Work

NorteShopping Rio de Janeiro

Avenida Dom Hélder Camara, Cachambi, Zona Norte, Rio de Janeiro

19951997

In 1995, Brian designed a scheme of twenty-four stained glass rooflights and a monumental ceiling mosaic for NorteShopping, a mall in Rio de Janeiro's 'North Zone'. At the time his largest composition, and one of the largest urban public art commissions in Brazil, installation was completed in the spring of 1996; later that year he designed a second mosaic artwork for the interior, installed in 1997, and a mosaic-clad clocktower for a plaza outside the mall at Praça Norte, unexecuted. The 'grand court' of NorteShopping is the focal point of the complex and composition, where a 1,500 square-foot ring of hand-cut mosaic surrounds a central stained glass skylight, flanked by long corridors covered by a progression of skylights that transilluminate colour across the floor and walls as the day passes. The motif of ribbons uses text, the words of which are snatched from the expressions of Carnaval, and weaves through both the mosaic and the mouthblown stained glass in the grand court and through the domed rooflights. A back-lit stained glass canopy spans the entrance to NorteShopping.

"Visitors to NorteShopping are greeted by the experience of walking beneath this installation, a foliate canopy which gives an introduction to the rest of the composition. Here a serpentine strip of blue glass weaves through and beside a green swathe, like a river through a jungle punctuated by blooms or exotic birds. In the principal mall, the rooflights form a vivacious and colourful composition inspired by the blues and greens of the River Amazon and the vibrant colours of the local Samba Schools. Ribbons of colour and regular shapes twist and undulate, almost dance, across the shopping malls and converge in the central court of the complex. The circles of color in the rooflights express an abstract narrative which moves down the mall like a Mardi Gras procession. When transmitted onto the floor, by the strong tropical sunlight, a colored footpath is formed, like vibrant stepping-stones."

Installation of the first part of the scheme was completed in the spring of 1996. The final artworks comprise 1,055 sq meters (11,356 sq ft) of mouthblown stained glass and 200 sq meters (2,200 sq ft) of mosaic. Executed for Centre Norte/Ecisa, together with architects Luis Carlos de Azevedo and engineers LINDI.

"Quem anda pelo interior do NorteShopping não imagina que a luz colorida que reflete no piso dos corredores é resultado de uma obra prima exclusiva no Brasil, criada pelo famoso designer inglês Brian Clarke. São os 2.000 m² de mosaicos e vitrais que se estendem por todo o shopping, colorindo o passeio de milhões de visitantes. Quando esteve pela primeira vez no Rio, em 1995, a convite da direção do shopping, Brian se encantou com a alegria e a luz da Cidade; e com as formas arquitetônicas tipicamente encontradas por aqui, como as pedras portuguesas no calçadão das praias e o comércio de rua, e seus desenhos ondulados; o formato dos telefones públicos; o conjunto de casas que formam a Rocinha; sem falar nos shows de mulatas, no Morro da Mangueira e na vibração do Carnaval. Tudo isso está representado na obra de arte permanente que se transformou em um dos ícones do NorteShopping.

Tais peculiaridades viraram fonte de inspiração para Brian Clarke, representadas de diversas formas: no vitral verde e rosa; no azul e verde que simboliza os rios e florestas; e ainda no vitral com bolas pretas em fundo colorido representando a visão aérea das alas das baianas na Marquês de Sapucaí. Além disso, palavras como 'samba' e 'carnaval' se destacam no grande mosaico da praça de eventos do shopping. Uma singela declaração de amor à Cidade Maravilhosa, pelas mãos de um dos mais importantes e requisitados artistas plásticos do mundo."