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Jade Barbieri

Spotlight on the artist...

Giada ' Jade ' Barbieri, Milanese designer, first started travelling, across Asia, at the age of 21. Her desire to get away from it all and to get to know different remote cultures and people led her to genuine boundless spaces, exploring tropical forests and visiting primitive villages. When she visited Indonesia it was love at first sight, and since 1993 she spent long periods of time there each year until it became her second home. Indonesia is where her ideas took shape with the help of the local engravers and with them she explored the forest to choose big tropical trees with the most varied nuances. The village became her second family, with the unmistakeable scents of Asia, the sounds of hindu, joyful smiles and a green forest under a volcano where we work: all this is part of every piece, a mixture of sculptor and poetry.

Influenced by the tribes of the indonesian archipelago from Borneo to Java from Sulawesi to Timor, Giada embraces just the essence, abandoning all superfluous details. Taking inspiration from minimalism (Japan - Africa and Milano design), giving shape and proportions to the tree trunks, her pieces are permeated with an impression of "contemporary primitivism" and the result is furniture with clean lines, maintaining the important volumes and essensial incisions, a new creative expression, "minimal - new tribal".

In Milano the artist takes each piece and modernises it, taking advantage of the imperfections, fissures and fractures of the material, she uses them and pays tribute to them, she welds iron into the wood and works on it until a sculpture emerges. White stone or lava stone and treated iron often complement some of the pieces of the collection. Many creations are unique "one-off" pieces and others are reproducibile, becoming part of the catalogue. The wood that is used is Benao from Sulawesi, a soft blond wood which grows quickly and expands, suffocating other floreal species, and Salubin, hard, heavy and compact, which comes from yearly renewable plantations, both are not a part of those species protected by Washington convention.

Jade derives her inspiration from the dynamic forces of massive tropical wood. The dominant material is BENAO, a wood chosen with great care in the tropical forests of vast Indonesia. Tooled and carved by hand, impetous is given to voluminous shapes and the meticulously studied proportions of the designs.

Strong influences can be found from all over the Indonesian Archipelago, from the mystical and still unexplored Kalimantan, to the island of Sulawesi, from Bali to Lompok, to the island of Timor.

Jade draws her inspiration from minimalism, concentrating on the essential and eliminating all superflous details. With the help of her local artisan friends, the proportions and shapes given to the trunks, create a remarkably characteristic fusion and bridging of the ' past ' and the ' modern '. The final pieces have an imbued language of a ' primitive - contemporanism '.

The dramatic graining of the tropical wood and it's multi - layered monocromatic hues are as capturing to the eye, as they are intriguing to the touch, due to their uneven superfice caused by the sculpturing of the artisan tooling them with his hands. Jade has created techniques of metal fusion, inlayed in the natural cracks of wood, as well as ' seams ' by means of handforged and satinated cramps beaten onto the wood, thus on one hand making it stronger, as well as lending them a distinct modern ' edge '.