With works that often incorporate an interactive use of light, sound or movement, musson+retallick’s collaborative approach breeds ideas that use art as a driving force in the way we design public spaces.
musson+retallick produce large scale artwork for architectural and exterior spaces. The studio is a collaboration between artists Neil Musson and Jono Retallick who share a desire to see artistic stories woven into architecture and public spaces to enhance a sense of belonging. Their innovative installations often incorporate an interactive use of light, sound or movement to change perception of space.
“We knew each other back in college days but lost touch for eighteen years after graduating,’’ Musson explains. “When we got back in touch, the work we were producing had similar themes and, despite our obvious differences, we found each other’s company very agreeable.”
The duo are indeed different in character and were dubbed ‘The Viking and The Victorian’ while giving a CPD lecture at Jestico and Whiles. They cite their common interest as being the exploration of themes relating to journeys through time, emotion and landscape.
The work of musson+retallick is often collaborative and never repetitive, which Jono attributes to the dialogue between client and artist: “We are interested in notions of ownership and, while steering a project, we enjoy opening elements of it for debate and consider the client and the manufacturers part of our creative team”.
The studio has a wealth of experience producing artwork for both public and private sectors, including commissions for airports, hospitals, schools, galleries, hotels and events such as the 2012 Olympics. Community and shared experiences are central themes behind the artworks and several projects have resulted in the significant rebranding of the spaces in which they exist.
Retallick explains that the studio has a keen interest in the interplay between art and design: “There is an importance in creating something which answers a brief and serves a purpose whilst also having strong artistic integrity and an evolving narrative.”
The Beacons series of artworks re-evaluates the notion of the gallery by creating temporary neon fire beacons whereby the audience arrive out of curiosity rather than invitation. As dusk turns to night, visitors at the site of the beacon can see less of the landscape whilst the artwork becomes clearer to those looking from a distance.
Currently awaiting installation is a vast sculptural light installation for KAIA, the new airport in Jeddah, which will fill the departure lounge. The piece contrasts shapes abstracted from the movement of birds wings with the forms of gently drifting clouds. This installation defines the desire of musson+retallick to see their creations interwoven into the architecture of a space. Musson describes this synergy as: “The difference between art as an afterthought and art as a driving force in the way we design public spaces”. He concludes: “We are always happy to have conversations with specifiers, interior designers and architects to explore new and diverse ways of working.”