JUN 2020 - SEP 2020
Casavells 2020 took artistic risks and embraced diversity, featuring local as well as international designs. The gallery had on show the works of over 20 designers including, Sophie Rowley and Sabine Marcelis, as well as a group of new designers recently graduated from university, such as Sigve Knuston, Elissa Lacoste and Lukas Saint-Joigny, amongst glass blower Hanna Hansdotter and textile weaver Marie Schumann.
Hanna Hansdotter was born in Sweden’s Småland region, dubbed “the Kingdom of Crystal”, Hanna’s roots have undeniably shaped her work. First training in glassblowing at the Kosta Glass Centre, she then continued on to the University College of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm where she was noticed for her highly celebrated graduation exhibition, “Ayryck” in 2017, this exhibition was the start of a new expressive design concept for Hanna that would distinguish her work from then on. Hansdotter’s designs propose a dialogue across the centuries. As she experiments with the traditional blowing techniques of molten glass, she boldly adds her own 21st century definition to the process, experimenting with colour, gradient and form. By into blowing into industrial iron frameworks, the ad hoc molds imprint patterned, almost alien surfaces onto her voluptuous vessels, as the glass bulges and oozes through openings in the grates, the finished pieces revealing human like forms. Sigve Knutson a young Norwegian designer who’s works could be defined as studies of humanity: all of his products have been shaped by hand and result in a clear relationship between the human hand and body. In the creation of his pieces Knutson prefers to use old, even ancient materials, and he believes that primitive methods are a way of searching for a connection to the collective past of the humanity. Another young designer on display was Lukas Saint-Joigny who’s Ore collection caught the eye of many. The collection was designed as series of different domestic objects that evoke Ore mineral. Using different organic shapes, large and almost grotesque in form, his objects look alive. This unusual dynamic aspect created by the shapes, texture and striking colours conjure you instantly into a fantasy world, compelling you to let go of your imagination.
"Casavells 2020 combined a younger generation of designers born after 1980, exploring new techniques, materials and sensations of the design world"
Also alluring the onlooker into a distant land were the works of Rodrigo Pinto, new to the gallery after his premier at the 2019 Side Gallery Design Miami booth. A selection of tables and stools from his collection “Tierras hipnopómpicas” (Hypnopompic lands), were on show. This series represents the materialization of constant dreams about territories in wear and tear by post-apocalypse. The textures and contours of each object reflect the wear and chaos that would influence each body. It is like observing the model of a schizophrenic story, where every detail tells the possible state of things. Following the pattern, a collection of seating elements by young designer Elissa Lacoste evoke otherness through formlessness and ambiguity while at the same time maintaining functionality.
The exhibition promotes two textile weavers. New to the gallery Marie Schumann and her Softspace series, which through softness, changing light reflections and movement, the textile room object reacts to the human body and brings tactility and atmosphere into the space. Pushing the boundaries of industrial weaving led to a three-dimensional exploration of the material that evokes lightness and communication with the architecture surrounding it to define and build something new. Working with the gallery for the second year in a row, Sophie Rowley’s series of colorful Khadi Frey weaves dominated an exhibition room contrasting the stark white walls and marble like benches of Elissa Lacoste, whilst completing the exotic colours of Hansdotter’s vases.
Addressing the idea that technological progress is both inevitable and entirely beneficial was questioned by the collective exhibition of basketry and craft. Many say our existence on this earth is at threat. And it is possible that we are creating conditions that will prevent the earth in supporting our continued survival, at least in the manner that we live now. This exhibition focused on handmade design, through the exploration of natural materials and organic form to the creation of humble objects such as the basket, the display urged the rediscovery of a sense of belonging, of being at one with earth, connecting to a consciousness more inclined to live in a cooperative society. Works from basket makers such as Joe Hoagn, Maggie Smith and Jennifer Zurick were on display.