Allegory of the South
Allegory of the South is an art installation centred around a twenty-metre long table set across almost the entire length of the iconic Saint Augustine Church in Eindhoven. Symbolism, metaphor, and old Dutch proverbs come together to create an exuberant interactive spectacle. Inspired by the work of painters such as Pieter Bruegel and Jan Steen, we took the public to world where ‘Brabants’ Finest’ intertwine a bygone era with the lively present.
The arrangement of large architectural objects that fill the Allegory of the South refer to the concept of follies; the useless but sensual buildings that stimulated the experience of the 18th century English landscape garden. We made strange combinations using bits and pieces taken from utilitarian architecture to design our own architectonic artefacts. Allegory of the South, which took our historical interest further back in time lead to, besides the composition of follies, a series of functional objects which embodied the old symbolism and proverbs, sometimes in a literal way. The candelabras, stoves, lanterns and other magical utensils that we created demonstrated our love for the artisanal process, larger than life sizes and uncompromising commitment to detail.
The installation was not static in any way, and every night people were invited to sit alongside each other to share food, drinks, and stories. Even outside the church people were working, eating, and singing. Market vendors sold their wares, music played, and the beer flowed in abundance. The exhibition that was better described as an immersive experience changed the way we and other designers looked at the way we present our work during a design event, and paved the way for more multisensory exhibitions in later years.