Lava Lamp

Michael Shaw

For the Let’s Fly exhibition, Michael Shaw created an architecturally bespoke response to our ever changing locations: Lava Lamp, a monumental, inflatable and colorful sculpture.
With this title, the artist refers to a lamp invented in 1963, a vertical glass globe containing a transparent liquid in which colored balls of melted wax circulate. Michael Shaw’s sculpture is inspired by the colors, shape and movement of the lamp, which became a Pop reference in the 1990s.
Like a sleeping creature, this unsealed inflatable gives us the strange impression of breathing in and out. Indeed, its fans are constantly activated, blowing air cyclically into the structure.
Measuring more than 44m in length, the artwork wraps itself around the space, overflowing at both ends. This psychedelic snake is composed of repeating violet, lilac and pink stripes. A pattern of colors that accentuates its curvilinear course around the building.
With its immensity and extravagance, Michael Shaw’s sculpture is a striking installation to behold and due to its partial suspension is visible from many angles.



Michael Shaw was born in 1973 in Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom. He has participated in many solo exhibitions in the United Kingdom as well as group exhibitions in Europe and abroad. Specialized in giant site-specific inflatable structures, he earned a doctorate in 2005 based on Donald Judd’s sculptural concept ‘Specific Objects’. The artist recently exhibited an inflatable artwork at the CICA Museum in Gimpo, Korea. This is his first collaboration with the Balloon Museum.

A production