Stefania Boemi. Sicilian Analogies

From the Moor's heads to 'Buattine': décor recomposed - tradition, identity and colorfulness

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11/07/2019 - Reused, recreated, recycled, reinterpreted and re-imagined. The designs by Stefania Boemi are a poetic hymn to craftsmanship, an authentic plunge into Sicilian tradition and memories of the past. Her variegated portfolio of unique pieces is now enriched by the anthropomorphic terracotta vases of the new Teste collection. For these vases the designer drew inspiration from the Sicilian Moor's heads, lending these traditional vessels a modern aspect. Stefania Boemi, specialized in neurorehabilitation, lives in Sicily. The handmade artifacts of her homeland are the fascinating material that has always provided her with emotional stimuli and cultural values. Disassemble and reassemble, ladder and re-stitch, remove paint and repaint, strip down and reclad, there are many different ways how to alter the semblance of a given object while preserving and conveying its rich heritage. “It started with the stories my mother used to tell me”, says Stefania. “She would teach me that every (seemingly) useless object can magically be transformed into something else; perhaps into a toy, a crib, a puppet theater. I watched her sewing, repairing a broken chair, painting a old table or stitching something. All those impressions remained, somewhere in the back of my mind, and are contributing to the way I look at things.” Monochromatic and strictly opaque, the distinct traits of the Teste collection reveal an aesthetic identity that matched the concept of the decoration of Filippo La Matina's Milan restaurant, designed by Pero Lissoni, and adorned a corner of the Palermo Uno apartment during the MDW 2019.

“The Moor's heads have always fascinated me. Mostly, perhaps, because of the story that I was told about their origin,” Stefania explains. “I imagined them different from how I actually saw them. About ten years ago, I was busy furnishing my new home, I started experimenting with terracotta and colors.”

Her idea to replace the glazed porcelain was an instinctive choice she attributes to a sort of temporal sedimentation, dusty but contemporary and original. From dark tints that almost resembled solidified lava to the more vivid colors, the vases are a tribute to traditional Sicilian décor. “Choosing the colors I simply loosen the reins on my thoughts,” she confirms. “All it takes is a hike in the mountains. I return with so many color impressions , so many different hues of green, brown and basaltic gray.” Indeed, it's from the very landscape the analogies derive. As for Teste, so for Nake, a collection of hammocks made of double bedspreads from the early twentieth century, together with Capezzali and Buattine, boxes inspired by the the traditional puppet theater, or LUMINARIE, all is reminiscent of 'Sicilian things' and has been selected with the intention of give new interpretations and a new purpose to many (seemingly) obsolete objects. Every single piece is assembled by hand and, thus, one of a kind.

The satisfactions she gains from manual work and the respect she pays to tradition make her a witness of the importance of conservation and the possible reinterpretation, in a contemporary key, for the artisanal design market. Aside from that, her projects are a proud affirmation of the history of Sicily.

Stefania Boemi on ARCHIPRODUCTS

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