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Barbican: Isamu Noguchi

Barbican: Isamu Noguchi


Japanese American artist Isamu noguchi, was an artist that experimented through multi-disiplinary mediums and curated sculptures and spatial designs that pioneered the approach to sculpture to read to the viewer as a living part of society. His work is currently on display at the Barbican in London, so I took a visit.

For those who are yet to have the pleasure of visiting the Barbican I can assure you it should be on your bucket list. The brutalist estate includes concrete tower blocks, various sizes layered and towered on top of one another. The original plans for this estate included marble and mosaic tiles, due to the expense of these materials it was rejected and thus the hammered concrete surfaces are now a desirable commodity. The Barbican's aura of using cheaper material for their 'landmark' compliments Noguchi's work as he is known for using everyday and monotonous materials to elevate their worth within society through the perception of art.


Noguchi traveled around the world to understand more about his identity, heritage and culture. In particular he wanted to find ‘home’, and what that meant to him. He experimented with an multi-disciplinary approach to art, by merging mediums for his sculptures. This include work in stone, aluminium, ceramics and wood. 



His practice to me, reflected his challenges and the joining points and connections of his intertwined heritage and culture.He experimented with the everyday materials and re figured their original purposes and curated sculptures that project a new associate for that material.



‘Earth’ in particular was a collection of work that I felt similarities in through my own practice. Noguchi’s thought process expressed that technology can take you so far (to outer space) but the only thing you can bring back is rocks.

He curated most of this collection of ceramic work in Japan where he felt that the earth suited the pottery. I feel strongly about the source of curation when making art, whatever form you curate pieces in the relation to your craft and the environment need to be present.        

The connection between you and your work become stronger and this reflects your passion and drive to your audience and consumer. I design, curate and manufacture my womenswear and leather collections in the UK. Knowing that all my ideas are being produced in one of our factories either up north in Bolton, Suffolk, Kent or 10 minutes away in East London knowing my brand reflect my relation to my home is important to me and my identity as a female British designer. 


Kate at the Barbican, wearing Brown Posey Flow Dress accompanied with the Black Tregoose Bag.