Gleaming with a nostalgic enchantment, the heart of Milan once brimmed with luminescent marvels that echoed tales of artisanal glory. The Nilufar Depot unfurled an arresting palette of iridescent innovation, set within the rich canvas of the 'POIKILOS' exhibition. It was an event graced by the harmonious collusion of art and design, orchestrated under the watchful eye of Studio Vedèt during the Milan Design Week of 2023.
Immersed in the allure of the spectacle were the trailblazing design duo, Eleni Petaloti and Leonidas Trampoukis from Objects of Common Interest. With finesse, they brought to life an array of solid glossy furniture, all born from the fusion of liquified resin and natural elements such as iron, marble, and wood. The liquid, crystalline aura of resin was frozen in time and space, showcasing its metamorphic journey from fluid to solid form.
The essence of the exhibition, articulated elegantly by Valentina Ciuffi of Studio Vedèt, could be likened to a beautiful paradox. Just as the ancient Greeks draped themselves in mottled cloaks, a contemporary manifestation of 'Poikolos', the exhibition too, donned an attire of resplendent change. Seats, tables, lamps, vases, all wore a skin of iridescence that was not mere surface adornment but a pulsating life-force within, perpetually shifting and transforming.
In yesteryears, 'Poikilos' carried an inherent charm, hinting at the leopards' mottled fur or the snake's iridescent skin. It was a reflection of the ceaseless ebb and flow of life, a nod to the abstract within the tangible. Today, that ancient essence permeates through the very soul of the exhibition as the translucent bodies of the furniture, hold within them colors from around, forging an inseparable bond with their surroundings.
Held in the grand atrium of Nilufar Depot, the exhibition owes a part of its lineage to the Greek origins of Petaloti and Trampoukis. Their inspired creations, steered away from the traditional processing of using machines for cutting and shaping blocks. Instead, they showcased the artistry involved in crafting something out of anything, irrespective of its original form. The duo further breathed life into their designs by orchestrating an optical play, wherein the glassy furniture echoed the colors and elements around them, thereby transforming the functional objects into poetic canvases.
The seeds of this extraordinary journey were sown when Petaloti encountered Ovidiu Colea, a Romanian artisan dedicated to the exploration of resin. His workshop on Long Island served as a sanctuary of creative pursuits, brimming with undisclosed recipes and intricate machinery. As the baton of knowledge was passed on from Colea to the duo, they breathed a new lease of life into his craft, relocating his wealth of wisdom to their Hellenic factory in the industrial zone of Piraeus in Athens.
Today, the echo of Colea’s craftsmanship reverberates through Milan as each creation unfurls stories of resilience, passion, and a deep understanding of the versatility of resin. As Ciuffi eloquently shares, the iridescence seen in the creations captures the fleeting charm of dazzling marvels, never ceasing to amaze, just like the ever-changing landscape of our lives.
In this vibrant world that Objects of Common Interest and Studio Vedèt have conjured, the resin transforms into an iridescent potion, an embodiment of ceaseless change and relentless innovation. The POIKILOS exhibition was a celebration of design and its relationship with light, mood, and perception. As fleeting as iridescence may be, the afterglow of this artistic manifestation lingers on, gracing the world with its quiet magic.