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Weaving music into fabric: <i>Tablas de la Luna</i>
Weaving music into fabric: Tablas de la Luna

The Museo Reina Sofía collaborated with Factum Arte to create the weavings included in Leonor Serrano Rivas´ solo exhibition 'Natural Magic', scheduled in the museum from 21 September 2022 to 27 February 2023. Tablas de la Luna is a textile installation that takes its name from the Tables of the Motion of the Moon by Ernest W. Brown (1919), who tried to synthesise the movements and rotations of the moon on mathematical tables.

The series of tapestries was conceived by the artist when observing the similarity between the punched cards once used in music (especially pianola playing) and old Jacquard looms.

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<i>Covid Bell</i> on show at the Worshipful Company of Founders
Covid Bell on show at the Worshipful Company of Founders

After the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition, Grayson Perry's Covid Bell was on show at the Founder's Hall of the Worshipful Company of Founders, during their annual Open House on September 10th and 11th.

The Founder's Company, with its first records documented in 1365, is one of the oldest craftsmen guilds in London and still has a very active fellowship. Today it runs three charities which have been successful in supporting a variety of people, many of whom are in the start of their career as either material scientists, or artists who work with metal.

Throughout history, bells have commemorated the dead and also celebrated the living. The Covid Bell continues and updates this tradition, also celebrating the artistic and technical skills of the metalworking industry. The bell was fabricated by Factum Arte and Factum Foundation, cast by Pangolin Foundry, Gloucestershire and tuned by Nigel Taylor working with Nicholson Engineering in Dorset, and was kindly donated by Grayson Perry to revitalise bell making in the UK following the highly publicised closure of Whitechapel Bell Foundry.
"The London Bell Foundry was formed to demonstrate that casting bells has a bright future, and Grayson’s generosity has made this possible. The next two artist bells will be made by Paula Crown and Conrad Shawcross." – Adam Lowe, Director of Factum Arte

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<i>Wider than the Sky</i> on display at Gagosian Athens
Wider than the Sky on display at Gagosian Athens

Part of the series Fallen Sky, conceived by Sarah Sze in 2021 and made in collaboration with Factum Arte, Wider than the Sky was on display for the solo exhibition 'Sarah Sze' at Gagosian Athens (8 September - 20 October, 2022).

The individual pieces composing the sculpture were cast in stainless steel at Fademesa Foundry from the 3D-printed models created at Factum Arte, paying special attention to the top of the piece: the perfectly-polished surface was achieved by welding a custom-bent curve sheet of metal on top of the cast base, seamlessly joining the two surfaces together.

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Tapestry series <i>A Vanity of Small Differences</i> was on display at Salisbury Cathedral
Tapestry series A Vanity of Small Differences was on display at Salisbury Cathedral

Grayson Perry's series A Vanity of Small Differences, created in 2012 working with Factum Arte and Flanders Tapestries, was exhibited in Salisbury Cathedral, London (29 June - 25 September, 2022). Comprised of six tapestries, the series tells the tale of Tim Rakewell's rise and fall (based on the main character of A Rake's Progress by William Hogarth, 1732-33), with each work marking a point in the ‘class journey’ of the protagonist.

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© Photo by Finnbarr Wester

Muhannad Shono: <i>The Teaching Tree</i> at the Venice Biennale
Muhannad Shono: The Teaching Tree at the Venice Biennale

For the 2022 edition of the Venice Biennale, Factum Arte worked with Muhannad Shono on the site-specific installation for the National Pavilion of Saudi Arabia. The work was on show until November 27, 2022.

The Teaching Tree is a 260-square-meter sculptural work made of dried palm leaves, blackened and applied over a metallic structure animated by a pneumatic machine. The work expands and contracts inside the space both visually and mechanically, giving it the impression of calm and steady breathing.

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Facsimiles on display at Fondazione Prada, Venice
Facsimiles on display at Fondazione Prada, Venice

Factum Arte and Factum Foundation worked on two facsimiles of anatomy-themed paintings: Rembrandt's The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Deijman, from the Amsterdam Museum and Bosch's The Extraction of the Stone of Madness from the Museo del Prado.

'Human Brains: It Begins with an Idea' (23 April - 27 November, 2022) brought together documents, drawings, paintings, prints and books challenged by the words of fiction writers and a collection of interviews with neuroscientists, psychologists, neurolinguists and philosophers from all over the world.

