Love Letters: Setting Plaster and the 'Objects of Our Affection'

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Love Letters: Setting Plaster and the 'Objects of Our Affection'

17 April 2023

Walls and plinths: Setting Plaster No.231 in Dead Flat

Setting Plaster has brought its signature blush of colour to a very special show at this year’s Fuorisalone, a city-wide expansion of the Milan design fair Salone del Mobile.

Love Letters is an intimate group exhibition of new, handcrafted pieces from an exceptional roster of women artists from across the globe, each piece an expression of gratitude from its creator to someone who has had a significant impact on their worldview.

The exhibition was held in conjunction with a fundraiser for Progetto Arca, a local non-profit organisation providing housing, psychological support, language courses, legal advice, mentorship and more to displaced and refugee women and children in Milan.

To bring these themes together, a very particular kind of colour was in order – a soft and protective shade that feels like a warm hug, but with an underlying strength. Enter: our cult-favourite pink paint.

“We were looking for an elegant yet optimistic colour for both the walls and the pedestals that would allow the exhibited design objects to "float" in the space,” says curator Anna Carnick. “Setting Plaster was perfect; not only did it match our project's graphic identity colourways, but it was also a wonderful complement to the diverse materials and forms on view—from wood to glass, neon, ceramic, cement and clay, the colour worked beautifully in conversation with every piece.

“The colour was an integral part of the exhibition. It set a tone that was palpable the moment you walked into the space, and really elevated the entire experience. We couldn't have been happier with how it turned out!”

The works and their artists

elombe 016: ikasa

ibiyanε

Martinique-based duo ibiyanε created this wooden headrest as an ode to dreams and human connection, and have dedicated it to everyone who has supported their aspirations.

The Batanga words elombe (conversations) and ikasa (bridge) reflect the observation of designers Tania Doumbe Fines and Elodie Dérond that “you either build walls or bridges between people”. 

Its design is inspired by headrests first made and used on the African continent in precolonial times, which were used as antennae to receive dreams and amplify messages from one’s ancestors.


shelter, مأوى Sconce and Tabletop Light

Maryam Turkey

These lighting pieces are an homage to artist-designer Maryam Turkey’s mother, designed both to acknowledge their shared experiences as women living first in Baghdad and then in New York, and as a statement on women’s autonomy.

shelter, مأوى was inspired by the artist’s vivid memories of being a young girl in Baghdad, looking out of the window and longing to play outside while being hidden indoors with the women in her family.

The light that shines from within the clay casing is a powerful symbol, representing the light through the cracks in Turkey’s curtains as a child, her own inner light longing to be set free, the tension and care resonating between she and her mother, and women’s ongoing struggle for equality.


A Love Letter to Women's Work

Xanthe Somers

Zimbabwe-born ceramicist Xanthe Somers dedicates her piece, A Love Letter to Women’s Work, to women makers – to those who have paved the way for her own practice but who history has left unrecognised, and to the many individual struggles they continue to face.

When knitted together, like the strands of Somers’ stoneware clay, these stories create a rich narrative of women’s artistry through time.


Treasure

Agustina Bottoni

Born in Buenos Aires and now based in Milan, designer Agustina Bottoni worked with Italian glass artisans to create her one-of-a-kind glass vessel Treasure. The piece is an expression of love to her partner of many years and – in a contemporary nod to reliquaries, ornate containers created to hold religious relics and other personal treasures – designed to protect and honour their relationship.

As well as a physical manifestation of devotion, the piece is a celebration of human-made handicraft, blending time-honoured artisanal traditions with a contemporary spirit.


The Best Day Everyday: A Love Letter to Mothers and It's Love, I think

Eve De Haan

London-based multidisciplinary artist Eve De Haan created two new bespoke pieces for the exhibition – The Best Day Everyday and It’s Love I Think – both forged in hand-crafted neon tubing and Perspex.

Like much of her work, these take inspiration from resonant personal narratives and everyday experiences. The first is dedicated to the artist’s mother, her daughters, “and to all mothers everywhere”, beaming a mantra of positivity that she uses often in her own home as a reminder to live life to its fullest.

The second is for “all those seeking love”, and reflects the vulnerability required in its pursuit, “the unclear path we must each walk in order to find real, grounded, wonderful love—and the uncertain but beautiful trip that can be.”


Ciao Mr. Ettore!

Ahryun Lee

Seoul-born and Bavaria-based ceramic artist Ahryun Lee created Ciao Mr. Ettore! as an homage to fellow artists. 

Broadly, it is a tribute to all those who show the vulnerability and bravery to share a piece of themselves with the world through their art. Specifically, it is a message of gratitude to the trailblazing Italian design legend Ettore Sottsass, whose iconic Tahiti lamp inspired Lee to create her own playful piece.

Always pushing the possibilities of her medium through form, colour and texture, Lee hopes that her piece will inspire joy – as well as the courage to follow creative pursuits – in its audience.  


Make your favourite pieces pop

Nothing enhances a piece of art like a well-chosen wall colour. Head to our Around the World page for more inspiration on creating a setting that lets your favourite things shine.

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