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This week, during the opening of the Venice Biennale, Swarovski announced its latest collaboration with John Pawson for the 55th International Art Exhibition. Opening on June 1 at the 16th-century Basilica di San Giorgio Maggiore, the installation is called “Perspectives” and incorporates the largest crystal lens used in Swarovski’s history.
Currently in place beneath the central dome of the Basilica, the installation was first created for Saint Paul’s Cathedral for the 2011 London Design Festival. Now, it invites viewers to see this Benedictine masterpiece in a very new light. Pawson said in a statement that this freshness of perspective was his focus, wanting to offer “viewers a dynamic visual experience of Palladio’s architecture, based around a single, sharply honed perspective.”
“Perspectives” is not just for show, however. Swarovski is currently working to restore the statue of San Giorgio that lies atop of the church and this installation will provide the finances necessary to do so. The restoration marks the inaugural donation of the newly formed Swarovski Foundation, an organization dedicated to fostering inspiration in art, design, fashion, theatre and film. Chair of the foundation, Nadja Swarovski, described Pawson’s work as “simple but magical…a truly inspirational debut project for the Swarovski Foundation.”