"Would you like the lights or the paintings?" Orsina Sforza responded when I asked if she would let us feature her work in VERY. Genre-division is commonly practiced in all areas including art and design; however, not at VERY. Here we like to look at things as a whole in a more holistic approach. Everything is connected, life is a flow. My answer to Orsina hence was "both". Her light sculptures and paintings have an international following, but separately until now. It is a great honour to finally put the two together.

Life as we know it would not exist if the earth wasn't the blue planet, the one that has water. But there is a problem. "In India, it pours in the rainy season, but almost all monsoon water washes into the sea", my friend Francis Fry pointed out while I was staying at his idyllic Madurai hilltop retreat. With Francis busy creating a rainwater irrigation system for his magical Rajakkad Garden Hotel, I began researching the subject. The more I looked, the more I felt paralyzed. The complexity of "water" was overwhelming, worry kept me awake at night. The breakthrough came when Francis put me in touch with Julian Jones, a true visionary. Julian connects the dots, explains the causes and provides solutions in his article "Water, Where Our 'System' Fails Us".
Indeed, where the system fails us, we need to step up. The apparel industry, for one, has much to answer for. Esprit is taking on the task.
They were the first global brand to create an ethical "Ecollection" in 1992, and now are re-examining their entire operation.
The Esprit/Royal College of Art Annual Competition spearheads the new Esprit eco-design, featured here in the cover and feature fashion story, alongside leading British ecological and ethical labels.

Artist Liliane Lijn's collaboration with NASA is presented next to her collage of 18th century water colours. Lijn slashes together antique temples with fire from contemporary industrial furnaces. It's worth noting that today in Greece these furnaces are found side by side with those exact temples.

Mati Klarwein, previously known as the "most famous unknown artist" is sadly no longer with us, but his son Balthazar tells the story. I can see nothing more befitting than Mati’s "Tree of Life" as this issue’s centerfold.

Religion, layers of history and daily life are intermixed in Ximena Garrido-Lecca's work. She intuitively juggles traditions and spiritual influences only found in South America, namely her native Peru. Kimberly DuRoss takes us on a trip to present-day Sicily, with Celia Lyttelton remarking upon its history.

It took some convincing for Georgia de Castro Keeling to lend us her beauty for the fashion shoot, as she would rather be known for her artwork. Here are both now; thank you Georgia, you are a star!

Uscha Pohl
in London’s Indian Summer, 2011


Front cover:

Georgia de Castro Keeling wearing chunky wool sweater - Victoria Hill for Esprit Limited Edition Royal College of Art, catsuit Goodone.
Photo: Tomek Sierek, styling Marcella Martinelli, hair Pshemko Sierek, make up Stephanie Brookes.
Location: Royal College of Art, London. Bust (1876): Richard Burchett, headmaster of the national art training school from 1852-1875.

Back cover:

Pinewood, Portofino. Photo: Kimberly DuRoss.
"The song of the cicada answers the weeping, the song that the westering lament does awe, nor the ashen sky. And the pine has one sound, and the myrtle another sound and the juniper another again, different instruments under numberless fingers and we are plunged in the forest's spirits living with a tree-like life", from La Pioggia Nel Pinetto, Gabriele d’Annunzio.

Features in order of appearance:

ORSINA SFORZA Mirta d’Argenzio, Patrizia Cavalli
THE PROGRESSIVE WALLS Ximena Garrido-Lecca
STEEL FIRE TEMPLES FROM THE PAESTUM COLLAGES Liliane Lijn
LIGHT YEARS Liliane Lijn
SICILIAN VESPERS, KiMBERLY DUROSS Celia Lyttelton
CRUCIFIXION (FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION) Mati Klarwein
ABDUL MATI KLARWEIN Balthazar Klarwein
ROYAL COLLEGE OF ART Tomek Sierek
ESPRIT IN ECO MOTION Susie Tompkins Buell, Sheilagh Brown, Colin Henry in conversation with Uscha Pohl
WATER, WHERE OUR 'SYSTEM' FAILS US ... Julian Jones
GEORGIA DE CASTRO KEELING Uscha Pohl

Credits:

Contributors / Featured & featuring:
Orsina Sforza, Ximena Garrido-Lecca, Liliane Lijn, Abdul Mati Klarwein, Balthazar Klarwein, Kimberly DuRoss, Celia Lyttelton, Patrizia Cavalli, Mirta d’Argenzio, Julia Sforza Gianoli, Muzia Sforza, Georgia de Castro Keeling, Julian Jones, Francis Fry, Susie Tompkins Buell, Professor Wendy Dagworthy, Sheilagh Brown, Colin Henry, Anne Prahl, the Beccaria family, Leopoldo Franchetti, Leonardo Sciascia

Photography:
Tomek Sierek, Uscha Pohl, Philippe Blondez, Bill Anders, Catherine Milinaire, Liliane Lijn, Sarah Shatz, Klaus Wehner, Anna Vivante, Barbara Vidal, Ximena Garrido-Lecca, 4DD/Berkant Yerli

Illustrations:
Georgia de Castro Keeling, Lydia Williams/Water21

Styling:
Marcella Martinelli, make up Stephanie Brookes

Special Thanks:
Sheilagh Brown; Heather Holford, Sue Bradburn/RCA; Sarah Shatz, 4DD/Thomas Majevszki



All VERY Publications are edited and published by founder/owner Uscha Pohl.

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Georgia de Castro Keeling, photo Tomek Sierek.
On roll-over; Pinewood, Portofino, photo Kimberly DuRoss.

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