Patterns at the largest tangible scale in nature – such as the fissures and cracks of the Earth’s tectonic plates, or the layering of sediment and rocks in our planet’s core – are often the starting point of inspiration for the sculptural furniture and customized art pieces created by London studio Based Upon. The above quote beautifully encapsulates the philosophy of Based Upon’s founders and the 30 artists and designers who form the company.
The familiar properties of the natural world are of great interest to the artists behind Based Upon. Formed in 2004 by twins Ian and Richard Abell, Based Upon has grown into a thriving artist’s collective who produces pieces that aim to reconnect humans to the natural system in which it sometimes feels we are rather disconnected from.
The founders are captivated by two opposing conditions of life: while we have a sense that all living things are connected, at the same time it can be observed in the world that things are separated, classified and actually quite fragmented.
This binary opposition is beautifully studied in photographs, film making, and intensely tested in physical materials to come up with the final products: exquisite works of art that look as if they are a rare and valuable ore mined from the earth itself. Based Upon regularly works with liquid metals and resins, and incorporates traditional processes like lost wax bronze casting, to produce pieces with perceivable quality and unique surfaces.
The surface of a cracked mud house in Uganda was the origin point for The “Fragmented Crack” series. Casts were made from cracked clay houses and develop in the Based Upon studio. After many studies and models, the final product is a solid piece fractured into pieces, revealing liquid gold within.
Now imagine flying far above the clear blue water of the ocean. The surface of the water appears as a flat plane, but reveals great depths and curious shapes and textures below. This phenomenon inspired the pieces “Birth of Tramazite” and “Mother Rain”, mysterious disks that have an alluring and infinite depth.
We’ve had the pleasure of working with Based Upon in the past and were fortunate to have them visit our studio recently! Looking forward to future collaborations with this talented collective of artists and makers.