Designer Review: Es Devlin

Es Devlin is a British stage designer and artist who has globally changed the game in set and stage design in recent years. Her works range from elaborate theatre sets to massive stages that have housed performers and artists from the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, U2, and Lorde, to name a few. She is most notably known for her elusive sculptural sets that transcend the limits of set and stage design, impaling the boundaries of reality and perception. Imagine stage curtains made from water in a pitch-black theatre, a gigantic floating rook that rotates and converts into a tunnel on stage, a mirrored maze that leads to a sensuous light show, a shapeshifting two-floor set with 3D mapping projections, or a white conjured globular room made from mirrors and scale models. 

She treads on the bare notion of encounters with her art through light, movement, and form; three main elements that explicitly characterize her body of work. For her, sets are merely concepts of scenery that provoke the senses. It should encapsulate spectators and viewers inside a different world far from science and logic. The imagination and psyche should be invigorated by the experience and phenomenon generated through the environment. Capturing psychological events that tamper the visuals of what is present and established is her forté. Her works go beyond what is and what could be. They tantalize and hypnotize, and they become more than what meets the eye.  Es Devlin’s perspective on design has produced the most exhilarating sets that have eluded conventionality, paving the path to a new and experimental outlook on stage design. She encompasses typical showmanship and emanates strong unparalleled visions for design, performance, and the arts. Es Devlin is a real game-changer, a remarkable visionary, and a modern innovator, making her a truly inspirational woman. 

Photos from Es Devlin

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