Opened during the days of Milano Design City 2021 – an almost completely digital Fuorisalone that for this year replaces the classic April event – Cosma Frascina's exhibition "Eroded Panorama" brought us back (with much pleasure) to a concrete, tactile and ancestral dimension of design. The independent exhibition was held in the spaces of Quei Studio, an agency founded by the curator William Bagnoli, who thus consolidates his collaboration with the Salento-based designer.
Frascina hand-sculpts all his works, which are made of calcarenite, a typical stone of the Apulian territory. "Each piece is unique and different both because of the characteristics of the material and because each shape is suggested by the original one. I only use waste from the mining activity of a quarry near my home," Frascina tells us. "After years of exposure to weather, moss and lichen systems form on the pieces. The material is alive. There is an additional fragility factor: the stone hosts delicate natural organisms that can be reawakened by spraying water on them. As a sedimentary rock of marine origin, calcarite is rich in fossils and microfossils, with which I seek a dialogue when I discover them."
The material chosen by the designer is very friable and lends itself to manual processing. With his work it is as if the designer stopped time. A second step is added to this operation of subtraction: "I use white and grey mortar to define certain surfaces and to suggest the use of each piece. This language refers to the Mediterranean construction culture. Some of my works are conceived as micro-architectures," explains Frascina.
His works look to the natural world and recover traditional or archaic working techniques. With his approach to his work, the designer wants above all to rediscover different lifestyles, but also to narrate the landscape he lives in every day. "My work is a bit like my therapy. It has helped me to get to know better and to appreciate what is beautiful in the area where I live. I've made peace with the place where I was born and now I look at it in a different way, in a proactive and project-oriented way."