At the end of any impactful experience, it is essential to sum up what has been learnt. This article reflects the point of view of the narrator, who is also an insider of the bootcamp related to the project Dis-cycling: The Seductive Allure of Sustainability.
A musical comparison supports this act of sharing: in the writer’s imagination, Sarah Coleman’s role is to coordinate an orchestra of Istituto Marangoni students.
Snip, snip, snip
The fabrics are cut
the warp and the weft
and it’s in that moment
that magic worthy
of an alchemist
A little bit of folly, inventiveness, naivety and lots of courage are the key elements in the minds of artists who were born to leave a mark in this world. Sarah Coleman has given proof of this miraculous gift during the bootcamp in the Florentine Istituto Marangoni venue between July 5 and 8 while orchestrating the variegated voices in the choir of participants.
The project Dis-cycling: The Seductive Allure of Sustainability aimed to integrate fashion and art following the fil rouge of sustainability. Istituto Marangoni Firenze students reworked these contemporary themes by upcycling materials: they were given a new purpose and also a new, innovative and bold meaning.
The bootcamp organised with the project was undoubtedly one of a kind. Through Fendi waste materials, the students and tutors, with the support of Sarah Coleman as a mentor, had to develop a concept linked to sustainability and translate it into a phygital installation that will be completed by mid-September.
During those intense four days, Istituto Marangoni Firenze had the great pleasure of receiving a visit from Fendi representatives such as Marco Trabassi or Vogue contributor Asha Salim, who provided vital input to the team.
The students worked with fine leathers, textiles, and metallic inserts given by the eponymous Roman brand, transforming them into shiny crochet tents, patchwork tapestry and tribal nappa decorations. All these elements will cover the outer side of a hexagonal cocoon, a structure that will feature a projection on its ceiling.
It is essential to underline that those materials were not only physically manipulated but also digitally translated with the outstanding support of the two Multimedia Arts alumnae: Léa Colombier and Chiara Muracciole. By reworking the Fendi logo with a mix of faithful classicism and decadent futurism, they created a suspended world where materials fluctuate in an out-of-the-time, idyllic panorama.
If we had to compare the initial work team made up of students, tutors and Sarah Coleman to a geometric shape, it would surely be an irregular polygon whose vertex stretched towards the outside, following opposite directions due to the different areas of study the members came from.
During this experience, it was hard for the team to find an overall balance. Even if working with many different people with multiple working methods was a great challenge, it was an opportunity and a way to exchange opinions.
Everyone had to get out of their comfort zone and share ideas with students and experts with different backgrounds and interests. It was a sort of rehearsal of what will happen in the future life of many creatives graduating from Istituto Marangoni Firenze: most of them will face a similar situation while working on a project. The bootcamp has taught us, students, that group effort is all about finding order within an ensemble of mixed voices.
By the end of the bootcamp, everyone felt enriched by the experience. We were all on the same level, and the initial undefined form of the creatives’ community turned into a perfect circle. Like in a round table, all participants could apply their knowledge and experience to the situations faced during the project.
One of the basics for a good music conductor is indeed charisma: without it, it would be impossible to create a new melody with different voices. Patience and passion also ensure the power of a shared vision.
Sarah Coleman has been exceptional in bringing together a diverse spectrum of keys and pitches; during the bootcamp, all strings were tuned, and music started to flow peacefully.