There are few symbols more evocative of a carefree childhood than a carousel. So when Swarovski unveiled their very own unique version recently, it was truly a joyful sight to behold. Set against the lush greenery of the Austrian countryside, the Carousel is a fully functional, interactive ride, shimmering with the sparkle of 15 million Swarovski crystals.
Located in the vast grounds of the hugely entertaining Swarovski Kristallwelten (Swarovski Crystal Worlds) theme park in Wattens, Austria, the black-and white installation is the dream project and creative vision of renowned Spanish designer Jaime Hayon.
“The Carousel provokes feelings of freedom and joy — it is an art piece in movement and a place where imagination starts,’ says Hayon. “I’m excited for people to be transported into this fairy tale. Swarovski has the ability to dream along with you – they are not afraid of a challenge and they are willing to go all the way to turn an idea into reality. To have this opportunity to create such a beautiful project that will be in Kristallwelten for years to come is an honour.”
Given the visible intricacies and exquisite work on the enterprise, it’s not surprising that Hayon took six months to complete the construction of the Carousel. Adorned with millions of crystals, along with effectively placed soft lighting, the 12 ceiling and six wall panels of the structure emit a warm, almost magical glow. And lending to the fantasy-themed atmosphere, the seats have been fashioned to resemble characters from popular children’s fables. Happy, smiling face masks have been affixed on the fence and the ceiling. Surrounding the installation, they seem to reflect the joy of the riders.
“The Carousel is a symbol of innocence and light-heartedness,” says Carla Rumler, cultural director for Swarovski and curator of Swarovski Kristallwelten. “Jaime Hayon combines incredible elegance with his unique character figures, immersing riders in a crystalline moving fantasy world.”
The fact that this 6.5-metres-high artwork, with a circumference of 12.5 metres, is functional as well is, arguably, the best part of the Carousel. Hosting 28 passengers, it offers seats for wheelchair-bound riders too — a huge plus by all standards. And a delightful one, as well.