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Exhibition of recent work by the Campana Brothers

5 June – 10 August 2007

Albion gallery, Llondon

The Transplastic series tells a fictional story: in a world made of plastic and synthetic matter, a fertile ground is laid for transgenic creations. Natural fibres recover the plastic as in an immunological response: nature grows from the plastic and overpowers it.

This collection encapsulates many concepts explored throughout the campana’s trajectory; revisiting material clashes with a more mature approach. it refers back to the premise, used in 2000 with the ‘shark chair’, to challenge contrasts: of nature and plastic, cold and warm, textured and smooth surfaces.

At the end of 2005, the preceding years of research evolved in an organic fashion by transforming into a collection of 31 prototypes that are to be displayed for the first time at Albion gallery in London.

Regular chairs, multiple-seating chairs, lamps, illuminated meteors, clouds and islands have been created by taking advantage of the elasticity of natural fibre. Taking as a starting point plastic chairs, water containers and rudimentary wood stools, natural fibre extensions were added, altering the original form. The pieces subsequently took on a geographic dimension through organic shapes, adding value and comfort to the original base material.

All the pieces are handcrafted with a very typical Brazilian fibre, “apuн’. The extraction of this fibre helps preserve and control the biodiversity of the forests as apuн suffocates and kills the trees from which they grow. These fibres are removed manually, without any tools or processes that may harm the trees. The fibre is an analogy for this series of work; the wicker begins to grow from the plastic, suffocating and drawing nourishment from it, reinforcing the original theses of the fictional story Fernando and Humberto Campana have chosen to tell.

In the past, all the Brazilian terraces and semi-outdoor cafes were furnished with wicker pieces. Over time, these were gradually substituted for the more practical and long-lasting plastic ones. The Campana brothers have chosen to play with this idea and bring back the old tradition of wicker furniture in a hybrid, playful manner.

In ‘When I go to the workshop where part of the transplastic collection is being manufactured, I feel passionate with the possibilities of this material. I am discovering an elasticity in this project that is very fulfilling. And to me it has a special meaning because when I left law school, I used to make wicker baskets. It has taken me 20 years to mature this idea and to take back on this material that appealed to me in my first steps as a designer.’ Humberto Campana says.

The Campana brothers have also been invited by the V&A (Victoria and Albert Museum in London) to design their garden, which will run parallel to the Campana’s Exhibition at Albion gallery. The installation at the V&A will open on the 21 July and run until 14 October 2007.

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