I decided to explore the art movement Arte povera and its use of materials that are not in line with materials used in so called ‘high’ art ie marble, bronze, oils on canvas etc. I was also drawn to the idea of using these ‘poor’ materials and looking back to examples of these materials being used in traditional crafts, especially basketry.

Aside from the use of sustainable materials, used for millennia to create these baskets and making use ‘fast-growing biodegradable materials…that requires the forest to be cultivated rather than cleared'(1), there is idea of the relationship between traditional artistic techniques used for practical and decorative objects, relegated to the status of craft, and the idea of reviving these techniques in order to revive and sustain cultural heritage.

‘Traditional solutions give us patterns of sustainability. Ancient technologies are the perfect example for the way in which innovations bind themselves on tradition in their quest to become tradition. Our duty is to sustain and keep alive the core of technological tradition, as part of world’s heritage.’ (2)

(1) Kaller, B. “The art of producing sustainable consumer goods: basketry.” (2016).

(2) Rusu, Alexandra-Andreea. “Traditional textile art between sustainability and economic growth.” Copyright© 2011 Pro Global Science Association (2011).

Image: Giuseppe Penone – Ombra di Terra