Ghizlane Sahli is one of the three winners who will participate in Muse’s inaugural “Spirit of Ecstasy Challenge.” The Moroccan textile artist and designer was cherry-picked alongside Chinese Bi Rongrong, an artist and designer, and Scarlett Yang, a multi-disciplinary designer who is originally from Hong Kong, for the Rolls-Royce Art Programme.
Selected by an international jury of leading design world individuals, the winners have the task of creating innovative works in the medium of textile inspired by Rolls-Royce and the Spirit of Ecstasy, the sculptural figurine adorning the bonnets of their super-luxury cars. Before completing their creations that challenge the boundaries of textile design, the designers are set to visit England’s Goodwood, the home of Rolls-Royce, to meet the master craftspeople behind the hand-built motor cars. And their final designs will be unveiled and exhibited this summer before going on a global tour.
“The work of the nominated designers demonstrates a compelling mix of experimental and traditional; hands-on process and industrial technology; as well as nuanced design thinking and the capacity to respond intelligently to a brief,” stated an announcement from the jury. “’The Spirit of Ecstasy Challenge’ is about celebrating the bridge between tradition and innovation, and all the designers we selected understand how humans are connected to our surroundings. The three winners also bring forth ideas that touch deeply on important challenges of our time.”
Ghizlane Sahli’s Proposal
Ghizlane Sahli is known for reusing and recycling materials in her work, and in so doing draws attention to critical environmental issues while exploring the beauty of everyday objects. The creative’s pitch for the “Spirit of Ecstasy Challenge” also sees her using recycled material and elevating the salvaged goods by showcasing their potential for functionality and beauty. Sahli, who lives and works in Marrakech, will create a suspended sculpture made from reused plastic, combined with white silk and gold thread, which will be configured to convey qualities of the Spirit of Ecstasy figurine.
Sahli studied architecture in Paris and returned to Morocco to open a workshop to produce innovative textiles and design work. In less than a decade, the talented artist, who embroiders, sculpts and draws, started drawing praise for her award-winning tissue creations. Sahli transforms the material by covering the plastic waste she collects with natural thread (mostly silk), taking pride in it and giving it meaning. She works with the help of local artisan women, using their ancestral techniques to create her contemporary ideas. Her work has been exhibited internationally and is part of many important collections, such as the V&A in London, the MACAAL in Marrakech and Paris’s Fondation H.
Marking a new direction for the Rolls-Royce Art Programme, Muse was created in 2014 to foster and inspire creativity through collaboration with artists who share the brand’s passion for pushing technical and conceptual boundaries. For its two ongoing biennial initiatives, Muse partners with some of the most respected and prestigious institutions in the world and provides selected artists with time and resource to produce works.
The “Spirit of Ecstasy Challenge” is the new periodic scheme that invites up-and-coming design visionaries to create unique works inspired by Rolls-Royce and the Spirit of Ecstasy figurine. Each edition of the contest focuses on a different medium and related field of practice.