The stand PNA/Authentic Natural Stone during the Superdesign Show 2019
At the beginning of April, the furniture fair 2019 took place in Milan and the association PNA Pietra Naturale Autentica (Authentic Natural Stone), to which we belong, was involved in the side project Superdesign Show 2019 designed by Remigio Architects.
To speak of natural stone is to speak of a material that has accompanied us since the beginning of mankind, protecting us and valorizing our life. A long time ago, humans drove animals out of the caves to make them habitable. Out of their profound and archetypical artistic nature, they embellished their new home in the caves.
The symbolism of Natural Stone
Natural Stone: Dolmen, Menhir and the Megaliths of Stonhenge are made of stone, the magnificent Romanic and Gothic cathedrals are made of stone and marble. The exhibition we are talking about, was inspired by these great monuments. The architect Luca Remigio and his team created geometrics and scenarios with stone, leading us through a timeless but very evocative space.
Many years ago, I watched a movie of the Taviani brothers: “Good morning Babilonia”. The film tells the story about two Italians who emigrated to North America. The exhibition reminds me of two movie scenes, which I lively recall.
The two leading actors are fighting in front of a deserted church (it is the Saint Paul church in Ripa d’Arno), that seems to be undamaged amongst the debris caused by bomb attacks. The two brothers are lying injured on the ground, when they grab the camera and start filming while commentating: „Our kids will get to know us“ and in another movie scene they say: „I drink a toast on you, church of miracles. And I drink a toast to the grandparents of our grandparents, who built it thousand years ago and from whom we inherited their profession, that combines handicraft with phantasy.”
While contemplating the exhibition, I was thinking about the stonemason’s work and its value (but I’m not talking about the monetary value), both aspects are clearly exhibited. From afar, one seems to recognise the beautiful churches from Tuscany, from Pistoia, Florence and Siena, or to look at infinite and strict spaces from the Romanic period in Sardinia.
It’s difficult to explain in words the fascinating impressions you get while contemplating the exhibition, but the impressions do exist and have a very strong effect, especially in surroundings where a space seems to double through stage presentation and perspectives and where the Gothic facades turn into something different. In Remigio‘s project appears suddenly a menhir and you are almost expecting to recognise rock engravings or cave paintings as suggested by the association’s logo engraved on the Bianco Carrara slab.
Natural Stone between art and daily life
A waterfall is projected in the centre of the art creation and insinuates immortal qualities. The artistic installation seems to become a cave, but reminds us as well of a big square, a Medieval cathedral or a modern church, similar to the projects of the architect Mario Botta. While looking at the enlarged statue ‘Rape of Proserpina’ of Bernini, the marble statue seems to become flesh, showing us how talented and smart the sculptor was, when he worked and valorized the marble into an artwork.
Frozen in time and yet floating in a timeless space, that’s magic! The art work is really modern and actually social. If you take a photograph with your mobile phone, using a wide angle lens, you will discover unrevealed perspectives and new architectures, where lines come together or apart, spaces are enlarged and patterns that invites us to play are reversed.
During our visit, we saw girls playing, rolling on the floor and being photographed with a happy smile on their faces. It seemed as they were at home in the exhibition space. The austerity of Bianco Carrara and the black granite provides the basis for a spontaneous, relaxed and playful experience.
Be inspired by the association Pietra Naturale Autentica and the wonderful staging of the exhibition designed by Remigio Achitects. We already know all the characteristics of natural stone: hardness and resistance of marble and granite and their polishing ability. It’s also commonly known, that natural stone is lasting and of great aesthetic and unique value.
You think it’s a coincidence that great monuments are made of Natural Stone?
The creation act celebrates the quality and durability of the material. When we embellish our homes with natural stone, we not only use a well-known and renowned material, that has survived for thousands of years, in our daily life – but actually, natural stone is so much more than this.
Natural stone, marble and granite project us in an unlimited space between past and future, where the beauty of Greek temples harmonise with the skyline of modern architecture. Natural stone is sustainable and gives rise to beauty and culture.