30 September - 8 October 2020
Revolution of Forms presents an exhibition of unique objects handmade in Mexico celebrating ancient craft traditions, whilst promoting innovation and modern taste.
To mark the launch of Revolution of Forms, A Journey to Mexico, will comprise one-off pieces created exclusively for London Craft Week as well as selected works from their first collection. Works by Onora, Arudeko, Colectivo 1050 Grados and Mestiz will be on show for the first time in London.
Highlighting the stories, heritage and techniques behind each piece the exhibition aims to promote contemporary craft and to provide makers with an opportunity to connect to a wider audience looking for meaningful objects.
To mark the launch of Revolution of Forms and our upcoming exhibition, in this month blog I focus on some of the ideas behind our brand mission, Telling the Stories Behind every object. I also explore why, although we have no apparent connection to Mexico, I decided to curated our first collection of objects there and celebrate our lunch with an exhibition during London Craft Week.
One evening in September 2019 Stephen and I were sitting in Criollo, a beautiful restaurant in Oaxaca, celebrating the end of a very successful trip to Mexico. We felt energised by the weeks packed with meetings with makers and artisans, learning, listening, absorbing all the beauty of the objects we found and selected for our first capsule collection.
The objects were beautiful, but really what left us completely in awe were the people behind them. I researched the different designers extensively before travelling to Mexico, some I knew from previous trips, but some I just found on Instagram or by searching online.
So, in a way I had no idea what to expect, if the objects would be suitable, if the projects really fit in with the ethos of the company we were creating.
I knew what I was looking for and I was guided by my experience and my trained eye, but at the end what we found went well beyond our expectations.
n each meeting we learnt more about the richness of craft traditions in Mexico, the respect and passion that each designer has for these traditions and the urge to work with artisans to revitalise and create opportunities to keep this important heritage alive.
We met with makers that showed us first-hand how objects are made and explained what it meant to them to be able to carry on working with techniques that they learnt from their parents and grandparents.
The level of innovation, respect for the natural world, a deep understanding of materials and techniques, and the ethical and sustainable principles that are systematically engrained in each object were all elements that I wanted to express with Revolution of Forms.
That night at Criollo we were thinking about all we learnt, and we decided that our ‘motto’ or tag line if you like would be ‘Telling the stories behind every object’.
There are many layers to an object and many ways to tell a story. Also, there are implications that one needs to consider when telling other’s people stories, even if just through objects.
The question of who is allowed to tell a story is of great ethical importance.
Stories and objects are always inherently expressing a position. No human being can step outside the broader social and cultural influences that shape us. It’s comforting to think that we are and can be objective about reality, but I personally don’t think that is really possible.
A story can liberate, but can also oppress and box people within stereotypes. One needs to be very careful with this duality, particularly in a cultural context when stories are used constantly as a marketing tool to boost sales or as greenwashing process.
Even if we are conscious of our inner biases, it doesn’t mean that we can tell stories without expressing them to a certain extent. So telling the stories behind the objects we sell is not an easy choice, or as simple as just giving straightforward information about them.
To me it’s about trying to facilitate the social connection that I believe is an essential part of handmade objects.
By telling the stories behind each object and provide clear provenance, we want to facilitate the connection and create a community of passionate collectors that chose to make a difference when buying pieces for their home, rather than consume them.
Objects are ideal global emissaries nurturing a connection between individual experiences, I don’t know why I love Mexican craft so much, I just do, and this is the simple reason why I decided to source our first collection there.
Because I felt a connection with these people and these objects that I haven’t felt in a while, because I learnt so much and still learning and nurturing the relationships, because finally because I find them beautiful and an endless vehicle of a knowledge and expression of cultural identities that I believe we should cherish and provide exposure to.
These are the reasons why I thought London Craft Week would be the ideal showcase for our project, which is value-driven and aimed at promoting contemporary craft and makers and connecting them to collectors looking for meaningful objects.
At Revolution of Forms we strongly believe that craft has an important role to play in a future based on sustainability. Highlighting the stories, heritage and techniques behind every object can positively enable change.
The aim of our exhibition is to present objects s that serve as example of the role of craft in this changing landscape, whilst creating potential social connections.
This is the beginning of our journey and we hope to share the beautiful objects we selected and their stories with you.
For more information on the exhibition click here