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New collaboration: Farah Behbehani
New collaboration: Farah Behbehani

An Awake Heart is a set of intricate, hand-woven textiles woven by Farah Behbehani. It was the subject of a new collaboration between the Kuwait-born artist, Athr Gallery and Factum Arte. The new production on display at Art Dubai 2022 (March 11-13, 2022) was the result of an innovative project aimed at mediating the shape and colour of textiles into an elevated-printed medium, and potentially into other productions.

The surface detail of the original silk and silver thread embroidered triangles was digitised, aiming at retaining the reflectivity and handmade nature of the original objects.

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<i>Geology Rebuilt</i>: Fernando Casasempere at Tottenham Court
Geology Rebuilt: Fernando Casasempere at Tottenham Court

The concept of ceramic as the art of mixing and making of different and diverse minerals, to create something new but still deeply rooted in its basic elements, is at the centre of the public art installation Geology Rebuilt, created in collaboration with Factum Arte. Installed just above Tottenham Court station in London on January 28, 2022, Geology Rebuilt aims to bring something "brutal and geological" to the city, showing a new way of rebuilding geology from ceramics. The contrast between the traditional brick wall behind the contemporary sculpture shows how different the end results of the same materials can be.

The production process followed several steps, which were coordinated by Factum's engineering team.

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<i>Le Chant de l'Ardent Désir</i>: Rachid Koraïchi at Aicon Gallery
Le Chant de l'Ardent Désir: Rachid Koraïchi at Aicon Gallery

'Koraïchi plays with the number seven throughout the exhibition both theoretically and literally. The artworks appear in multiples of seven; there are fourteen canvases, fourteen steel sculptures, and a group of six alabaster tablets lining the path to a monumental tapestry.
It is a divine number and omnipresent.'

- Aicon Gallery

For his third solo exhibition in the U.S. (February 3 - March 12, 2022), Rachid Koraïchi's long-standing collaboration with Factum Arte saw the production of new bodies of work, linked both to his Jardin d'Afrique and his exploration of calligraphy. Next to the large Jardin d'Afrique tapestry and the complete series of Les Vigilants (seven calligraphic sculptures in black painted Corten steel) created in 2021, two new series are also on display.

The six panels of Le Chant de l'Ardent Désir are the largest artworks by Koraïchi made in alabaster to date and La Montagne aux Étoiles is the result of the artist and Factum Arte's exploration of the balance between technology and traditional calligraphy.

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Bernd Nicolaissen, Strata of Pilbara: Stratagrams

Bernd Nicolaissen's new production is centered on the Australian Pilbara crater, an area that covers the Earth’s oldest rock formations and was irreversibly damaged in 2020. This video describes the experimental process that happened within Factum Arte between 2019 and 2021, involving elevated printing technology by Canon Production Printing. Factum experimented with gelatine inkjet printing over six glass plates, each one adding depth and colour in "building" the final result layer after layer. Encased within an illuminated aluminum box, the Stratagram is a three-dimensional visualisation of the work of geological eras.
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A film by Cédric Marville

Facsimile of Jan Gossaert's <i>The Adoration of the Kings</i>
Facsimile of Jan Gossaert's The Adoration of the Kings

The Adoration of the Kings painted between about 1510 and 1515 by Jan Gossaert (also known as Jean Gossart) within the collection of the National Gallery in London was recently the subject of an in-depth study. Accurate recordings revealed the complexity behind this large (179.8 × 163.2 cm) 16th-century altarpiece, depicting the Three Wise Kings (Balthasar, Caspar and Melchior) visiting the newborn Christ.

After recording the painting in high resolution using their Lucida 3D Scanner and colour photography, the National Gallery requested Factum Arte to produce a perfect facsimile to be displayed within the exhibition 'Sensing the Unseen: Step into Gossaert’s ‘Adoration’ inside the Winchester Cathedral (January 22 - April 3, 2022).

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Dios se lo pague - Justo Gallego (1925-2021)
Dios se lo pague - Justo Gallego (1925-2021)

It is with great sadness that we learnt of the death of Justo Gallego. He has been an inspiration for everyone at Factum since Manuel Franquelo and I first met him in 1996. We arranged a celebration of his great work in London in 1998… Justo sent me a message saying ‘Dios se lo pague’.
He was a great man with a deep vision. I am sure he is where he would like to be. His humour, intelligence and belief are an inspiration to me and to so many others. I am sad but I am happy for you!

Watch this film by Otto Lowe about Justo and his work by clicking here.

