Mette Blum-Marcher is the director of Guldagergaard, an international artist-in-residence center for professional artists whose purpose is to promote ceramic as an art form. Guldagergaard vision is to be a ceramic research center with a special focus on their artists-in-residence, and on helping to foster an international network among artists. The centre is a non-profit institution with state funding from the Danish Ministry of Culture and the municipality of Slagelse.
Laura Borghi (Milan, 1967). The eclectic nature of Officine Saffi mirrors Laura Borghi’s own professional career. After completing her studies in scientific fields and subsequently specializing in graphic design and illustration, she became interested in ceramics, attending courses and workshops led by important figures both from Italy and abroad. She soon decided that her mission would be to make what she had learned available to the general public by means of publishing projects.
The result was Officine Saffi, launched five years ago, a unique structure in Italy, founded in order to enhance the ceramic arts by means of an architectural setting, Officine Saffi, which comprises art facilities, workshops, seminars and publishing projects. As well as the Gallery, whose objective is to promote ceramics in their most highly developed and sophisticated form, the structure includes the OS Lab for workshops and seminars held by important artists, and La Ceramica in Italia e nel Mondo, a cosmopolitan magazine providing information on both traditional and contemporary ceramics, and more in general on art in all its forms and expressions.
Project Director – Design & Crafts Council of Ireland. Aileesh is responsible to devise and deliver the programme for the National Craft Gallery and touring exhibitions in Ireland and internationally, comprising its creative, commercial and economic objectives. Established by the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland in 2000, the National Craft Gallery is Ireland’s leading centre for contemporary craft and design. It’s objective is to inspire appreciation, creativity and innovation through the exhibition, event and education programmes, and play a critical role in building understanding of craft and material culture in Ireland. She was also responsible for the tourism programme for ID2015 and partner relationships.
Designer, entrepreneur and fully established university lecturer, is one of the major players in the world of contemporary architectural and design. Carlotta de Bevilacqua is Vice President of Artemide and President of Danese Milano, she is responsible for Brand Strategy, Vision & Strategic Futures, Product Design Innovation. Experienced designer she led important researches in the lighting field. She developed for Artemide and Danese many new generation LED products, recognized with several patents, introducing in lighting contest new technological scenario in terms of performance, environmental impact and sensitive experience.
She investigates aspects of light related to physiological and psychological well-being by offering new qualitative standards in life for living beings and for the planet. Animalist and vegetarian her research is focused on the relationship between humanism and science through a sustainable and social design.
Graduated in 1983 in Architecture at the Politecnico di Milano, she is in charge of her architectural and design office, aimed at designing innovative spaces and buildings with reduced environmental impact and trying new interpretations of the relationship among man, architecture, nature and light.
Since 2001 she is a fully established university lecturer for the lighting design project lab, for Design Faculty of Politecnico in Milan. Ever for Politecnico in Milan Carlotta de Bevilacqua teaches also in Light Product Design Master. From 1999 to 2001, she was a workshop lecturer and Project leader of innovative products within the Strategic Design Master (Mip) Program. From 2001 to 2004, she was a lecturer in the Design Master Program at Domus Academy in Milan. Carlotta de Bevilacqua frequently lectures at Bocconi University and Politecnico di Milano.
For the years 2012 - 2013 she has been member of the Board of Direction of Fondazione La Triennale di Milano. Carlotta de Bevilacqua’s presence is very much appreciated at conventions and seminars with the aim to explore the changes in the contemporary society, the new boundaries of the international markets and the evolving needs of the environment in terms of energetic sustainability.
Paolo Dell'Elce (Pescara, 1983) is a designer specializing in products, furniture and lighting. His work has been published internationally, and he has received many awards, including a Mention of Honour at the Compasso d'Oro Prize 2014, and a Red Dot Award. His work has been shown in prestigious institutions such as Milan Triennale, the Poldi Pezzoli Museum in Milan, the Museo dell’Ara Pacis in Rome and the Kunstraum Muenchen, Munich. From 2011 to 2014 he was Creative Director for the historic Italian company Danese. Since 2015 he has been a design consultant at David Chipperfield Architects. He lives and works in Milan.
Flaminio Gualdoni (Cuggiono, Milan, 1954).
From 1980 he has been teaching history of art at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts, Miilan.
From 1988 to 1994, he was director of the Civic Gallery of Modena, from 1995 to 1999 of the Civic Museums of Varese, and from 2005 to 2006 of the Arnaldo Pomodoro Foundation, Milan.
He was commissioner for the 44th Venice Biennale.
He has curated many public exhibition, including shows dedicated to Osvaldo Licini, Gastone Novelli, Giuseppe Capogrossi, Salvatore Scarpitta, Mario Mafai, Jean Fautrier, Lucio Fontana, Enzo Cucchi, Urs Lüthi, Jaume Plensa, George Grosz, Piero Manzoni, Marino Marini, Arnaldo Pomodoro, Giacomo Manzù, Massimo Campigli, Nanni Valentini, Leonardo Cremonini, André Villers, Carlo Zauli, Antoni Tàpies, and Meret Oppenheim.
From 1985 to 2011 he was a contributor to the cultural section of the daily newspaper “Corriere della Sera.” From 2006 he has written the column “Il criptico d’arte” (The art cryptic) in “Il Giornale dell’arte”.
