C U R AT O R ’ S C O R N E R
M I AM I D E S I GN D I S T R I C T AWA RDS N EW D E S I GN COMM I SS I ON
L ondon based mexican His installation, Pink Beasts , will consist of strands of pink sisal tassels suspended through the trees guiding visitors to discover a collection of pink hairy sloths hanging from ropes, trees and arches. In collaboration with textile designer Angela Damman, the installation will also incorporate ten sculptural hammocks featuring pink sisal locks that will hang down from the otherwise traditional Mayan designs. The hammocks will hang on metal structures and directly on palm trees for public designer, Fernando Laposse, has been chosen for the Miami Design District’s Neighborhood Commission.
use. Inspired by age-old techniques of making useful goods from unique plant fibers, Angela is bringing her specialized knowledge and contemporary design to the installation. The mesmerizing pink landscape of Pink Beasts is achieved by dying the sisal fibers with natural dyes made from cochineals. Cochineals are tiny parasitic insects native to central Mexico, which grow on the Opuntia cactus, commonly known as the prickly pear. Laposse presents an installation that reconnects the audience to organic color rendered on natural materials. Cochineal produces the world’s brightest natural red dye, which was originally used by the Aztecs to color everything from textiles to buildings, and its rareness and vibrancy has ensured its status as a luxury good. Today, only a few regions in Mexico, the Canary Islands and Peru can sustain the farming of this incredible nature pairing. The cochineals used in Pink Beasts are from an organic farm in the mountains of Oaxaca; moreover, the entire installation is handmade by a community of Mayan women weavers of Sacabah, Yucatán, including the production, cleaning and dying of the sisal. The agave fiber used in the installation is a resistant ecological substitute to plastic threads and has been used for centuries to create durable pieces such as ropes and hard-wearing carpets. To ensure consistent results, the agave fibers used in Pink Beasts were boiled with a natural mordant called alum stone, which helps fix the dye into the fiber. Laposse is an advocate for sustainable craft traditions and was
chosen for the way he expresses beauty, history, and environmental sensitivities throughout his work. His unique designs both educate and engage the public in their appreciation for the natural world. By interacting with Pink Beasts , visitors can be reminded that there are still sustainable and organic ways of achieving vibrant color. The Miami Design District is a one-of-a-kind neighborhood that combines luxury shopping, galleries, museums, design stores, restaurants and major art and design installations all within an architecturally significant context. * miamidesigndistrict.net Instagram: @miamidesigndistrict Twitter: @designdistrict
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