Voting has ended for the ‘La Grande Bellezza’ award promoted by Starhotels in collaboration with the Fondazione Cologni dei Mestieri d’Arte, the Associazione OMA (Osservatorio dei Mestieri d’Arte) and Gruppo Editoriale. The competition set itself the ambitious objective of rewarding the know-how scattered all around the country, with a particular focus on works centred on exploration of the grand theme of Italian beauty and the fruitful partnership between manual skill and creativity, including the reappraisal in a contemporary key of antiquated and complex traditional techniques. From the shortlist of 10 finalists, the authoritative jury presided over by Elisabetta Fabri, chairwoman and CEO of Starhotels as well as the person who came up with the idea for this special initiative of patronage, has picked the work ‘Selvatica’, produced by the Fabscarte workshop in Milan, as the winning project.
Fabscarte, Selvatica, the result of the collaboration of the Milanese atelier Fabscarte with the designer Francesco Maluta, is a wall lamp with LED backlighting, conceived as a window to the outside to connect nature to places where it is not present. The front is in painted paper with subsequent material interventions on the back to create plays of light and shadow; the ovoid shape takes up the idea of the oriental fan and the paper, thanks to different textures and thicknesses, allows the light to shine through with heterogeneous gradation. The decorative motifs are made by hand with the watercolor technique.
‘A poetic and romantic interpretation of light,’ Elisabetta Fabri has commented. ‘A particularly evocative and sophisticated work, which I have chosen for its dual essence of a creation of the highest craftsmanship and a product of contemporary design: a perfect marriage between design and tradition, design and the culture of great manual skill, fully in the spirit of this award.’ Follow the Fondazione Cologni’s Facebook and Instagram channels to discover the stories of the ‘Magnificent Ten’ and see their works filled with beauty and... light!
Alessandro Rametta, The Light of Venus, a fascinating mirror in different metals, a true exercise of technical mastery. The embossed and chiselled copper surface evokes the sea of Cyprus, from whose waters Venus was born. The patina is inspired by the crust of the planet Venus, through the stratification of copper nitrites, sulfur and sulfuric acid. The bronze hemisphere was forged by fire and hammer on an iron mold. The rotatable base allows infinite variations of light in motion. Alessandro Rametta, a Milanese artisan, founded La Fucina di Efesto in 1997, a place for research on metals on the border between art, design and architecture. He experiments with different sculptural and painting techniques on metals and is dedicated to the production of unique works.
Mistero, by Antonino Negri, sculptor and ceramist from Lodi, is a mystical stoneware lamp made with the colombino and slabs technique, cold colored, with lime and ocher, then finished with beeswax: a vase of light that has a front, and a proscenium that separates the outside from the inside, the dark from the light. Inside a second threshold, a theatrical backdrop of lights that invites towards a further space The master is inspired in his work by the theme of nature, the animal world and the archetypal figures of myth and human history, with accents of great lyricism.
Salviati, Ferai Codega, from the famous Murano glass factory, founded in 1859, is a refined collection of three blown glass lamps designed by Alberto Lago. They are born from the fusion of two blown glasses that come together to create a single body. The project is inspired by the history of lighting in Venice, a modern version of the Venetian lantern, which recalls the archetypes of the Murano tradition. An internationally known name, Salviati respects and celebrates the millenary lagoon tradition and collaborates with important artists and designers.
Nuova Vetreria Resanese, Horah, of the Treviso-based company of excellence Nuova Vetreria Resanese which produces glass artifacts for furniture and lighting components, is a refined series of five lamps in glass and metal made designed by the well-known duo of London designers Raw Edges, composed of hand-fused curved glass leaves that slowly rotate around the central column of light, inspired by the synchronicity of the Israeli dance known as Horah.
Laura Carraro, Filide, a spectacular mosaic centerpiece that comes from the still image of a leaf, fallen in a meadow, reflecting the sunlight. The shape is inspired by that leaf and then becomes even more stylized, while maintaining subtlety and lightness, thanks to the technical experimentation of a self-supporting mosaic in gold tesserae.
Laura Carraro creates works of artistic research, jewellery, objects for furniture and projects for architecture in the Carraro Chabarik Mosaico Contemporaneo atelier, in the heart of Udine.
Draga & Aurel, Joy, from the multidisciplinary design studio Draga & Aurel from Como, which operates in furniture and interior design, a series of ultra-modern wall lamps with an obsolete shape, in resin, glass and plexiglass, inspired by the 70s, is born, where every hand-cast resin layer consists of a different saturation; complementary shades are layered to create a soft, nuanced glow effect.
photo by Riccardo Gasperoni
Davide Medri, Freedom Medri is an artist and mosaicist active in Cesena. Freedom is a contemporary modular lamp made with a mirror mosaic covering, a chain that links life and freedom: to life because it can proliferate, germinate, expand freely in space; to freedom because it unites earth and sky, the concreteness of the earthly dimension to the vastness of the spiritual dimension.
Bianco Bianchi, Nirvana, is a precious table made of marble and scagliola, where the decorative motif of the "mandala" is an inlay made with 167 plates of natural selenite treated with a thin layer of pigmented scagliola, and for the first time the ancient scagliola technique becomes transparent and luminous, thanks to the famous Florentine workshop dedicated to the processing of moonstone, founded in the mid-nineteenth century and today managed by the brothers Elisabetta and Alessandro Bianchi, who learned the arduous technique from their father Bianco.
Barbara Abaterusso, Dduma, by the eclectic artist-artisan and decorator, who lives and works in Rome, is a poetic table lamp from the "Merletti" collection in bronze and black brass, a sculpture that reproduces an Italian period lace with motifs floral, highly refined. The work is fixed to the black brass base, on which a small LED is inserted which, illuminating the sculpture, projects its enlarged shadow.