From 2005 to 2009 he edited the magazine “FMR” and in 2007 he founded “La rivista bianca FMR”. He has been a contributor with arts columns for the publications “Il Giorno”, “La Domenica del Corriere”, “Italia Oggi”, “Gente”, and the radio programmes RAI Radio 2 and RAI Radio 3. He received the "Venice Communications Prize" at the 6th Cultural Heritage and Activities show, Venice, for the programme “Appunti di volo” (Flight notes) broadcast on RAI Radio 3 in 2002.
He was one of the founders of the [epidemiC] group, www.epidemic.ws, with which he took part in a number of events: in 2001, D.I.N.A., Salara, Bologna; 49th International Art Exhibition, A stage for humanity, La Biennale, Venice; El cuerpo del arte, I Bienal de Valencia; in 2002, I love you, Museum für Angewändte Kunst, Frankfurt; in 2003, Ars Electronica Festival, Linz, and Transmediale, Berlin; in 2005, Legendary Connections Net.Art (1995-2005), Mediateca di Santa Teresa, Milan.
In 2011, with Luca Lampo, he created a web atlas of Italian art, www.atlantedellarteitaliana.it
Franco Marrocco was born in Rocca d’Evandro (CE), on 7 December 1956. He is professor of painting at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts, the institution of which he is Director. During his education, he dedicated his studies in the area of self-expression to painting, with particular regard to the tradition of realism, developing themes that would later be documented by his first solo show in 1978.
In 1986 he was invited to take part in the XI Rome Quadriennale, where he exhibited the triptych “Sul mio cielo volano anche gli angeli” (1986), which demonstrates his power of expression through broad gestures that interact with a schematic structure applied to the image. He had a solo show at the Chambre de Commerce Italienne pour la France in Paris in 1989, and he took part in a number of group shows, including one in 1986 at the XXXV San Fedele prize organized at the San Fedele Cultural Centre, Milan.
A move towards abstraction introduced a painting style with lyrical tones, in which colour dilutes representation and supersedes the limitations of narrative, moving towards the restless levels of emotion. For the artist the 1990s began with a solo show at OCDE, Paris, followed by another at Palazzo dei Priori, Perugia, in 1991, and his participation in the exhibition “The Modernity of Lyrism”, promoted by the Italian Institute of Culture at the Gummensons Kontgallery, Stockholm, in 1991 and successively at Joensouu’s Art Museum in Finland. The works shown in Finland showed how Marrocco's painting was moving from figurative narrative towards emotive planes, in which colour is in a frontal dialogue with memory and the senses. In the second half of the 1990s, the artist developed a new approach to the surface, which was veiled by successive chromatic transparencies. This technique can be seen in works exhibited in his solo shows at Palais d’Europe, Strasbourg (1994); Sala Polivalente del Parlamento Europeo, Brussels (1998); Museo Butti, Viggiù, (1998); Palazzetto dell’Arte, Foggia, (1998); Chiostro di Voltorre, Varese (1999), and at the XIII Quadriennale, Rome. In 1997 he was invited to take part in the exhibition “Artinceramica” at Palazzo Reale, Naples, which was then transferred to the Medelhavsmuseet in Stockholm in 1998; another invitation later came from the 49th Michetti Prize, Francavilla al Mare, Pescara. Over the course of the last ten years, Marrocco has worked specifically on the theme of colour, with large cycles of monochrome canvases. These include the blue works in the series Gli occhi conficcati (2002-03) which provide an almost tactile sensation of the liquid material; black works in Brace, parole mute (2004) in which forms suggest expansion and contraction, evoking reflections that could be a sedimentation of the red conflagrations in Traiettorie and Tracce (2007-08) which “generate the permanence of a trace in the retina's memory”.
Shozo Michikawa (Hokkaido, 1953). He studied at Aoyama Gakuin University, graduating in 1975. He began working in business, but took evening classes in art, and a few years later he decided to dedicate all of his time to ceramics. He currently lives and works in Seto, in the prefecture of Aichi. He has exhibited principally in Japan, but also in the Philippines, Mongolia, France, New York and London. In 2005 he became the first Japanese artist to have the honour of an exhibition at the Forbidden City in Peking.
The Museum was founded in Ravenna in 1988 on the basis of an idea by Raffaello Biagetti, with curatorial consultancy from Giovanni Klaus Koenig, Giuseppe Chigiotti and Filippo Alison. Today the collection is in Milan, by virtue of Musei Italiani, Faram and Brioschi, in a permanent location, in Via Borsi 9, at the heart of the Navigli Design District. In 120 works, it reviews a century of design history, from Art Nouveau to Sottsass, comprising the Russian avant-garde currents, the Bauhaus in Germany, and the wealth of design made in Italy during the 1950s.
The result is a unique documentation, benefiting from the courageous selections designed to create an educational overview, combining creativity, functionality and industry, together with the social aspects and trends that enabled a number of objects to survive a century intact, still coveted today notwithstanding changes in taste and the domestic scene.
Kristina Riska (Helsinki, 1960) is a Finnish artist who has been exploring, defying and redefining the traditional tenets of ceramic sculpture since the 1980s. She is a graduate of the Department of Ceramic Art at the University of Art and Design, Finland. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the state of Finland’s Suomi Prize in 1995; the Medaglia d’Oro in Faenza, Italy in 1995; a silver medal at the International Ceramic Contest in Mino, Japan, in 2002; and working grants from both the State of Finland and The Finnish Cultural Foundation.
Riska’s works are part of many public and private collections, including The Design Museum Helsinki, The Saastamoninen Foundation, The Ulster Museum in Belfast, Ireland, and the Gifu Museum in Japan. Her unorthodox, large scale stoneware and artworks, which are inspired by nature and the properties of light and shadow, embody her rigorous, physical approach to her work.