Location: Milan, Italy
Completion date: 2020
Artwork budget: $180,000
Anne Patterson was commissioned by Zegna’s creative director Alessandro Sartori to create an immersive installation in a former Milanese foundry on the occasion of Milan Fashion Week and the fashion house’s Fall/Winter 2020-2021 presentation. The installation is a massive suspended cube– a play of color, matter, and light– that looks solid but is actually a transparent network of fabric. Giving the material an immaterial quality, it invites viewers to engage and interact, not only with the eyes.
Art for Earth was inspired by sustainability, and at its center is the idea of reducing waste and reusing existing materials. Presented with fabrics that Zegna had left over from the last two years of production, Patterson chose a palette of green, grey and blue, specifically selecting those fabrics containing recycled plastic and synthetic material. Inspired by the colors of the forests of her native New York and found reflected in the Italian Alps, the installation is at once an homage to the natural environment which connects us across continents, as well as a demonstration of the possibilities of recycling existing and surplus material.
Ribbon-like strips were created through the use of a laser cutter. While the fabrics were different weights and weaves, they hung beautifully and in unison. Once the ribbons were created, Patterson worked with eight art students in Milan to build the piece. The installation consists of 3563 strands of ribbon, cut from over 37 kilometers of unused fabric.