Fernando Laposse and Perrier-Jouët unveil a new collaboration at Design Miami 2023, celebrating the role of flowers and the process of pollination in global ecosystems. ‘The Pollination Dance’ is Laposse’s response to Perrier-Jouët’s Art Nouveau heritage, reflecting its founders’ passion for art and nature.
The champagne house has been working closely with global artists and designers since 2012, offering a platform to explore their creative practice through a contemporary interpretation of this background, and Laposse follows names such as Bethan Laura Wood, Mischer'traxler, and Garance Vallée, among others.
‘The Pollination Dance’ by Fernando Laposse at Design Miami 2023
Politics of food, loss of biodiversity, the dangers of globalisation and the impact they have on local and marginalised communities have always been topics at the heart of Laposse’s work (see his recent exhibition ‘Ghosts of our Towns’ at Friedman Benda). For this new project, the designer invites viewers to pause and observe nature, guided by the role of the flower within global ecosystems.
For this project, the inspiration came from two elements that caught his attention during his first visit to Epernay, Perrier-Jouët's historic home. 'They have introduced permaculture fields, which include flowers and other local plants placed among the vineyards,' he explains, noting it was a normal practice centuries ago, which was lost in recent times until the champagne house reintroduced it. Laposse observed how this placed the vineyard at the centre of an ecosystem, with bees and other insects interacting with the vines. He was also attracted by the cellars, concealing over ten kilometres of bottles, which he describes as 'bottled time'.
As a result of this inspiration, he wanted to capture the moment of the pollination, 'the joy I saw in the fields, insects going crazy for nectar and pollen, and the passage of time marked by seasons, contained in the Perrier-Jouët champagne'
‘Fernando Laposse has revisited the Art Nouveau heritage of Maison Perrier-Jouët with remarkable depth,’ says Axelle de Buffévent, Maison Perrier-Jouët’s culture and creative director. ‘Freely inspired by nature, he combines savoir-faire derived from traditional cultures with cutting-edge contemporary techniques. His work speaks to us through its beauty and poetry, at the same time as it reveals a deeper meaning.’
Craft, a key component of Laposse’s work, is indeed at the heart of the installation: handmade by the designer at his Mexico City studio, the pieces took over six months to be completed, with a series of techniques combining local artisanal savoir-faire with innovative technologies.
Every element comes from nature, and is the result of Laposse’s painstaking research into new methods of manufacturing and dyeing, an ongoing concern throughout his career. The installation is enclosed within a series of drapes, made of natural silk organza, dyed with a pigment originated from cochineal insects and marigold flowers, a dye developed by Laposse who was guided by ancient techniques. An intricate construction of branches is made from lianas from a Mexican jungle, giving a new life to the discarded, dead wood.
A series of hourglasses is 3D printed from soy starch-based eco-resin, designed to mimic the effect of frosted glass. With the same material, Laposse created hundreds of insects, and animal forms, hanging onto the drapes and a series of flowers, placed on the branches. Regularly, members of Laposse's team fill the hourglass vessels with yellow sand, which deposits on the flowers and branches below to evoke the effect of pollen, gently depositing on the flowers below. 'The garden captures the first moments of spring,' he explains.
Laposse admits that 3D-printing is far from his usual, manual processes, but he stresses that the combination of material and technique allowed him to achieve a precision that wouldn't be possible otherwise, creating a true reflection of the natural world, of a fragile nature we should preserve and protect. 'Although it took inspiration from nature, Art Nouveau was also a technologically forward movement,' he observes. 'I saw 3D-printing as a contemporary example of Art Nouveau innovation.'
'The topics around biodiversity and supporting the community were very interesting to us,' continues De Buffevent. 'We have been commissioning designers for the past 12 years, and every time they help us understand a bit better who we are as a brand and what is our impact. They inspire the way the maison operates. Fernando created a celebration of life, and Perrier-Jouët is about celebrating. '
The message at the core of this project is how the observation of this constant collaboration between species can help us understand the way to solve the environmental issues affecting our society and future generations.
The outcome of this composition is a poignant observation of nature, and the role every element has in a complex ecosystem. As usual, Laposse is able to translate an urgent message with sophisticated and poetic aesthetic, resulting in a touching installation that provokes further thinking. ‘“The Pollination Dance” is the perfect embodiment of what I think design should be about,’ comments Laposse. ‘Offering real-world solutions with a joyful and poetic dimension. I am convinced that solutions for local problems can be applied to global situations.’
‘The Pollination Dance’ by Fernando Laposse for Maison Perrier-Jouët is on view at Design Miami until 10 December 2023
As part of the collaboration, Maison Perrier-Jouët has presented two limited editions – for Perrier-Jouët Blanc de Blancs and Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque 2014 – created by Fernando Laposse and inspired by his installation
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Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.
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