For a building, the structure is a skeleton, the facade, its flesh, the interiors, its very spirit. A barren space can transfigure into a celestial phenomenon with the right colours, textures, and curation of objects. With every new configuration, a new space is born—becoming independent from its previous versions—a result of only a few strategic amendments. One such immersive exhibition that embraces the language of warm summer nights takes the stage at the bustling design festival, Paris Design Week 2023.
On the occasion of the much anticipated design week in France, Paris-based Maestria gallery presents Léa Zeroil's first collection, Lune Rousse (Blood Moon). From September 8 - 18, 2023, the contemporary art and design gallery unveils a captivating show in which French designer and interior architect Zeroil presents dreamlike furniture designs and objects within a tent donned in hues of warm summer nights.
The pieces partaking in the design exhibition are an amalgamation of materials such as wood, stone, glass, metal and textile. The designs have been conceived with meticulous attention to detail, in collaboration with French craftsmen. Talking about her inspiration for the ensemble, Zeroil relays, “ The Moon has a rendezvous with the Sun. When the latter doesn't show up, the Moon regains its deep nature—she becomes red. When this exceptional moment comes, the whole night is set ablaze and tinged with a tawny glow. I wanted to capture this magical atmosphere, and transposed it into a series of exceptional objects and furniture.”
For Zeroil, the Mediterranean countries act as muses that culminate in a solar style of design. Through her creations, she contrives a warm and unique art of living, with deep colours. After graduating from the Duperré and Olivier de Serres Schools of Applied Arts, she embarked on her professional journey, collaborating with renowned designers along the way. Later, she founded her own studio and began working on interior design projects for hotels, restaurants and boutiques—creating her own collection of furniture and product designs in tandem.
On the other hand, Maestria gallery is a product of the joint expertise of Léa Coussy and Lucie Marquand-Gairard catering to craftsmanship, art and luxury projects. Their establishment aspired to overcome the division between art and design, between a gallery and a curation agency. Coussy and Marquand-Gairard share a fascination for colours, luminous and sunny works, as well as textures—all forming the cornerstone of Maestria, to celebrate the revival of figuration.
The Blood Moon is a mysterious phenomenon that occurs when the full moon is tinged with a warm, orange glow—an occurrence that always captured Zeroil's imagination. Taking cues from the celestial, the ensemble features chandeliers evoking the phases of the moon, luminous fabric pendants reminiscent of the atmosphere of the night, and furniture with flowing lines that entice relaxation and contemplation. “This collection contains references to Egypt, a civilization that has permeated my work for several months. The symbol of the lunar disc, the shapes of the amulets, the jewellery, but also the attention paid to the objects that were supposed to accompany the soul in the afterlife,” the product designer elaborates.
Each piece in the collection narrates a story, a sensory experience, akin to a journey into the poetic world of the Lune Rousse. The lighting designs, furniture, and objects were born from encounters with materials or craftsmen. The challenge, however, was to make pieces of furniture that combined different techniques using wood and rope, metal and glass, straw and lacquer—all the while working with durable materials that convey the craftsman's gesture. “That's why the shapes of the objects are uncomplicated, often rounded, and why it is the sublimated material that dresses up the shape, not the other way round,” Zeroil explains. Together with her collaborators, she envisions the ideal piece and strives to bring it to life. The key to a successful object, in the words of the designer, “is the original design—once that's in place, the magic of know-how can work!”
To bring the surreal objects in her imagination to reality, Zeroil surrounded herself with dextrous French craftsmen like Matthieu Gicquel (a glassmaker) and Mathieu Vallet (an ironmonger and woodcarver). Harnessing and learning from their expertise, she realised objects such as the 'Lampsi' screen, a hand-forged metal structure on which hangs around twenty glass blades in shades of orange, pink and burgundy, like an interior necklace. Other artists who contributed to the collection include Valérie Colas des Francs (straw marquetry), Lucrèce Grappin (decorative painting), Diane Diebold (textiles), and Fabienne L'hostis (raku ceramics).
The exhibition space—much like a sanctuary harbouring the nocturnal luminary—becomes a place where art, design, and craftsmanship rendezvous. Amid the whirlwind of the design event that saturates the streets of Paris, Maestria gallery offers a space where visitors can surrender to the beauty of materials and immerse themselves in the magical atmosphere of the blood moon.
‘Lune Rousse’ will be on display from September 8 - 18, 2023, at 13 rue Saintonge, 75003 Paris, France, during Paris Design Week 2023.