The walls were clad in inlays and mosaïcs never before seen
More than just an unusual presentation of the natural stone, Budri Company of Italy set the scene at the Salone del Mobile (April 4th to 9th 2017) in Milan as a work of art in its own right. The company with headquarters near Modena, chose „La via della Seta“ (The Silk Route) as the theme for its Fair exhibit referring to the East Asian Trade Route which led from China to Europe including a stopover at a foreign culture on the way.
Visitors entered the exhibit through a dark tunnel paved in special stone: Verde Lapponia with an accentuated undulated structure on the floor, on the walls Nero Marquina whose surface bore a typical damask pattern with interwoven threads referring to the silk thread of the theme.
After that came an interior, maybe the guest-room of a rich merchant, maybe a room for festivities in a caravansary…
Indeed it was a place which symbolically invited to rest and remain: on the floor were spread cushions again made of silk, behind them exotic objects like Nautilus shells. In the 16th century, when merchants had brought those exotic animals from the Indian and Pacific ocean to Europe citizens and artists were fascinated by this unknown species.
Fair visitors who know their way around stone were particularly impressed and excited by the craftsmanship of the stone backdrop; one wall and the floor were worked with inlay never yet seen in this degree of detail. In essence the inlay work brought travelers via the Silk Route to their destiny: The pattern depicted a silk scarf as it glides through the air when tossed.
The scarf itself bore a pattern of feathers underscoring the seeming lightness of the material. „They are currently all the rage in the fashion branch“ explains Malagoli Budri, mother of the Via della Seta idea.
Feathers were crafted from different types of marble, semi-precious stone and bronze elements.
But that’s not all. In contrast to the light weight feather pattern, the mosaic pattern on the wall was a massive black and white, composed of 3000 separate pieces, each of which was cut to a specific angle.
This brings us to another particularity: Budri’s specialists did not merely transpose an inflated version of the pattern on the wall. They projected the picture into a corner and even on the floor.
Why did Budri go to all this trouble? „Anything else would have been too easy“, explains Alessandra Malagoli, calmly.
Two more aspects deserve mentioning: the ground surface was slightly elevated reminiscent of a Japanese Tatami-Table, making reference to a realm beyond the Silk Route.
And: the light changed from one nuance to the next projecting and reinforcing colors in the stone.
(08.07.2017, USA: 07.08.2017)