Earthquake 5.9 is a new collection of furnishings by legendary designer Patricia Urquiola. Constructed for Budri, an Italian marble power-house, the range has been created using fragments of destroyed marble and onyx rescued from the Emilia earthquake that struck northern Italy on the 20th May 2012. This rubble has been transformed by Urquiola into these striking geometric wall units and tables giving new life to this broken material.
I love this idea, one where what is broken can be given a new life. And what better way to rebuild than to the use the history of what was as the core of the new product. What I really like about it is how it captures an almost defiant attitude, one that doesn’t let tragedy win and instead boasts about renewal in the form of striking, geometric design.
As well as design, Patricia Urquiola is also mentoring the Masters in Interior and Living Design at Domus Academy. Currently under her guidance, students are working with renowned furniture retailer B&B Italia to design a new concept and vision for the B&B showrooms. Using social, cultural and recreational values, these spaces will be rethought by Urquiola’s students, thinking about the space in between the furniture as much as the items themselves. How cool is that?
Patricia Urquiola’s work is everywhere… except for her website. So just google away and you’ll come across some amazing work. And if you’re interested in studying under her guidance then you can check out Domus Academy by clicking here.
Aren’t these fascinating? Christina Schou Christensen is a Danish ceramic artist who has taken some seriously interesting turns away from the traditions of the media. I first came across Christensen when looking through the wares of London Design Week this year, there she exhibited her oozing, dribbling, gravity works which seriously made me stop and take a second look. After goggling her I saw that she also creates these beautiful puffy, folded pieces. Both collections, in my view, have an incredibly unique aesthetic.
The gravity works (my own title) are created by allowing the glaze to ooze out during the firing process in the kiln. She is literally capturing gravity at work. What’s also interesting here is that Christensen has transformed the properties and functions of the glaze from being a purely decorative element into one of function. Not only is it there to add finish, but it’s responsibility has also become a supportive one. The other aspect that’s really nice is how Christensen has embraced the element of chance. Her set ups allow gravity to be in creative control. A really nice idea that I’ve never seen before in ceramic work.
I’ve found little out about her folded pieces but I can only assume that once again, gravity is a major player in the finished look. The soft, saggy, billowing clay looks like it’s on a downward droop creating a very organic look. The brushed, pastel finish is also perfect.
Take a bit of time to watch the clip, it’s unpretentious and gives a nice little insight into the creation of the work. And take a peek at her Instagram… more images here than on her website strangely.
Alessia Xoccato’s latest Fall/Winter collection titled Ordinary and Extraordinary 2013 is making waves across the fashion industry. Xoccato gives a fresh take on modernity within each piece while staying true to her signature style of sculptural garments that experiment with volume, geometric shape and simple lines.
Contrasting texture is a significant part of Xoccato’s aesthetic in this collection, as she pairs heavy materials such as wool with the lightness of silk. Her utilitarian colour palette works well with the modular shape of the garments. Xoccato has stated that an influence in her work is that of Romanian born sculptor Brancusi, which can be seen in the clean lines and block shapes throughout the collection. Emphasis is placed on the relationship between body and shape, with the designer saying that she wants to create a ‘conscious femininity and a subdued sensuality.’ I’m loving the denim dress coupled with high collared shirt in the second image, it has just the right amount or ‘prim’ and ‘power’ to it.
Alessia gained her Masters in Fashion Design at Domus Academy and now works in Milan. She has showcased her work at Milan Fashion Week and internationally in Russia and Canada. Xoccato has also gained attention and been promoted by Vogue Italia. She is one talented lady! To check out her entire collection just click here.
Well this ticked all the right boxes for me. Potentially a little dark for the end of the week, but so good nether the less. Territoire – Blanc is a deliciously sinister short film for the release of Territoire’s album Mandorle which has been released on Envelope Collective. Directed by Pedro Marín-Calero, the film is surreal and beautifully Hitchcock-ian in style. Vertigo was one reference that definitely came to mind when watching this film along with late 70′s spy dramas. Personally, I was really taken with the simple but perfectly orchestrated camera work. I just loved the unease that you feel while watching and thought the mix between the subtly drifting camera and the static locked off shots helped accentuate this. A hand held camera that suddenly shifts to a still moving one, the moment during the fight where it turns from day to night, both moments are absolutely perfect. There are so many shots in this film that work brilliantly both as a moving image and as a still. That’s a sign of a superbly art directed and composed shoot.
And looking through Marín-Calero showreel it seems that this is his strength. As one commentator on vimeo says, this guy’s timing is near perfect, showing just how important a good edit is to help create mood and atmosphere.
I’ve also been listening to Mandorle by Territoire over on Bandcamp and it’s pretty interesting. Not the kind of music you’re going to have playing at your next dinner party, but an engrossing atmospheric sound with an arresting cinematic quality. Take a listen for yourself by clicking here.
As soon as I saw that gorilla holding the deer in a tranquil lotus position I was well and truly suckered into these dark and fascinating sculptures by Italian duo Bertozzi and Casoni. Severed animal heads, human detritus, highly decorative plates and ephemeral butterflies combine in odd and striking combinations that make my stomach lurch.
Phenomenal attention to detail has been applied here, especially when you consider that these animals have been made out of ceramic materials. The sheen that runs through the stag’s head as it takes its last salivating gasp of air or the reptilian scales that pulse with the movement of the animal are incredibly life-like. Butterflies gently pull at each dead animal, signifying a rebirth or resurrection of sorts. Beauty and death are synonymous in these works; the macabre is sharply emphasised by the exquisite detail of the medium.
Giampaolo Bertozzi and Stefano Dal Monte Casoni met at the Ceramic Art College of Faenza in Italy. They decided to work collaboratively and challenge the traditions of the ceramic medium; this work is undeniably experimental and succeeds in pushing quite a few boundaries. The above work, from their Regeneration series is dripping in symbolism and art history references; the pair aim to ‘link the past and the present along an axis; so that technique, objects, themes and clichés exist together on the same level.’ Trash, dirty mattresses and guitar cases connote a culture in decay, and create questions as to how our human presence is eroding the natural world around us.
Bertozzi and Casoni get five gold stars from me, I love seeing intelligent and thought-provoking art work that still cares about being beautiful. All Visual Arts is the London Gallery that represents them, have a look around – there’s some damn nice work floating around.