Tuesday 07 Jun 2011


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Pride of the Netherlands.

Dominic and Frances Bromley create a unique installation for the Land Forces Command Head Quarters in The Netherlands.

Dominic and Frances Bromley's unique commission ‘Pride of Soldiers' will only ever be seen by strict invitation. These photographs are now the only access many will have to this remarkable work of art, as it is sited in one of the most secure places in the Netherlands; the Royal Dutch Land Forces Command Head Quarters. The newly erected Kromhout Barracks stand on the outskirts of Utrecht and were designed by leading Dutch practice Meyer en Van Schooten Architects. Scabetti were approached to create a unique lighting piece for possibly the most important room on the site: the main board room.

Responding to the brief, Dominic and Frances, the creative force behind Scabetti, created a sphere of china. Initially the scale of the piece is striking, standing at an impressive three metres diameter. Moving closer, the detail in the individual forms becomes clear; each a stylised sculpture of a soldier. Progressing around the room there's an extra dimension that reveals itself; each soldier stands in perfect formation and comes together to create the Lion of the Armed Forces emblem, with the central light at its heart. The symbolism of many people working together for their country is clear. The fine bone china is fragile yet remarkably strong and is a metaphor for the strength of mind and strategy beneath vulnerable skin and bone. The translucency of this fine material adds further visual intrigue to the sculpture as the central light highlights detail in the sculpted form.

Designing a piece so dramatic and specific to the location was a brave move for the accomplished duo and combined their unique technical and artistic approach. All their work is made in England where their studio is based. The ceramic forms are slip cast fine bone china, cast by hand in the Potteries of Stoke-on-Trent thus supporting their traditional, local industry. Pride of Soldiers must surely stand as the Bromley's most significant work to date.

more projects by this designer