Filmed in remote glacial ice caves in the South West of Iceland, the work has been inspired by a passage from a letter written by the Italian-born Brazilian modernist architect and designer, Lina Bo Bardi. The artist explores the architect’s love for semi-precious stones, believing them to be more beautiful than precious gemstones, whilst investigating the role of the subconscious in creative production. The film will explore the portrayal of some of the most beautiful objects as the least precious in a conventional sense.
In advance of the filming, Isaac Julien travelled to the Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, England, to study the unique blend of peerless engineering and timeless hand-craftsmanship that goes into every Rolls-Royce motor car. Here he was inspired to incorporate the Spirit of Ecstasy into his work. Within Stones AgainstDiamonds the iconic mascot, played by Vanessa Myrie, an actress and performer who frequently appears in Julien’s work, acts as a ‘spirit guide’ taking the viewer on a journey through a symbolic glistening landscape of glaciers, rocks and black volcanic sands.
Richard Carter, Director of Global Communications, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars said, “We are honoured to have enabled renowned artist Isaac Julien to create such a captivating work for the Rolls-Royce art programme. The scale of the work and inspiration found in celebrated architect and designer Lina Bo Bardi and her love for spectacular natural materials resonates with Rolls-Royce Bespoke design – where the finest components come together to create the best cars in the world”.
Isaac Julien commented on the work, “The cave can be read as a metaphor of the unconscious, a place of rich beauty but difficult to access except through the processes of psychoanalysis and artistic reflection. By inserting some of Bo Bardi’s emblematic architectural elements in the cave, such as her iconic spiral staircase and glass easels, I hope to make a connection between her work and these organic aspects, the stones and the carved glacial ice, the simplicity of forms that was one of Lina’s signatures.”
- Isaac Julien, Stones Against Diamonds, 2015. Courtesy of the artist, Victoria Miro, London and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney. ©Isaac Julien
- Photo: Mark Blower. Courtesy of the artist, Victoria Miro, London and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
- Isaac Julien Portrait, 2014. Photo: Graeme Robertson