Two years ago I had a problem at work and I ended the year thinking that maybe it would be a good idea to make a drastic change. I decided to spend a month to consider my options and in the meantime I explored something unknown for me. I have been working in nature conservation and environmental education since I graduated, and my passion for Natural Sciences is such, that I’ve never been able to say where my work finishes and my spare time begins. In these last years I have understood that I like more and more things that are made by hand and I decided it was the right time to explore the world of Sardinia’s handicrafts. I was especially attracted by traditional rugs, woven with ancient looms still in use in some towns of the island. Searching for information on the web, I found the proposal of a class about some traditional techniques held in Milan (http://www.tessereincontri.org/). The teacher was Eugenia Pinna (http://www.eugeniapinna.it/eugenia-pinna/), based in Sardinia and I decided to call her. I was impressed by her kindness and few days later I sat in her house, in the middle of extraordinary rug samples. But about this I will write another time!
On a cupboard I saw some amazing animals, looking at me and I definitively fell in love with them. B’estes is the name of these animals and it’s a project Eugenia and her friend, the graphic designer Concetta Nasone, did together.
The name is a play on words between the Italian noun for beast, bestie, and the Sardinian term for clothes, este or beste. These creations are unique pieces woven by hand over a piece of MDF shaped like these particular animals. Concetta and Eugenia have chosen to weave with Sardinian wool. This project has been specifically thought around this coarse wool, the traditional one. The species chosen are a good example of the identity of the island: in this collection you will find colourful sheep, donkeys and wild boars in some way recalling the harsh Sardinian land, the nature of people, hardheaded and tenacious.
I’m in some way proud to imagine myself like one of these donkeys!
Recently exhibited in Bologna, inside an art gallery, La casetta dell’artista (another interesting project: look at it https://www.lacasettadellartista.com/) they are items and sculptures and they put together tradition and innovation. I think this is possible when creation is an action in your everyday life and you live your tradition as Eugenia and Concetta do. These B’estes give voice to Sardinia with a present-day feeling, they are traditional and new at the same time.They are the right pieces to have if you want to take a little bit of Sardinia with you!