By Léa Baert

Through her multidisciplinary design practice, Léa Baert regularly develops textural elements for set design. In Salamandre, this aspect of her work comes to the fore, with Baert creating a set of textile mountains that seem drawn from a fantastical landscape.

Inspired by a playground in Le square de la Salamandre, a plaza close to Baert’s home in Paris, Salamandre’s mountains are designed as cut-out sections resembling a sliced geode, their hollow innards revealing the making process.

Baert was attracted to Kvadrat Febrik’s Uniform Melange textile for its luminous qualities. By manipulating the knitted textile to see how it reacted to light, Baert was able to capture its curves and folds.

Throughout her project, Baert saw the Kvadrat Febrik textiles as raw matter with which she could build volume, contours, pleats and clefts – not simply as a flat surface upholstery. By adding an aluminium sheet to the laminated textile, Baert created a selfsupporting material which could be shaped into a wavy structure, emphasising the textile’s magical effects.

The softness and sturdiness of the knitted textile allow it to be easily moulded, while the textile is sharply cut in order to highlight the technical composition of the Uniform Melange. Salamandre has no prescribed function – the viewer can sit, climb or crawl under the installation in order to explore Baert’s imaginary terrain.

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