Adam Lowe
Director of Factum Arte

Rematerialised tombstones installed in Zarzis
Rematerialised tombstones installed in Zarzis

In agreement with Zumrud Suleymanova, former Minister of Culture in Dagestan, Factum rematerialised and donated two of the tombstones recorded in Dagestan (Russia) in 2016 to Rachid Koraïchi for his Jardin d’Afrique.

The non-denominational cemetery, garden and DNA database was opened by the artist in Zarzis, Tunisia in June 2021, in the presence of UNESCO’s Director General Audrey Azouley. Jardin d’Afrique was built as a resting place for the countless migrants drowned while crossing the Mediterranean Sea.

The Dagestani tombstones from Kala-Khoreysh, linking back to the artist’s ancestors, were rematerialised in limestone, with sandblasted inscriptions in French, English and Arabic. The steles are now installed at the entrance leading to the tiled pathways.

<i>Kintsugi Aurea</i> at COP26
Kintsugi Aurea at COP26

Roksana Ciurysek-Gedir and Kas Galos worked with Factum Arte on the production of their new series, dedicated to raising awareness and hopefulness towards environmental issues. Kintsugi Aurea was presented at COP26, the United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Glasgow (October 31 - Nov 12, 2021).

The concept of re-using was explored by giving new life to a 2m stainless steel sphere, originally mirror polished.

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<i>Morris, Gainsborough, Turner, Riley</i>
Morris, Gainsborough, Turner, Riley

Grayson Perry's most recent work has been produced for the artist in collaboration with Paragon | Contemporary Editions Ltd and unveiled at Frieze London (13 - 17 October 2021). Factum Arte's textile studio in Madrid has worked with Grayson on all his tapestry works.

This complex image interlaces four identifiable artworks by Gainsborough, William Turner, William Morris and Bridget Riley. Working a bit like a random-dot stereogram, each image in turn comes to the foreground. Creating this illusion depends on the control of both tone and colour, and this was the most challenging tapestry yet - both in the design of the weave structure and the control of the colour combinations.

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New work for Ahmed Mater on show at Frieze 2021
New work for Ahmed Mater on show at Frieze 2021

For his solo show at Frieze 2021 with ATHR Gallery (13 – 17 October 2021), Ahmed Mater presented a new body of work that reflects on the ways in which surveillance technologies have become omnipresent, drastically transforming the rules of both conflict and ‘track and trace’. Eagle, an enlarged version of a General Atomics MQ-1 Predator drone, was the central part of the ATHR Gallery installation at Frieze.

In previous works made with Factum, the power of electricity was used to fuse sand into complex forms of crude glass. This new work also emerges from the sand referring back to the fulgurite works but appearing like an impossible sand sculpture.

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<i>Fallen Sky</i> series at Gagosian and Victoria Miro
Fallen Sky series at Gagosian and Victoria Miro

The concept behind Tracing Fallen Sky (2020) and the permanent installation at Storm King Center, New York, continues in the series 'Fallen Sky'. The terracotta maquette recorded in 2019 was resized to three different diameters and 3D printed at Factum Arte and Materialise, before being cast in stainless steel at Fademesa Foundry.

Wider Than the Sky (72 inches / 182,88 cm) and Deeper Than the Sea (36 inches / 91,44 cm), two of the pieces from the series, were on show at Gagosian for the exhibition 'Sarah Sze: New Works' (September 20 – November 13, 2021). Other pieces of the series were also on display at Victoria Miro in London for the exhibition 'Sarah Sze' (12 October – 6 November 2021).

More on the production of the artworks
© Sarah Sze. Photo: Julien Gremaud. Courtesy the artist and Gagosian

Grayson Perry's bell at Pangolin Foundry
Grayson Perry's bell at Pangolin Foundry

Following the very sad and short-sighted decision by the government and the Public Inquiry system to approve the conversion of the Whitechapel Bell foundry into a ‘Soho House’-style club and hotel, Factum Arte is moving ahead to prove there is a need and demand for bell production in the C21st. Grayson Perry’s Covid Bell was announced at the Public Inquiry last November and sculpted by Grayson in Spring 2021.

Scanned and processed by Factum Arte’s team in June, it is now being cast at Pangolin Foundry in Gloucestershire, making the first step in the revival of bell making. The London Bell Foundry is being formed to replace the Whitechapel Bell foundry that was sacrificed after almost 500 years of continuous work to make way for a boutique hotel.

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