Antonio Arico - Australian Shells collection
Milan, 16 December 2015 - Invited by Judith Glover, professor of RMIT industrial design course, Antonio Aricò lead a 3 months workshop designing and developing a ceramic handmade tableware collection. It’s the second collaboration of Antonio with this Australian university as he conducted a master class on the theme of “Soprammobili” in 2014.
His inspiration of the ‘Shell Collection’ came last summer in Calabria while he was swimming in the Ionic Sea. In the past, different designers and ceramic companies have approached the link between shells and ceramic, for example: the “Nautilus” collection developed in 1780s by Wedgwood. The experience has been surprisingly intense and charming. The young Australian Students have been great in following all the process from the sketches to the making of the moulds, the slip casting and the glazing. “I am particularly thankful to Judith Glover and to name a few: Hamish Maggs, Mechelle Shooter, Richard Greenacre, Mohamed Osman for this great experience”.
Antonio explains: “I wanted this collection to be a funny and graceful way to describe Australian hidden beauties often connected to the idyllic idea of sea, lightness and exotic feelings. I wanted to use basic cultural stereotypes and create a surreal and dreamy imaginary around them”. Coming from the south of Italy, I also wanted to connect my origins and identity to something that’s for me one of the greatest natural Beauties: The SEA. He adds: ‘Transforming organic and natural shapes into daily objects is an approach very much used in the past and is very characteristic of a European art and craft movement. The porcelain of the white collection is “White Southern Ice”, an Australian made porcelain, the one of the grey collection is “WSS porcelain” also from Australia. However, all have this main characteristic: this “lustre” pearlescent finishing typical of mother pearl and shells’. Slightly baroque, this interpretation brings a moody exploration on organic shapes and lustred finishes, with a strong connotation to something natural and luxurious at the same time. A collection to use and to display as your dear grandmother used to do!
ABOUT ANTONIO ARICO
Antonio Aricò (1983) was born in Reggio Calabria. After graduating from the Politecnico di Milano and a postgraduate course at the Alta Scuola Politecnica, he completed his training abroad, studying Metal & Jewellery Design at the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Scotland, Product Design at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia and Traditional Furniture Design in Spain. He works for Barilla Group, Seletti and Alessi. Since 2011, Aricò has lived between Milano and Reggio Calabria, his homeland and constant source of inspiration. The attention paid to traditional techniques and local operating practices combined with attention to detail and the quality of the materials used in the execution of a work mark the main characteristics of his practice, which often deals with the creation of everyday objects. Featuring a signature style that combines the spontaneity of the gesture with the simplicity of the execution, Aricò’s work has been presented at DMY in Berlin, the Salone del Mobile in Milan, Maison & Objets in Paris and the Design Centrum Kielce in Poland, Wabi Sabi exhibition in Turin, Nomadismi exhibition curated by Lidewij Edelkoort in Milan and at the Design Museum Holon in Tel Aviv. www.antonioarico.com
RMIT University started its life as the Working Men’s College on 7 June 1887. It adopted the motto “Perita manus, mens exculta” – a skilled hand, a cultivated mind – which continues to be used by the University today. RMIT is a global university of technology, design and enterprise. One of Australia’s original tertiary institutions, RMIT University enjoys an international reputation for excellence in professional and vocational education, applied research and engagement with the needs of industry and the community. RMIT is a world leader in Art and Design; Architecture and the Built Environment; Engineering; Computer Science; and Business and Management Studies. At the same time, we have not forgotten our past as one of Australia’s original educational institutions, and have remained true to our original philosophy. During the 1990s, the institution gained university status and developed campuses in Bundoora and Brunswick in the city’s northern suburbs, and later in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi in Vietnam. In 2013, RMIT opened a research and industry collaboration centre in Barcelona, Spain. With significant partnerships in Singapore, Hong Kong, mainland China, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and India, RMIT has a strong educational presence in the Asia-Pacific region. . The University also has research and industry partnerships on every continent. www.rmit.edu.au