The Danish-Irish designer marks a new chapter of his life with a brand new capsule collection of sculptures.
“I called the exhibition The King’s Gambit. Not necessarily tied to chess, as certain people might interpret. But it’s more it’s like it’s an opening move,” acclaimed designer Patrick Coard tells Vogue Philippines, just hours before the opening of his latest series of works. He’s transformed W17‘s space into a solemn labyrinth of his own creative journey, using fabric barriers that give the viewer’s experience an added depth and dimension without obscuring the space.
“From the initial point, I felt I had to work with fabrics. And translucencies,” he details the instinctive process of laying out the exhibit. “We started to give some sort of frame or a grid. We started actually looking at chess…a different shape, form, shadow, or stroke of light can make the sculpture read very differently.”
Coard’s newest creations span a series of amorphous, abstract shapes—each of which blends deconstructed geometry with soft, sensitive lines. The pieces are rendered in bronze-patina brass and Crown Ash wood, both natural materials that the designer has long been drawn to in his work.
The King’s Gambit spans smaller sculptures which serve as an introduction to Coard’s more ambitious, human-sized pieces. In their own way, the collection marks multiple milestones in his recent life, from moving to Manila after being based in Paris to becoming a parent alongside his wife, Kifu Agousti.
Though he’s hesitant to name favorite pieces, which he likens to picking out a favorite family member, he concedes that like a family tree, there are indeed certain personas that serve as strongholds or unifiers. He names three such pieces: The Deconstructed Tower, which he views as a sort of familial backbone, The Oval Queen, the regal matriarch, and Prometheus, who takes on a fatherly role.
“These things I normally don’t really talk about, because I’m curious how people are engaging with [the objects],” he admits. “I don’t want to impose, I’m curious how they connect or how they feel.”
It’s clear that quite the shift has happened within Coard as a creative. “It’s a different chapter of my work right now,” he reflects, though recognizes that his previous work was integral to his evolution. “There’s a connection, which makes only sense with what I’ve done with the candles around the world.”
The designer’s first collection, titled Great Expectations, explored the ephemeral, ever-changing beauty of a candle. Coard transformed the simple household object into an ever-changing work of art. “I like the fact that there’s something special when you burn a candle, it has a kind of its own life depending on the wind or the temperature or the way they kind of burn down.”
This served as his introduction to carving, which has since birthed brass behemoths.
“There’s definitely something opened up now, there’s like unlimited creativity,” Coard beams. “It’s just flowing, flowing, flowing. And it’s the best feeling.”
The designer encourages viewers to begin an immersive journey through the exhibit. Entering W17’s space on the eastern door, one finds themselve introduced to Coard’s smaller scale pieces, just before being greeted with the larger works.
“W17 is a fabulous space it has this beautiful atrium has the high ceiling they have existing pieces that are beautiful. It’s interesting how it reads certain things reads in different environments I love the gearshift a lot,” he says. “I’m quite intuitive with my process because I believe that we all have a certain amount of experiences that draw us towards something. If you have to think of breathing or sitting down each time, it will be a long day.”
Coard’s exhibit at W17 in La Fuerza Plaza will be up for several weeks, starting May 16.