Through the Eyes of Sofia Crociani (Aelis)



The sky’s eye

In the Decameron, Boccaccio praises the Vallée des Dames (literally, the “ladies’ path”) in Tuscany, where the nature’s species and trees had been displayed “as regularly as if the world’s finest gardener had planted them.”

This Etruscan beauty underlies Sofia Crociani’s work. There, among the gently sloping hills “that melt into the sky,” the forest has been transformed into a “bosco,” while the cypresses seem to have sprung from a Renaissance painting. Here, with fragments of embroidery from the ’20s, on the edge of a daily dream: “These are often pieces that I have found or inherited from my family. I visit them, I don’t cut anything, I take what time gives me (…). In Italy, beauty is everywhere, it comes to us. The way we perceive it is engraved in our memory. It is an emotional and visual legacy.”

This metaphor of Paradise is conveyed in a series of lily-coloured or sky-coloured dresses, fragments of a suspended time, brought back to life by the eye of this highly inspired Sienese woman with her collection entitled “Supernova”, a star that can be transformed “into dust or a black hole.”

In this private mansion in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, a light installation by Olafur Eliasson exalts these recovered, recomposed fragments. These exchanges woven between earth and sky emerge as “the trace of a cloud in satin organza,” a muslin coloured like oxygen, the light that seems to be reflected in an aurora taffeta, an embroidered hemp and lace, an ethereal silk tulle.

“Through Beauty, we reach a balance between ourselves and the world,” says Crociani. Aélis, from the Greek word meaning “messenger,” is the emblematic muse of a summer placed under the sun of femininity: “A state of mind and not an assignment to a gender,” she explains. “Staring at beauty feeds and soothes our relationship with the world.”