The show will present the European debut of Italian design duo Formafantasma’s Craftica series, conceived in collaboration with luxury goods house Fendi for Design Miami/Basel 2012, which the gallery describes as ‘a visual and tactile investigation into the diversity and origins of leather.’
Among the pieces on display at the exhibition, which opens next month, will be handmade stools, lights, vessels and tools.
Rather than using leather simply as a material, all the pieces are inspired by its tactile qualities, history and symbolic connotations.
Simone Farresin and Andrea Trimarchi, Formafantasma co-founders, say, ‘[Leather] represents the complex relationship between humans and nature. Leather has the ability to evoke almost ancestral memories of when nature was hunted to produce food, tools and protection for the body.
‘Searching underneath and above the sea, from the vegetal to the animal world, the installation offers a holistic view on leather as a material.’
Indeed, as a sum of its parts, the series sounds perhaps less than attractive. As well as traditional leather, the pieces are created from some rather primitive components including vegetal dried fish skins (sourced from a food factory in Iceland), oxidized metal, glass, wood and other natural materials such as bones, shells and cow bladders.
Alongside these rather experimental pieces, the exhibition will also include a series of illustrations on parchment by Studio Formafantasma designer Francesco Zorzi, showing a visual history of leather’s usages.
Craftica by Formafantasma runs from 1 – 28 February at Gallery Libby Sellers, 41-42 Berners Street, London W1