I rather relish those occasions when the meticulously displayed art on the wall of a gallery, or museum, or even a residence, is far out shown by the surrounding furniture. This ironic coup is easier to achieve (if even unintentionally) in a home, wherein the amount of effort to compose the decor likely surpasses that with which the art was chosen. Not so, however, in most public venues. But curators and gallery owners might want to keep an eye out for the L5 Series of Benches by Canada’s Collaboration. These innovative public seats are hand-sculpted into sinuous interlocking shapes, such that they resemble the intricate articulations of the human spine.
Marie Khouri, designer/artist/sculptor and Creative Director of Collaboration, first debuted this collection of hand-carved laminated wood benches last fall at IDS West. This marvelous month of May finds her back in the limelight, this time as a participant in the ICFF Furniture Fair. The initial incarnation of L5 was a wood purist’s dream. The assortment of individual elements showed the beautiful striations, the lovely grains, the tactile temptations of smoothly polished veneer. This time around, she’ll be showing a more modern take on L5. The latest version is made from GRFC (lightweight concrete). It’s very bright and gleaming white—perfectly duplicating the look of a yet intact array of sun-bleached bone. The aesthetic of the newest L5 is dead-on for the spacious and brightly-lit interiors of art galleries and museums, but it will definitely turn heads regardless of where it’s installed, no matter what space it graces with its intrepid backbone.