For centuries, architects have incorporated ornate columns, elegant cornices, and complex vaulting systems into their structures to draw the eye of the visitor upwards around the perimeter of the space. Jim Lambie, an artist in Glasglow, Scotland, demonstrates that designers have been thinking backwards for years, and what occurs below your feet is just as significant as what's above. Using thousands of lines and hundreds of meters of tape, Lambie transforms floor planes into visual masterpieces that serve to stimulate, puzzle, and awe it's inhabitants.
Though Lambie uses a variety of everyday objects in his projects, his growing fame can be accredited to his colorful vinyl tape installations being exhibited around the world. The geometric floor patterns represent more than a whimsical piece of art, it's a medium for Lambie to educate his audiences that a simple material can transform an ordinary room into an extraordinary fantasy for the senses. While the idea of vinyl tape may seem basic, the amount of time, planning, and effort it takes to complete an installation is anything but; each transformation takes at least 3 weeks to complete!
Lambie takes a different approach to art than most contemporary artists, striving to disorient the viewer rather than capture their attention. Through the use of vivid colors, contrasting angles, and bold patterns, Lambie gives a new life to austere, static, and mundane spaces that would normally be overlooked. By using existing architectural lines within the exhibit gallery as the inspiration for the patterns, viewers are provoked to question if the room is expanding or contracting, pulling one way or the other. According to Lambie, “covering an object somehow evaporates the hard edge off the thing, and pulls you more towards a dreamscape.”
Lambie has been considered an artistic genius by critics due to his uncanny ability to create fun, energetic, and graceful art that does not rely on any obvious social, political, or personal meanings; the lighthearted displays are solely for the guest's enjoyment. As Lambie's pulsating illusions with vinyl tape continue to astound viewers around the world, we salute his colorful interventions.