Camino Del Alma – Illuminated Sculpture In Wood And Shredded Paper

by YANKATU Brazil

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Caminho da Alma is a pendant sculptural luminaire where the delicacy of the designs made on shredded paper creates passages of light that appropriate the subtlety of the wind. The silver tone of the paper references the true wealth of the Mexican people, which, besides colonization, remains in their country safeguarded in the traditions kept alive by their artisans. The sinuous movement of the piece is guided by the feathered serpent that travels through the poetic labyrinth of life, glimpsing the future of humanity in respect for ancestry. It juxtaposes artisanal tradition and contemporary design as a means of conveying unity and connection. Its design explores the interaction between an everyday lamp, a sculpture, and the ethereal attributes of light. It was born from the encounter between Brazilian designer Maria Fernanda Paes de Barros and the Mexican artisan Sérgio Hernandéz, who masters the art of shredded paper, a tradition still present in the daily life of Mexican people, decorating streets, livening up parties, telling stories.

Invited to participate in the residency and exhibition Visión y Tradición in Mexico, Maria Fernanda sought to create a work that values and at the same time keeps intact the tradition of “Papel Picado” in the country. To keep the tradition as intact as possible and value it exactly as it is, an elegant structure has been created and discreet, suspended by steel cables. Its sinuous shape carved in wood simulates the movement of Quetzalcoatl, the Feathered Serpent, a deity that, according to Aztec belief, contributed to the creation of Humanity. God of wind, air, and dawn. God of knowledge and learning, arts and crafts, Quetzalcoatl represents the duality inherent to the human condition: the ‘serpent,’ the physical body with its limitations, and the ‘feathers,’ the spiritual principles.


2022 | Visión y Tradición | Museu de Antropologia da Cidade do México | MX

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With a degree in business administration and interior design, Maria Fernanda has worked in the field for over 20 years. She migrated to furniture design in 2014, creating Yankatu, a design studio through which she carries out projects with social impact alongside Brazilian artisans. The encounter with the art world happened naturally in 2020 when the search for the appreciation of Brazilian artisans and their knowledge generates a growing discomfort regarding invisibility and lack of knowledge about the reality of Brazilian cultural traditions. Her work is based on relationships that go beyond the gaze and are established on mutual trust and admiration. Her production spans a long timelessness and also a continuity, resulting from the privilege and fluidity of the otherness of established relationships. It is in the power of art that she finds the way to share her learning, activate the gaze and listening of others, seeking to generate in them the same discomfort she feels and, in this way, encourage them to act. It is through a relational aesthetic that she aims to join forces because the reaction of the other, the spectator, is essential for the realization of her art, which does not end with the created object but rather expands into the immaterial and impalpable field. Her works involves various materials without settling on anyone, despite her familiarity with solid wood. It goes from clay to feathers with the same lightness that conveys strong messages in a poetic way.
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2024 brazilian design Conceptual Design Conscious Design contemporary sculpture Indigenous Design luminaire Maximalism mexican tradition paper reclaimed wood repurposed wood shredded paper solid wood