I established Thea Kuta as an independent firm, in Switzerland in 2015. Since than i have been collaborating with local designers/artists, and international popular brands like Missoni Home(Italy). Thea Kuta is a design line that was born in order to transform a worldwide tradition like "weaving" into a distinctive design tool. Weaving is a sacred discipline that belongs to many different cultures; the vision is that it's story and expression becomes actual in our society in the form of objects that are used in a daily life context. Colour and geometry, together with innovation in the production stage, are the core elements in Thea Kuta products; the intense research for material and techniques, at the production stage, made ieate light-sculptures which have a unique visual expred can be reprodue thanks to methods like lasercut and 3D Print.
Since i was a kid, I was fascinated by lamps and their light: From the 70's model in my grandfathers kitchen, the hemp one in my sleeping room, to the table one I used to make my homework. The memory of their shapes, colour, material and shadow can still bring me to that I realize now how light was a game for me to play with, and still it is. And finally it became a profession. [ more... ]
« Thea Kuta has been originated from the need to experience yarn as an alternative tool for painting. The choice of drawing geometric subject relies on the power of geometry to create an optical illusion giving the spectator an active role in the picture. The threads and fabric used result from an international research moving from Italy to Mexico, from Nigeria to Ghana. Weaving was considered as a holy discipline in all Mesoamerican cultures and its still practiced not only by Maya womaen but by women all over the world. Thea Kuta proves to be an experimental art which embrace elements from different cultures, being able to combine the contemporary aspect of design and geometry to the tradition of the thread. »
- Elisa Bortolussi
« First, geometry. Then, colour. The creative path of Elisa Bortolussi follows these two concepts. And this is essentially due to the separator between planning and making; these actions are well visible in her works and they are deeply distinct even at the moment of visual perception. At the beginning, the artist develops the structure of her work through the drawing; she prepares a project view, where primary geometries (triangle, square, circle) shape her whole work and give it its final structure. It is not only a simple fusion or arrangement of figures. The different shapes intersect and overlap so as to originate compound geometries, sometimes regular, sometimes only perceptual.
Once this stage is over, Bortolussi moves on to colours; but she doesn't use the painter's colour or other materials running after her graphic project, like the artists who created the dynamic-optical structures in the sixties. Bortolussi herself confirms she's paid special attention to the T Group of Milan or the N Group of Padua, as well as to their research on the various theories about work comprehension or perceptual transformation, which changes if the observer's point of view shifts or the work itself simply moves. Bortolussi is well aware that figures and colours obey juxtaposition rules and she knows that a different chromatic order-warm and cold colours, light and dark colours, bright and dull colours - causes different sensations. Therefore, we could define her work as an uninterrupted treatment of colour in order to fulfil specific project requirements. So, in the beginning, the dialogue focuses on form and geometric structures, whereas the second phase arises from her reflection - often emotional and symbolic - on colours and the different chromatic areas inscribed in the most complex figures. The three-dimensional structure plays a decisive role since it allows to overlap images and, in this way, to generate some new ones the sequence of triangles or sq. es creates stars of different types, the converging triangles mark the perimeter of polygons): at the same time, the different colouring levels develop transparencies and mechanical veils.
The colour chosen by the artist is "impersonal"; the yarns she uses, like the painter's spectrum of pigments, have variegated shades depending on their production systems, since they can be craft or industrial products. So, it's entirely up to the artist to choose shades and materials within a wide range of wool, cotton, silk, alpaca fibres or to exploit stripes of different width and length cut from painted or screen-printed fabrics. Bortolussi's creativity and its conceptual aspect reveal themselves in this dialogue between materials and dyes; this interaction takes place at the moment of making, at the moment of the surface transformation, when figural structures capture the observer's look so as to wrap it in reflections and chromatic bands moved by the light flowing over the tone sequences or by a unique play of refractions and transparencies. Thea Kuta is the title of this exhibition. This term, unknown to European culture, is well alive in other realities: "a form of weaving craft learnt during a journey to South America in 2008".
Thea means Goddess in Greek, while Kuta derives from Wirikuta, which is the Huichol name of San Luis Potosi desert in northern Mexico. This site is one of the five sacred places to the Huicholes, who weave their Ojos de Dios to offer them to their gods during their yearly pilgrimage to Wirikuta. And it is not difficult to find, in Bortolussi's chromatic orders, the emphasis on colour typical of Central American natives. But not only Mexico lives in these works; the traditional colours and symbols of some Nigerian tribes are perceptible as well; as the artist underlines, also this creative stage has originated from a journey among African people, when she got in touch with other creative traditions which are, however, independent from manual weaving. Fabrics become a second element in her composition; the artist inserts, next to coloured threads, a typical African textile fibre called Ankara. Through this final action she eliminates any symbol and content from images and colours to meet some requirements of abstract art and, at the same time, to come into contact with both the language experimentations using textile weaves (Boetti's weaving, but also tapestries come to my mind) and aesthetic inserts developed in other cultures (which is not, however, a novelty: we find it impossible to count the artists who have been fascinated by primitive or tribal art, which has been an occasion to leave, with no regret, the aesthetic traditions accompanying the evolution of European art). Bortolussi's works appear to be heterogeneous forms of visual art going beyond the simple use of fabrics; they suggest an artificial interpretation of movement through the change in light and the chromatic gradations as well as by differentiating the matter; they get to define images which, even if they do not belong to our visual experience, expre, Imes. forms, colours not trying to imitate reality.
In this way, by focusing on both surfaces with variable structure and special shades, the artist talks to her own existential experience. She wants to communicate, through these original creations, her own individual sensibility and experiences, thus turning her work into a sign of real life by letting reality, sensibility and creativity interact, and transforming her action into proof of reliving a special situation but in a different context, the artistic one. »
- Diego Collavini