Opus Motus by Raffaello Galiotto and Lithos Design.

Mosaics in Motion

Opus Motus by Raffaello Galiotto and Lithos Design.
Opus Motus by Raffaello Galiotto and Lithos Design.

One of the joys, and sometimes one of the frustrations, of visiting overseas trade shows are the ‘added value’ events.  Sometimes these prove no more than a poor excuse for navel gazing or self congratulation.  Many leave me totally confused: searching for some justification for the expense and wondering, usually in vain, just who makes up the supposed audience.

Opus Motus by Raffaello Galiotto and Lithos Design.
Opus Motus by Raffaello Galiotto and Lithos Design.

However, others really do enhance my show experience.  At Coverings, for instance, the added value usually comes in terms of education.  If I attend just one or two of the events in the comprehensive programme, I know I will learn at least one thing new and valuable.

At Marmomacc, the world’s top stone show, added value is provided in the form of eye-candy.  At each of the recent editions of this vast show, one hall has been dedicated to cutting-edge, artistic explorations of just what can be done with stone today.  Top quarries, stone processors and designers collaborate to produce some of the most amazing stone pieces one is ever likely to see. This is sculpture of the highest quality, all the better for being created with a clear purpose. Few art galleries can compete.

For this post I am taking you back to 2013.  The project in question – Opus Motus – is unusual in its use of colour.  Most Marmomacc installations tend to be carved from large blocks of a single stone.  Some may find it gaudy, others pointless … but I think this project achieves just what it set out to do: provide an inspirational glimpse into stone’s true potential.

Opus Motus by Raffaello Galiotto and Lithos Design.
Opus Motus by Raffaello Galiotto and Lithos Design.

Opus Motus was created by Raffaello Galiotto in conjunction with Lithos Design. It comprised six colourful mechanical spinning tops featuring an inlaid marble circle. When activated by a lever, these vertically-mounted tops begin to spin progressively faster. As this happens, the natural colours merge together, amalgamating and forming new and surprising shades. The net effect is an explosion of colours and shapes that reveal unique and surprising optical effects to onlookers.

Opus Motus featured six types of marble sourced from the four corners of the globe, from East to West: Verde Giada from China, Travertino Rosso and Travertino Giallo from Iran, Bianco Thassos from Greece, Nero Marquinia from Spain and Azul Macaubas from Brazil.

All the colours and geometric structures used for Opus Motus were purpose-designed based on the RGB additive model according to specific optical and chromatic effects. Thus the wealth of colours, which is already quite evident, proves to be even more surprising when transformed by movement.



A new post by Joe Simpson, Diary of a Tile Addict, July 2017.

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