Innovative Art: Emanuela Crotti

ocean table by emanuela crotti a natural question collection

Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase, “there’s nothing new under the sun”. An expression often used to reflect on the repetitive nature of our planet and its’ creation. The author of these words keenly observed that life on earth has and will behave as it has always done. The wind will blow to the south and around to the north then back again. The rivers will flow into the sea yet not overflow its’ reservoirs. Pushing the water back to whence it came, thus perpetuating the cycle. Life on earth is destined to repeat itself which raises the questions: what does innovation mean? The word innovation provokes when set against this phrase. Forcing us to reflect on the essence of what it truly means, particularly within the realm of art. Emanuela Crotti is an Italian artist whose works of art seem to satisfy the question of the true nature of innovation.

ocean table by emanuela crotti
The Ocean Table, Part of Emanuela Crotti’s 2019 collectin ‘A Natural Question’

The Poetic Diary of Emanuela Crotti

Using hundreds of intricate objects held together by thick layers of resin, Emanuela Crotti creates dynamic and three-dimensional pieces of décor for the home. Avant-garde yet functional, her designs somehow manage to straddle the line between high art and practicality. Emanuela describes her work as a “poetic diary”. “It’s the perfect title to tell about my work, which is a collage of a multitude of things. Each very different from the other, but held together by that very fine thread made of sensitivity and harmony”.

I like to give new life to objects that have already had one of their own. Because mixed with the others, they give life to something other than themselves.

Emanuela Crotti

When asked how she chooses the components of her creations she replied, “I like to give new life to objects that have already had one of their own, because mixed with the others, they give life to something other than themselves. That’s why I use in my pieces precious things that are close to common or recycled things. Medicines, valuables, sweets, sacred hearts, provocations, members, souvenirs or things found in the most impossible places”.

Emanuela Crotti describes herself as an alchemist of sorts. “I buy or take from nature everything that strikes my imagination,” she says. “It becomes poetry in which is the new creation, something that was not there before”. Listening to Emanuela describe her artistic process makes it clear that innovation, to make changes to what already is, is at the core of her designs, making her a truly innovative artist.

Finding Artistic Expression

Emanuela was born with an inherent love of nature and, as she describes, “artistic blood”. “Since I was a little girl, I loved to contemplate nature: plants, flowers, animals, the sky, colors, etc. I lost myself watching inside flowers, what makes them and the insects that make these flowers their home”.

At the beginning of her career, Emanuela started painting, however, she didn’t sense that painting was a true reflection of her artistic expression. And then breast cancer struck. “The disease arrived like a warning to communicate an inconvenience, to make me understand that I would [have] to fully utilize my talents without all those fears that were [holding] me back. It was time to bloom or die! I am a spiritual researcher, but after the illness I worked even more on myself, to be able to dissolve all the defensive layers that were [stopping] me from expressing myself in total freedom.” Through this process of deep self-discovery, Emanuela developed her authentic self as an artist, healing her mind, body, and soul.

Inspired by Nature

While nature has always played a role in Emanuela’s art, in her 2019 collection she managed to really tap into her childlike wonder, launching a compilation of unique pieces, inspired and co-created with nature. All of the pieces in this collection are striking. From a dining table that replicates a coral reef to a cabinet faced in an enchanting three-dimensional forest. “The collection ‘A Natural Question’ that I presented this year in the Rossana Orlandi Gallery, tells us about the Coral Reef, a place that needs protection and love, about woods where you can walk to regenerate and contemplate extraordinary forms of insects and butterflies, about the beauty of each leaf, of the mushrooms and flowers to nourish our spiritual part.”

nature inspired cabinet door in resin by emanuela crotti
“I buy or take from nature everything that strikes my imagination. It becomes poetry in which is the new creation, something that was not there before.” ~ Emanuela Crotti

Emanuela’s collection is a nod to the environmental movement. It reminds us of the importance of connecting with our natural surroundings and our roles as stewards of the earth. “Mother Nature, the great teacher who has always inspired artists, poets, and scientists, always leaves us open-mouthed, with an open heart. I am increasingly convinced that this is the only antidote to the barbarism that the world is going through. Where violence and aggression constantly come at us through the media, social media and consumerist society”. Emanuela’s designs draw us back to our primordial selves. Co-inhabitants of nature, grounding us to that stable and persistent force of the earth.

metal and porcelain cabinet by emaunela crotti
A cabinet featuring brass and porcelain animals and flora and fauna, part of Emanuela Crotti’s 2019 collection ‘A Natural Question’

Art As A Sanctuary

Art being a sanctuary is a theme throughout Emanuela’s work. Not only does she design pieces for the home, but she also strives for her artwork to continue to inspire within the home. “I am happy when someone buys one of my pieces and it continues living in some house around the world. It touches me to see amazement and emotion in the eyes of those who are contemplating one of my pieces. This is my purpose, my service on this earth: creating, spreading beauty, serenity, and joy, emphasizing the beauty of nature, enhancing shapes and colors, forcing people to stop and contemplate, but also to reflect”. To Emanuela, the idea of art intricately links to the idea of refuge. Home is a place where beauty can surround you and you can connect to the deeper meanings which art inspires.

It’s artists like Emanuela Crotti that facilitate that connection. The role of the artist, as seen through Emanuela, inspires through creation, almost standing in defiance to the phrase, “there’s nothing new under the sun”. In a world that will never completely satiate us, art offers a remedy. Inherently innovative, art connects us to something deeper and gives new meaning to the redundancies of life. As Emanuela reminds us, art is spiritual, creative, and alchemical. It is the role of artists like Emanuela to remind us that something new can always come from that which stays the same.

Words by Alexa Jennelle

This article originally appeared in Love Happens Volume 4 in 2019/20.

Explore the full edition of Love Happens Volume 4 for more inspiring design and other intriguing content!