Laser plays key role in Royal Academy Exhibition

BARNSLEY, SOUTH YORKSHIRE, ENGLAND – Work by laser engraving equipment company Cutting Technologies is set to take the London art world by storm, thanks to a captivating new installation by the youngest living Royal Academician. The laser experts worked alongside Ken Ware Engineers on the project by world-renowned artist Conrad Shawcross RA.

The laser team laser-cut thousands of tetrahedrons for Shawcross' site-specific installation for the Royal Academy of Arts Courtyard for the Summer Exhibition 2015. The 8000 tetrahedrons were laser-cut from 40 tons of steel and, when assembled by Ken Ware Engineers, created five groups of steel 'clouds' that will take center stage in the Annenburg Courtyard as part of Shawcross' latest showcase installation, titled The Dappled Light of the Sun 2015 (FIGURE). The branching forms of the piece, built from the thousands of laser-cut tetrahedrons, stand at more than 6m high and weigh 5 tons each.

Royal Academician Conrad Shawcross' installation for the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition, titled The Dappled Light of the Sun 2015, features 8000 tetrahedrons laser-cut from 40 tons of steel to create steel 'clouds.' The piece stands in the Annenburg Courtyard of the Royal Academy of Arts
Royal Academician Conrad Shawcross' installation for the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition, titled The Dappled Light of the Sun 2015, features 8000 tetrahedrons laser-cut from 40 tons of steel to create steel 'clouds.' The piece stands in the Annenburg Courtyard of the Royal Academy of Arts. (Photograph: Marc Wilmot; info@creamconsultancy.co.uk)

Held consistently since 1769, the Summer Exhibition provides a unique platform for both emerging and established artists and architects to showcase their work on an international scale. It is the world's oldest open-submission exhibition and early exhibitors included the likes of Sir Joshua Reynolds, John Constable, and Joseph Mallord William "JMW" Turner. This year, over 1200 artworks will be on display and sales from the exhibition will raise significant funds to finance current students at the Royal Academy of Arts.

"A lot of our work is with artists and designers and being part of the creative process is something we really enjoy," says Jane Robinson, Cutting Technologies' director. "Having worked with Conrad in the past, we understand the level of quality and precision his incredible work demands. We're thrilled to have played such an important role in the 247th anniversary of the world's largest open-entry art exhibition."

"The Greeks considered the tetrahedron to represent the very essence of matter," explains Shawcross, in describing his work. "In this huge work, I have taken this form as my 'brick', growing these chaotic, diverging forms that will float above the heads of visitors who will be able to wander beneath them. I am extremely excited to see the completed work exhibited for the first time in the RA's historic Annenburg Courtyard, for which it was conceived."

The Summer Exhibition opens to the public and runs until August 16, 2015. For more information, please visit www.royalacademy.org.uk.

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