Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos recently installed a large site-specific inflatable installation covered with crocheted fabric and embellishments inside of Paris’ oldest department store, Le Bon Marché. The suspended two-part work, titled “Simone,” is the latest in the artist’s Valkyriesseries, and takes inspiration from the female figures in Norse mythology.
Named for French human rights activists Simone du Beauvoir and Simone Weil, the large piece features two orb-like structures that loom over visitors along the store’s perimeter, and is connected by tentacles that weave around the building’s iconic escalators. The inflatable is dressed in fabric with handmade crocheted details that dangle from its limbs to give it the appearance of an alien chandelier. Color-changing LEDs are also embedded throughout the work and pulse rhythmically, which gives the strange being the entrancing power of a bioluminescent deep sea organism.
Vasconcelos tells Colossal that like the winged-horse riders, the works in her Valkyries series “are both warrior and protective creatures, in the way they attack and contaminate yet adapt and engage with the spaces they inhabit.” To see more of the artist’s work, follow her on Instagram and Facebook.