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Elle Decor Italia

Nomad St. Moritz: Cupid's arrow strikes 5 times. High altitude loves at first sight

St. Moritz Nomad has just wrapped up. It’s an international traveling showcase for art, design and architecture galleries and collectors. Here are our loves at first sight

© Mattia Iotti

The first edition of Nomad St. Moritz has just wrapped up. 

Nomad is a traveling showcase for collectable design and contemporary art held last year on the French Riviera in Monaco and stemming from an idea of Giorgio Pace and Nicolas Bellavance.

The 4 day event (8-11 February) took place in a XVI century patrician mansion, Chesa Planta, nestled in Samedan, a picturesque village a few minutes away from the super socialite St. Moritz. 20 international leading galleries including Galerie Bsl, Luisa Delle Piane, Giustini / Stagetti and Gallery Fumi, brought their collection choices here.

“It went very well, very positive days and I heard galleries sold some pieces right away the first day. We had almost 3000 visits, and what is more important than the numbers is the high quality of the collectors. Most of the people that came were positively surprised because for them it was definitely a new format and a totally new experience: we brought design and art to a place, Chesa Planta, with  a soul,  it’s not about exhibiting in a series of white stands, but here we can have a real dialogue between the works and the context and you could discover architecture of the region”, say the co-founders Bellavance and Pace in unison.

Out of the galleries and the special projects present at Chesa Planta, we picked 5 names and proposals, following the criteria of a twist, a strong concept behind or something new to get to know.

1. South America in the mountains 

From Milano, lady of vintage furniture and sophisticated design, Nina Yashar, brought to St. Moritz her Nilufar proposals with a winter mountain twist. She presents sofas and chairs from the masters of Brazilian Design of the 50s and 60s like Joaquim Tenreiro, Martin Eisler but updated ad hoc for the mountains with fabric upholstery (photo above).

But the most unique piece is… on the floor: still from South America, but this time Colombia. It’s the silvery carpet by Hechizoo, an atelier of refined proposals from Bogotá that Nina Yashar is making known in Italy and worldwide. Designed by artist Jorge Lizarazo (Hechizoo’s founder), it’s made of mixed aluminum and metal threads, all hand woven (photo below).


2. Look at me

Chameleon ideas with Gallery Etage Project opened by lovely Maria Foerlev in Copenhagen in 2013.

The Deux Mirrors, also called “Interrogation mirrors” by Dutch designer Sabine Marcelis have captured everyone’s gaze, playing with the illusion of reflection and transparency. It is a 1-way mirror, that works like an interrogation room: if there is light on both sides, you can see thought it, whereas if there is light on only one side, the person on the dark side can see through the other side but cannot be seen.

And always with the common thread of a mirror with a twist and surprise, here is the “Pearl Mirror Cabinet” by London-based duo Soft Baroque (Saša Štucin and Nicholas Gardner): bathroom mirror with a cabinet behind, where screws are not plugged, hidden or covered as usual but become pearls or snowflakes. 


3. Design as a life philosophy

More than a piece of design, this is a life philosophy. Liz Swig, a NY-based super daring curator and producer with global artistic collaborations and a stunning roster of projects between art / design and fashion under her company Lizworks, asks the Campana Brothers to give shape and material to an idea she had going around in her head for a while about nature / humans / animals, where the latter are not victims anymore. From this starting point a limited edition of only 7 bronze gilded bowls sparked: called Lizbowls, they are designed by the Campanas, all hand made and each is one of kind and unique.

Presented at Nomad St. Moritz on a table made of oatmeal designed by the Campana Brothers too, it’s perhaps the project that intrigued most the curiosity and sparked the thought of collectors and visitors.

 “I love oatmeal and I eat it everyday. I was in Mexico and I had an amazing bowl of oatmeal, and I was so inspired. I wanted to work with it as a food and a material and to explore oatmeal as both. So I thought of people who I would work with to create what my vision in my head was. And I love the Campana Brothers because they work with the essence of material and design.  I met up and sat down with Humberto Campana and we came up with the idea of creating special bowls as a tribute to oatmeal, where herds of animals are running into this bowl but humans don’t eat them. Bowls are in gilded bronze. We are also developing literally an oatmeal and grain furniture collection”, says and unveils Liz Swig.


4. The art of contemporary sculpture

Founded in 1987 in London by elegant Spanish-born David Gill, the David Gill Gallery is one of the most renown design and art references in the world.

With the identity of freedom and, according to Mr. Gill himself, “to be creative all the time, without limits”, the gallery can propose a chair as well as a dress or a hat (not to forget the fashion exhibition back in its first year about Chanel, Schiaparelli, Balenciaga dresses and sketches…).

In the mountains David Gill has juxtaposed a piece by artist and designer Mattia Bonetti, the baroque armchair, “Elle & lui”, featuring a bronze man and woman, with a literally glacial piece, the “Antarctica” little table by the London-based duo Fredikson Stallard (Patrik Fredrikson is Swedish and Ian Stallard, British), made of acrylic and looking like an iceberg.

“I was working with Mattia Bonetti since the beginning. His work are really like a sculpture, hand made by himself. He’s a sculputer. “Antarctica” is made by Fredrikson Stallar. They are tables but informally people can sit on them if they want to. But the idea is to have a sculpture, it looks like melting glass or ice, with translucidity effect. And you think it’s an iceberg! It’s computer generated: they make models first but it’s finished by hands”, explains Mr Gill. 

5. Optical effect

Charles Burnand is a gallery and showroom set up 5 years ago in Marylebone London, with proposals of furnishings made today but inspired by the Italian masters from the 50s and 70s and the history of design.

 “It’s a combination, we design some pieces and furniture mostly inspired by Italian vintage design and also we ask some artists to work with us”, say Charles Burnand’s young director, Simon Stewart.

The sparkle and originality of the limited series of unique ornamental pieces, Movimental, captured the eye of vistitors, who were very curious to find out more about the works and their materials and willing to buy them.  

 Designed by Italian trio CaCO3 with the studio in Ravenna, they are unique pieces made of hand-cut Murano glass on a concrete base and with a steel frame




by Caterina Lunghi / 12 February 2018


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