Welcome to VERY 16!
“Would you like the lights or the paintings?” Orsina Sforza responded when I asked if she would let us feature her work in VERY. Genre-division is commonly practiced in all areas including art and design; however, not at VERY. Here we like to look at things as a whole in a more holistic approach.
Everything is connected, life is a flow. My answer to Orsina hence was “both.“ Her light sculptures and paintings have an international following, but separately until now. It is a great honour to finally put the two together.
Life as we know it would not exist if the earth wasn’t the blue planet, the one that has water. But there is a problem. “In India, it pours in the rainy season, but almost all monsoon water washes into the sea,“ Francis Fry pointed out while I was staying at his idyllic Madurai hilltop retreat.
With Francis busy creating a rainwater irrigation system for his magical Rajakkad Garden Hotel, I began researching the subject.
The more I looked, the more I felt paralyzed. The complexity of “water“ was overwhelming, worry kept me awake at night. The breakthrough came when Francis put me in touch with Julian Jones, a true visionary.
Julian connects the dots, explains the causes and provides solutions in his article “Water, Where Our ‘System‘ Fails Us.“
Indeed, where the system fails us, we need to step up. The apparel industry, for one, has much to answer for. Esprit is taking on the task. They were the first global brand to create an ethical “Ecollection“ in 1992, and now are re-examining their entire operation.
The Esprit/Royal College of Art Annual Competition spearheads the new Esprit eco-design, featured here in the cover and feature fashion story, alongside leading British ecological and ethical labels.
Artist Liliane Lijn’s collaboration with NASA is presented next to her collage of 18th century water colours. Lijn slashes together antique temples with fire from contemporary industrial furnaces. It’s worth noting that today in Greece these furnaces are found side by side with those exact temples.
Mati Klarwein, previously known as the “most famous unknown artist“ is sadly no longer with us, but his son Balthazar tells the story. I can see nothing more befitting than Mati’s “Tree of Life“ as this issue’s centerfold. Religion, layers of history and daily life are intermixed in Ximena Garrido- Lecca’s work. She intuitively juggles traditions and spiritual influences only found in South America, namely her native Peru. Kimberly DuRoss takes us on a trip to present-day Sicily, with Celia Lyttelton remarking upon its history.
It took some convincing for Georgia de Castro Keeling to lend us her beauty for the fashion shoot, as she would rather be known for her artwork. Here are both now; thank you Georgia, you are a star!