Homo Faber ~ A Venetian Blinder

Homo Faber, the new must see exhibition in Venice, is dedicated to "Crafting A More Human Future".
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Eilean, a 1936 Scottish build yacht restored by Italian master artisans, sailing in Venice, 14 of September 2018 © Michelangelo Foundation

​It is hard to think of a more perfect place than Venice in which to celebrate the ability of humans to create beautiful things.​ This autumn, the exquisite island of San Giorgio Maggiore, to the south of the city, is hosting an event designed to showcase the very best in European craftsmanship – from rare traditional skills to cutting-edge techniques.

Homo Faber is the debut event of the Michelangelo Foundation, itself the brainchild of Johann Rupert, the chairman of the luxury goods group Richemont. The Foundation was born out of his passionate belief that artisanal skill without good design is wasted, and that the combination of craftsmanship and culture is what Europe has to offer the world in this technological age. This exhibition sets out to demonstrate “what humans can do better than machines”.

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Sasha Sykes (Image: The Garnered)

The exhibits are not just showcasing the finished products – stunning as they are – but showing the combination of creativity, expertise and painstaking craftsmanship that goes into each piece, be it a bicycle, a beaded haute couture gown (displayed on a hand-crafted wooden mannequin), an exquisitely tooled leather boot, or the restored mast of a 1930s yacht.

The Michelangelo Foundation's Homo Faber exhibition sets out to demonstrate “what humans can do better than machines”

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Johann Rupert (right) and Franco Cologni (left), Co-Founders of The Michelangelo Foundation for Creativity and Craftsmanship (Image: © Laila Pozzo)

We are particularly delighted that the work of Sasha Sykes, the Irish functional artist whose striking cocktail-inspired bookends are available on The Garnered, has been selected as part of Homo Faber. Sykes has created Bloom, a large screen, hand cast in resin encasing flowers and ferns and truly a work of art which cane seen in the Best of Europe exhibition. Also Eric Charles-Donatien, the feather craftsman who works with Maison F to create their elegant silk and feather ties, has been chosen as one of the 12 Singular Talents, artisans with rare and specialised skills. 

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Architect and designer India Mahdavi (Image: Homo Faber)

Not to be missed too is the work of the esteemed Paris-based architect and designer, India Mahdavi. In a special commission for Homo Faber, she has created two ‘follies’, interior spaces that see precious artisan skills put into the service of the imagination and provide a feast for the eyes. Details including fine hand-stitched embroidered fish from de Gournay, traditional upholstery and rare marquetry come together to create unforgettable, immersive interiors.

Altogether, it is a breathtaking array of exhibits which will leave no doubt that the world of luxury craft and master craftsmanship, far from dying out, is alive and well and basking in the Venetian sunshine.

Homo Faber
Crafting a more human future
14-30 September
Fondazione Giorgio Cini, San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice
Free entry upon registration at homofaberevent.com