During this year's Salone del Mobile in Milan, Studio Formafantasma will present 'De Natura Fossilium' - a new body of work that investigates the culture of lava in the Mount Etna and Stromboli regions of Sicily, two of the last active volcanoes in Europe.
Historically craftsmen would mould molten lava erupting from small craters into celebrated and elaborate forms. This time-honoured craft has effectively been rendered worthless as now only inexpensive souvenirs are produced. Formafantasma's investigations and the resulting objects will challenge this situation and realise the full potential of the lava as a source material for exquisite and collectible objects. As both their earlier Moulding Tradition (2009) and Botanica (2011) collections highlight, this re-evaluation of lost processes and materials is a constant theme in their work, as is their questioning of the relationship between tradition and local culture and the relationship between objects and the idea of cultural heritage.
While the collection focuses on a specific locality, the project has been developed in collaboration with a number of European experts: from the CNC cutting of basalt in Sicily to the scientific analysis of lavic stones at the INGV of Catania, through the experiments with lava as glass at both the Glass Museum in Leerdam and Berengo Studio in Murano, to the brass developments with Carl Aubock in Vienna and the textile works with the Textile Museum in Tilburg. The collection is also accompanied by a photographic series by long time collaborator Luisa Zanzani.
All works are courtesy of and available exclusively through Gallery Libby Sellers.
Via Clerici, 5
8 - 13 April, 10am - 9pm