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Galerie Philia: Transhumances II

Sep 18, 2021

Galerie Philia presents the second iteration of their nomadic art and design residency and exhibition, Transhumances II.

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Galerie Philia presents the second iteration of their nomadic art and design residency, Transhumances II. With eight invited artists, the residency took place at the historical Palazzo Galli Tassi in Florence, and ran from 1 to 16 July. The new works that were produced in this period will be showcased in an exhibition at the same location, from 9 October to 2 December, 2021. 

Launched in 2015 as the brainchild of two brothers, Galerie Philia is a contemporary design and modern art gallery. With a strong international presence, the gallery’s founders draw on a distinctly rhizomatic and transcultural approach to support artists and the creation of new works. The multiplicity of Galerie Philia’s activities is reflected in the international focus of Transhumances, the name of which refers to a form of migration based on seasonal movement. In the early days of the pandemic, Galerie Philia’s founders were inspired to seek out ways of bringing artists together in a distanced world, to bring them closer to nature, and in a way that would be conducive to creation and new ideas. With this in mind, Transhumances was created; a residency where invited designers would explore and experiment with natural, locally sourced materials, immediately followed by an exhibition in the same place, village or city, designed for a local audience. The initiative aims to cut down on long distance transportation and heavy logistics, and ultimately open up the reception of the produced works to the local community of each location. This link between place and people allows for unfamiliar audiences to discover the work of emerging and established designers alike. 

With the first iteration of the residency hosted in Le Sauvan, France, this year saw the invited artists gathering at Numeroventi, a  contemporary Renaissance art hub situated in the five-hundred year old Palazzo Galli Tassi, in the heart of Florence. Eight artists from France, Canada, Germany and The Netherlands were invited to take part in Transhumances II, including Cédric Breisacher, Isac Elam Kaid, Sylvia Eustache Rools, Jérôme Pereira, Frédéric Saulou, Flora Temnouche, Elisa Uberti and Willem van Hoof. This year’s iteration of the residency turned to the Renaissance era, to the notion of rebirth following the Dark Ages and the artistic flourishing that ensued, drawing here an interesting parallel between the isolation and hardship experienced during the pandemic and the cultural awakening that subsequently emerged. The artists focused on utilising local materials sourced in Tuscany, such as natural dyes from flowers and other organic materials, as well as clay, paper clay, silk, marble, earth and hide glue. Classical techniques were also a point of research and experimentation, including knife-painting and tempera, which involves mixing egg yolk with ground colour pigments to form an emulsion thinned with water. Another technique for use with plaster, scagliola, was used as a substitute for marble, made from selenite, glue and natural pigments, imitating the more expensive stone. 

The results of the residency range from textured stone-like and ceramic vessels, to sculptural marble and timber forms, to delicate metal and textile pieces. Like the name suggests, there is a certain cross-pollination and environmental adaptivity that may be observed within the works. Each of the works carries the marks of its maker, with carefully-chosen materials and simple, organic, yet structured forms. 

The works from Transhumances II will be on show at Numeroventi, Florence, from 9 October to 2 December, 2021. 

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Elisa Uberti. Courtesy of Galerie Philia. Transhumances II Residency. Copyright Benjamin Juhel
Frédéric Saulou. Courtesy of Galerie Philia. Transhumances II Residency. Copyright Benjamin Juhel
Sylvia Eustache Rools. Courtesy of Galerie Philia. Transhumances II Residency. Copyright Benjamin Juhel
Work by Cédric Breisacher. Copyright Maison Mouton Noir. Courtesy of Galerie Philia
Work by Élisa Uberti. Copyright Maison Mouton Noir. Courtesy of Galerie Philia
Work by Frédéric Saulou. Copyright Maison Mouton Noir. Courtesy of Galerie Philia
Work by Isac Elam Kaid. Copyright Maison Mouton Noir. Courtesy of Galerie Philia
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