- Natural beauty: the art of Carla Daturi
Drawing on her scientific background as a biologist and teacher with a great passion for art, Daturi offers a contemporary take on the ancient art of the mosaic. As she tells us, her intention is to combine the reality of natural materials of fascinating intrinsic beauty with the abstract nature of the conceptual compositions in the „Precious Walls“ project.
And in fact it is hard to escape the force of nature, whether it is presented to us in the form of panels, items of furniture, tabletops or backlit surfaces with LED lighting. Because the material itself is the primary source of inspiration in creation of these works, the construction of which Daturi compares to Lego. These are not plastic bricks, however, but semi-precious stones, marbles, tiles of Venetian glass with gold leaf, mother-of pearl, fossils and shells. Artfully assembled, the bold contrasts between colours, glossy and matt elements and the different depths of the materials inspire and induce an illusion of three-dimensional motion on the surfaces of the works, where the compositional rhythm alternating between solids and hollows, symmetries and asymmetries, proposes an unusual visual musicality.
Carla Daturi’s work is created in close symbiosis with Milanese company Didoni, a family-run business that cuts and works precious and semi-precious gemstones. Daturi goes to the Didoni workshop to find the gemstones that are her raw materials, and every one of them has a story of its own. In her hands, surplus and scrap pieces are turned into something new. From the bowels of the earth to the walls: her panels contain natural elements from all over the world, each with its own geological history. Amethysts shaped like flowers, cut into thin slices in which colour is, in some cases, accentuated by the LED panels to which they are applied, from Uruguay, and crystals from our own Italian Alps are just a few of the materials that can be found and touched in the Hyper Room in the elegant tower block at the corner of Via Ariberto and Corso Genova 1 in Milan, a little 60-metre high skyscraper forming part of a complex built in 1950-52 by Mario Bacciocchi for INAIL.
The most striking thing is the way supply chains and professionals work together, making a real difference and symbolising a new form of choral creativity. And in fact Daturi’s work was first presented during Milano Design Week in 2019, already with Hyper Room, founded by Chiara Carradori, and entrepreneur and designer who appreciates Italian-made quality and technological research for sustainable global trade. Hyper Room is now a concept store with a focus on safeguarding Italian handcrafts, with a new integrated economic system including a multisectorial (Fashion-Food-Design-Beauty) and multichannel (B2B-B2C) store representing small to mid-sized Italian enterprises selected as specialists in their particular market sector and product category. Use of latest-generation 3D technologies allows customers to broaden their buying experience with interactive furniture, 3D configurators, AR, 3D scanners and the Hyper Room app.
But this combination of the ancient art of the mosaic as reinterpreted by Carla Daturi with a bold abstract approach and the fashion and objects offered by Chiara Carradori are best experienced in the welcoming spaces of the first basement level of Bacciocchi’s tower, originally designed precisely for the purpose of use as a commercial and exhibition space.
Project: Carla Daturi - Precious Walls
Location: Milan, Italy
Images: courtesy of Hyper Room