Space's cultural significance makes it an ideal backdrop for works of art. Sophie Mollins' work explores themes of endings, beginnings and expectations. After going through a painful divorce, she created a film showing herself throwing her wedding dress into a Venetian canal upon her divorce. She approached us to continue this project, by launching a dress belonging to a divorced friend into space.
To launch the dress, we modified a mannequin and suspended it from a lattice framework, specially designed to give the dress a floating, ethereal quality on ascent, while being free to move around violently on descent per Sophie's request. This was only possible with the use of novel technical materials for the suspension lines and framework, which needed to be lightweight and unobtrusive while retaining the strength required to support the dress on its turbulent journey.
The performance art piece entitled "Happy Ending Happy Ever After" was premiered at an immersive large screen showing during the Venice Biannale at Palazzo Pesaro Parafava. In Sophie's own words "performed and recorded rituals in symbolic places (Venice - city of Romance) and Space (out of this world, the universe) articulate complex emotions surrounding endings; new beginnings and the fantasies and expectations which surround relationships".
The music for the piece was written by Golden Globe and BAFTA-winning composer Michael Nyman, best known for his work on The Piano soundtrack.