Many locations claim to bring you a little Christmas magic at this time of year, but an exhibition currently happening at London’s Somerset House may actually deliver. Rather than snow-globe scenes and ice skating though, The Unseen Emporium promises a more alchemic form of magic, in an installation displaying colour changing objects that defy belief.
The Unseen are part design collective, part science project, part magic circle. They mix chemistry, physics, design and technology to create incredible colour-changing pieces. Founded by Manchester School of Art graduate Lauren Bowker, the group emerged from her work creating pollution-sensing inks and textiles which change colour in response to the elements. Working with her today are a pattern-cutting artist, sculpture, and a director of visual performance – all of which adds up to something much more dramatic and mysterious than your standard design house. On show at Somerset House are hand-crafted leather garments which change colour at a touch, and an extraordinary new garment which can read a person’s emotional state and change hue accordingly.
These items and more are on display at The Unseen Emporium, Somerset House until May next year. The Emporium also offers smaller items to buy, like colour-changing leather notebooks and quills.