ALTAROMA: ARTISANAL INTELLIGENCE PRESENTS “HERBARIUM”, A PROJECT WHICH SHOWS THE PROPRIETIES OF PLANTS AND FLOWERS OF COLOURING AND PRODUCING FABRICS
Text by: Fiammetta Cesana
“Bloom – is Result – to meet a Flower
And casually glance
Would scarcely cause one to suspect
The minor Circumstance
Assisting in the Bright Affair
So intricately done
Then offered as a Butterfly
To the Meridian –
To pack the Bud – oppose the Worm –
Obtain its right of Dew –
Adjust the Heat – elude the Wind –
Escape the prowling Bee
Great Nature not to disappoint
Awaiting Her that Day –
To be a Flower, is profound
Responsibility – ”
Poetry N. 1058, Emily Dickinson, 1865
Inspired by the poetess’ passion of flowers and dedication to her own herbarium, which did influence all her poetry too, Clara Tosi Pamphili and Alessio de’Navasques curated a special project for A.I. Artisanal Intelligence of Altaroma (January 23 to 26) to explore the importance of nature in fashion industry.
“To be a flower is profound responsibility” and our concern of it is a matter of great responsibility too. Compared to the time in which Emily Dickinson used to pursue scientific study by collecting dried plants in her books, today our responsible action towards nature goes beyond science by involving our own moral duties. As we have been abusing terrestrial resources for decades and decades, in fact, now we are liable for the achievement of concrete solutions to fix the damages we made… and to recreate the adequate conditions to help the flower with its very laborious bloom.
It’s not a mystery that fashion is one of the most polluting sectors in the world. However today we are finally approaching a conscious behavior in the way we live, eat, travel, purchase and wear. “In a time in which there’s a lot of talk about recycling, reusing and sustainability, yet quite neglecting the importance of our traditions, Herbarium has managed to claim past techniques in the common contemporary goal of saving the planet.” de’Navasques said to us.
In a small house with a garden on the front, A.I. set up a place of exhibition and confrontation, where archives of tools, books and antiques Herbariums, invite visitors to discover today’s natural techniques of making fashion in relation to the acknowledgements of the past. Moreover, this cosy environment, designed by the owner of Antique library Cascianelli, Valentina La Rocca, and Botanical Garden Museum of Rome, hosts a series of workshops, some temporary and others permanent, contributing to enrich our knowledge about what nature can offer to create fibers or dyes which won’t poison the planet.
“If you go back in time looking at ancestral, peasant and popular cultures, you can see how the techniques we used were absolutely sustainable. For example, the rediscovery of natural dyes, which as we have seen in these three days are particularly laborious and have an incredible charm… seeing how the color is obtained from the plant, and how each tone corresponds to a particular era depending on the plants that had been discoveries, it’s wonderful.”
A journey throughout the multiple gifts of a natural fashion. From imagining and creating yourself a textile herbarium, you explore tradition and culture out of the creation of contemporary accessories thanks to the testimony of Chiara Cavallo, jewelry designer, who joined a project with European and Senegalese artisans. In this Roman house with garden, then, you can behold the merge of flowers with raw materials and colours which reveals cinema’s fashion through the memories of Maddalena Marciano; and finally discover Indian tales with an exhibition of precious, natural, handmade fabrics, like the non-violent silk, made with the khadi – a millenary technique with a spinning wheel which was actually the symbol of Gandhi’s resistance movement.
So, culminating the with the vision of a full reconciliation, material and spiritual, between man and nature, “Les Doigts en Fleur” by the artist Marina Viola Cavadini merges you into a tableaux vivant, where performers’s body blends with surrounding flora and architectural elements. By wearing accessories made with tactile and visual properties, their gestures evoke some sensorial experiences, bringing you to witness a certain union-metamorphosis between humans and plants, corporeal and immaterial, organic and inorganic…