London Design Festival 2017
Sala Brasil, Brazilian Embassy,14-16 Cockspur St, London SW1Y 5BL
18th-28th September 2017
Open to the public: Weekdays 11am-6pm
(Private View: Friday 15th September 6-9pm)
Two designers and two artists from Brazil have come together to celebrate the fusion of the beautiful and the useful. The result is Beautility – a special exhibition taking place at the Brazilian Embassy during the London Design Festival.
Jader Almeida, Gisela Bentes Simas, Luiz Aquila and Julia Miranda are united by their desire to create works that propose a purpose for art that transcends beauty, and a significance for utilitarian pieces that sustain lifetimes of pleasure.
Each object raises curiosity about the role of design in our daily lives. The paintings -abstract and semi-figurative – invite contemplation. All the pieces share a search for harmony and balance through the love of simple materials, craftsmanship and expression.
From the iconic pieces by Jader Almeida, including the Mia Chair for SOLLOS, winner of the Red Dot design Award 2017, to the vibrant paintings of brazilian master Luiz Aquila – at the forefront of Brazilian contemporary art for 50 years – the exhibition also introduces the West End public to the narrative works of the Anglo-Brazilian artist Julia Miranda, hung alongside innovative, covetable furniture and lighting by Gisela Bentes Simas, founder of OPD (Original Practical Design Limited).
Last but not least, the Opening event on Friday September 15th will feature a sound-scape created by the Anglo Brazilian singer Nina Miranda, who originally conceived of this collective. With elements taken from her new album, the soundtrack will add sound to the senses of sight and touch brought alive by Beautility, and complete an immersive experience.
The London Design Festival has earned the reputation as one of the most exciting design events in the world. Staged every year in September, the Festival aims to celebrate and promote a broad spectrum of design disciplines across cultural and commercial platforms in London. The Festival provides the punctuation moment in the calendar when the design community comes alive, attracting local and international audiences to over 500 events and installations in the capital.
Luiz Aquila has been at the forefront of Brazilian modern and contemporary painting for 50 years. He studied at the Slade School of Art and has taken part in over 100 exhibitions in and outside Brazil, with highlights being the 17th Venice Biennale, the 18th, 19th and 20th Sao Paulo International Biennials, the exhibition of large works at the Museum of Modern Art in Rio in 1992, the three simultaneous exhibitions in Sao Paulo in1993: at the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Sao Paulo Art Museum, and Dan Gallery. His one-man-show at Gallery 32, London, in 2002, was aptly named “Back in the UK” and recent works at Galeria Patricia Costa, his major retrospective at the Imperial Palace Museum, Rio, and the 2013 book “Luiz Aquila – A Never Ending Tour” mean his work continues to be as relevant and influential as ever. Nicknamed “The Father of generation ’80” for nurturing the artists that came to international prominence during his directorship of the prestigious EAV art school in the ’90s, he was awarded France’s “Order of Chevalier des Arts et Lettres” in 1997. He is present in the collections of all the principal cultural, government and financial institutions of Brazil and paints daily in his studio in Petrópolis, in the mountains near Rio. He is known for his unmistakable vibrant abstract paintings and will exhibit four canvases at Beautility this September.
Jader Almeida is one of Brazil’s most internationally respected and highly awarded designers. Creator of the Clad Line, the fluid, organic designs inspired by Cycladic art, at Beautility he will also be exhibiting the award-winning Mia Chair. First introduced to the furniture industry at the age of 16, he has stayed faithful to those beginnings in Santa Catarina, Southern Brazil. He worked for LinBrasil, producer of collections by renowned architects and designers, an experience that allowed him a deep understanding of production techniques. He graduated in architecture, with award-winning pieces in the major national and international design competitions. Jader has developed exclusive products, the brand SOLLOS of Santa Catarina being his principal partner. In 2013, he joined the team of designers of the German ClassiCon. Jader Almeida continues to increase the reach of his work and influence with participation in fairs, exhibitions and courses in several countries. He also develops architecture projects from his offices in Florianopolis, Santa Catarina.
Gisela Bentes Simas is founder of OPD (Original Practical Design) and has had a incredible 2017, showing at Milan Design Week, Venice Design Biennale, Paris Auction and London Design Festival. At Beautility she’ll present 10 objects, 4 of them specially designed for the occasion. Among them, the Marcela Dressing Table, a signature piece of OPD style combining Scandinavian design with interactivity. Touch is fundamental: “When you cut the tree, the wood is alive. And it never loses its beauty or usefulness. It never loses its roots, its history.”Based in London, her fIrst exhibition in Brazil was ‘Arquivo Contemporaneo’, Rio, in 2015. 7 pieces of pure OPD style: timeless, meticulous, balanced and functional. In the same year, OPD began its annual participation in the London Design Festival. This included 100% design, the UK’s largest design fair, and 2016’s London Design Fair. OPD was also present at the opening event of the extraordinary London Design Museum, recently opened in Kensington.
Julia Miranda is the daughter of two painters, Luiz Aquila and Liz Miranda, and has exhibited in London, Rio, New York, Barcelona and Munich. She has a studio in London’s East End, and with two solo exhibitions in Rio in the last 6 years – Paço Imperial Museum, 2011 and Patricia Costa in 2015, and a four-page feature in Brazilian Vogue in February 2016, her ties with Brazil are strong. This year she was chosen as Guest Artist at the APT group show, she is participating in the travelling exhibition The Mothership, and exhibiting at Home From Home Gallery, Munich. At Beautility Julia will exhibit four “abstract figurative” paintings.
The award-winning Anglo-Brazilian singer and producer Nina Miranda has created the sound design for this event. Her first solo album Freedom of Movement has just been released to great acclaim: “Nina Miranda celebrates connections. Forging resistance through creation, she sketches new possibilities and imagined musical geographies.” Saatchi Magazine. “The album’s free-spirited sunniness conceals complex emotional undercurrents” WIRED Magazine. “..revels in experimentation, but doesn’t shy away from embracing tradition. It’s Miranda building bridges between cultures.” Bandcamp Weekly. “Iconic … a Trip Hop luminary” Gilles Peterson, BBC Radio
Production Coordination: Gisela Simas firstname.lastname@example.org