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Superyachts at the Saatchi Gallery

SEEN had the privilege of seeing the blink-and-you’d-miss-it exhibition of Superyachts that ran from 2nd – 3rd June. Where better than Saatchi Gallery in Duke of York Square to hold such an expo? The mighty seafaring power of Britain in days of yore was reflected in much of the modern design on display here. Like knives in the water, the modern ergonomic craft represent the very pinnacle in innovation, design expertise and the use of modern materials.

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What struck SEEN was the way in which various disciplines are utilised to create these astounding yachts; Artist and designer Arik Levy unveiled a new series of carbon-fibre and steel sculptures, specially conceived for yachts; SARP Yachts offered innovative 360˚ views of Superyacht Aouda 63 in virtual reality using Samsung Gear Glasses. Unique photography and commissioned artworks were available for sale throughout the SuperYacht Gallery. It wasn’t all sun-soaked though, as you might have expected. There were excellent photographs from the polar regions as well. There were never before seen marble wall sculptures from Zaha Hadid Architects presented by Citco, simultaneously ergonomic, monolithic and completely in keeping with the design ethic of the Superyachts.

‘Lace’, marble sculptural panel, part of a limited edition series built from designs by Zaha Hadid Architects, presented by Citco
‘Lace’, marble sculptural panel, part of a limited edition series built from designs by Zaha Hadid Architects, presented by Citco

Lest the visitor think that Superyachts are only about the lifestyles of the rich and privileged, here are some facts and figures: The number of Superyachts (30+ metres) in navigation: 4611. The largest yacht in the world today (by length) is the 180-metre Azzam. The total value of yachts completed in the United Kingdom in 2016: €230,000,000. The total value of yachts completed in the United Kingdom in the past 10 years: €1,900,000,000, and the total value of yachts completed worldwide in the past 10 years: €40,947,000,000. It’s clearly an industry that provides a focus for business, employment and expertise above and beyond its target demographic.

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The interiors of the Superyachts were every bit as superb as their exteriors: polished marble, Lalique glass handles and wooden marquetry all spoke of luxury and aspiration while acknowledging traditional craftsmanship. There was a fabulous immersive 180˚ floor-to-ceiling video projection by Breed Media; surrounding the visitor in the Superyacht super-lifestyle.

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Renowned yacht designer Espen Oeino was on hand to demonstrate the design process live. A camera filmed him from above for a live-feed video demonstration covering one wall. Also on hand was a talented seascape painter. It was as if Turner himself was painting the Superyachts. SEEN’s favourite place in London is anywhere by the river Thames. We look forward to spotting these magnificent craft.

www.saatchigallery.com

Saatchi Gallery
Duke of York’s HQ
King’s Road
London
SW3 4RY