitch

Tracey Wright

Tracey Wright is an NHS Recovery Worker by day & trying to be creative at all other times! Tracey is a member of the Aragon Lacemakers, who work to keep the making of handmade Bedfordshire lace alive by learning & making lace together. Tracey was taught to make handmade bobbin lace at school as a child & has returned to this craft in the past few years. Tracey is interested not only in learning about the history of lacemaking & its vast range of styles & techniques to contribute to preserving this traditional craft, but also in exploring how lacework is being used in art & craft today in new & exciting ways to show it is still fresh & contemporary.

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