Conceived as an immersive experience for Milan Design Week 2021, AQVA by Artemest is linked to the theme of water and its vitality. As water is also a constant reference in your works, how would you define your relationship with this element?
I would say there is an innate connection. When I work, I often happen to look at other things for my research but then I unconsciously find myself going back to water and, precisely, to everything concerning the sea and lagoon.
Reflection, transparency, movement, and fluidity are the red thread linking the works presented by Artemest at Milan Design Week. How did you conceive your piece for this year's theme?
All these concepts define in part Bosco d’Acqua, which is translated as "Forest of Water". I have imagined a peaceful place where one can feel immersed in a fluid world defined by changing yet delicate reflections.
The piece you are presenting at AQVA is called Bosco d’Acqua. How did the idea of the union between land and water come to you?
The idea for this piece comes from the past, more specifically from a reflection and study of fossilized fish from southern Italy, which was once covered by water millions of years ago. This was the initial inspiration, then further ideas followed one by one. Where there was water, now there is rock, and above the rock often there are mountains and woods.
However, it all started from the sea, and the memory of the sea lives on in its eternal fish. From that concept ensued the link with the uncertain present, and the need to shed light on what is happening today to our planet, before it turns into fossil again. And so the piece naturally took shape: we celebrate the fish, which make us feel alive with their iridescent and colored surfaces, and we never forget about them, unveiling them even when our attention fades away. Because now, more than ever, besides the recovery of our waters - be they oceans, seas or rivers - we must be driven by the idea of protecting, preserving, and caring for what remains.
Bosco d'Acqua is made of aluminum and colored paints. Why did you choose these materials, and how are these artworks transformed by the interplay created by interior lighting?
The choice of aluminum comes from the need to exhibit these pieces outdoors for an extended period of time. Aluminum is a light metal, completely sustainable and therefore akin to the philosophy of the project. Of all metals, it is what I perceive as "malleable”, not cold. The color choice was developed through the search for hues that are iridescent and recall the shades and reflections light creates on my silk velvets. In fact, when seeing Bosco d’Acqua, one perceives these elements also as being soft. Additionally, the internal lighting in the dark confers a completely different, nocturnal shape and dimension to the piece. If during the day it is perceived as an element, albeit light, anchored to the ground, at night it becomes ethereal, with the fish seemingly swimming in the air.
Despite recent events, Milan Design Week is back to showcase creativity and talented artisans. What do you expect to see this week and what are your goals for this new start in Milan?
I expect to see the creativity I've always seen at Design Week, but I'd like to discover a different energy. There has always been a lot of excitement at Design Week, but also a frenzy that has never really left room for reflection. So, if anything, I would like to find a stronger and more “aware” energy, one that creates long-lasting memories and does not fade over the course of the week. With this new start, I’m seeking a balance to put back in the proper order the search for new ideas, novel experiments, and the time to fully appreciate all the phases of the creative process, which I have often lost sight of to give priority to the more technical and logistic aspects of my work.