M.A.H.A.S is Studio Rö’s current exhibition, and its inspiration can be traced back to the concept of oneness. M.A.H.A.S, means “Creator of Celestial Life.” This phrase speaks to the interconnectedness of all life and the idea that we are all part of the same universe.

Christelle Caffarelli

Humanity, Spirituality & Sustainability: M.A.H.A.S by Studio Rö

Studio Rö is an experimental gallery situated in the heart of Milan, offering a unique, immersive experience into a serene slow-living sanctuary. A place where one can disconnect from the outside world and reconnect with their inner self.

During the 2023 Milano Design Week, Studio Rö is presenting their latest exhibition, M.A.H.A.S, exploring the theme of humanity and spirituality, where artists and designers are invited to express themselves in a holistic scenography that evokes the senses.

We interviewed Christelle Caffarelli, the founder of Studio Rö, to understand her perspective on slow-living.

What makes Studio Rö a sanctuary for slow living?

Studio Rö is much more than just another art gallery; it is a sanctuary for slow living. In a world where everything seems to be moving at a breakneck pace, Studio Rö offers a respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Slow down and take a breath. With a holistic design philosophy, the use of natural materials, commitment towards, and mindful collaborations, we cultivate the essence of slow living that allows reflection and growth.

Every design decision is made with the whole person in mind. They consider not only aesthetics but also function and the impact on human well-being.

All of these elements come together to create a space that inspires slow, intentional living, helping you connect with yourself, others, and the environment. Guests will leave Studio Rö feeling centered, inspired, and equipped with the tools to cultivate a rejuvenated sense of well-being in their daily lives.

What was the inspiration behind the current exhibition, M.A.H.A.S.?

M.A.H.A.S. is Studio Rö’s current exhibition, and its inspiration can be traced back to the concept of oneness. M.A.H.A.S. means “Creator of Celestial Life.” This phrase speaks to the interconnectedness of all life and the idea that we are all part of the same universe.

The exhibition aims to explore the intersection of art, sustainability, and spirituality, encouraging visitors to reflect on their relationship with the natural world while also offering inspiration for a more holistic lifestyle.

The artists featured in M.A.H.A.S. utilize organic materials to create pieces that explore themes such as harmony, balance, and interconnectivity and highlight the impacts of our actions on the environment. We are all consciously or unconsciously directed by our beliefs, but to what extent? Are we ready to return to the source? feel our roots? We encourage visitors to see themselves as part of a larger whole and to consider their actions in a broader context, making M.A.H.A.S an experience that is both insightful and transformative.

For example, the concept of a divine creator or a higher power is often associated with the formation and order of the universe, as well as its underlying principles and laws. At the same time, there is also an unconscious relationship between humans, the cosmos, and religion. This relationship reflects an inherent sense of wonder, awe, and reverence that many people feel when confronted with the grandeur and mysteries of the universe. In turn, this sense of wonder and awe can inspire spiritual practices and beliefs, as well as a desire to understand our place in the cosmos.

Overall, the relationship between human beings, the cosmos, and religion is a deeply interwoven and multifaceted one, shaped by both conscious and unconscious factors. By exploring this relationship, we can gain a deeper understanding of our place in the world and the role that religion and spirituality play in shaping our perceptions and beliefs.

Religion, spirituality, and astronomy are the core of your current exhibition. How do you incorporate these understandings with a climate-centric approach?

We strive to incorporate climate-centric ideas and principles in all our exhibitions, including M.A.H.A.S., which centers on the themes of religion, spirituality, and astronomy. The inclusion of Scarlett Rouge’s painting of “The Last Supper” in an apocalyptic setting especially made for our exhibition and Elisabetta Caizzi Marini’s burned face sculptures add an extra layer to our exploration of these themes, highlighting the potential consequences of ignoring our environment.

Through the artwork displayed in M.A.H.A.S., we convey the importance of recognizing the link between spirituality, art, and climate change. Scarlett Rouge’s “The Last Supper” pays homage to the original painting but also serves as a reminder of the dire consequences of ignoring environmental issues. Elisabetta Caizzi Marini’s burned-face sculptures call attention to the devastation wrought by climate change and its effects on humanity.

We also incorporate specific climate-centric principles in our curation of the exhibition. We use organic, natural materials for sculptures and decorations while encouraging our guests to adopt conscious and mindful lifestyles. We showcase art that is aesthetically strong while promoting environmental sustainability.

At the core of our approach is the need to understand our interconnectedness with nature, spirituality, and the cosmos, reinforcing our role as environmental stewards. We strive to ensure that visitors leave the exhibition with a deeper sense of understanding of the environment, climate change, and their part in this interconnected ecosystem.

Creativity, according to us, is the easiest way to reach the creator. How do you decide the artists that will bring the essence of the ‘temple’ to the space?

We believe that creativity is an incredibly powerful tool for connecting with the divine. We are committed to showcasing emerging and established artists who capture the essence of the spiritual and bring it to life in their work.

When selecting artists to feature in our exhibition spaces, we look for a few key qualities: Authenticity (we prioritize artists who are true to themselves and their vision, creating art that is honest, genuine, and heartfelt); reverence towards nature and spirituality (we look for artists who recognize the wonder in the natural world around us and respect different spiritual practices); innovation (we seek artists who are willing to take risks, challenging themselves and the viewer to see things in a new way while remaining respectful of their materials and cultural references.) and connection with the theme (we look for artists whose work is congruent with and deeply connected with the theme of the exhibition).

These key criteria guide our choices, ensuring that the work exhibited at Studio Rö offers visitors an opportunity to connect with the divine in a tangible and meaningful way. Overall, we strive to create spaces that encourage reflection, creativity, and a sense of contemplation—a temple for art and ideas—to offer an immersive and transcendental experience.

What is the correlation between humanity, spirituality, and sustainability according to you?

From a holistic perspective, spirituality can infuse a sense of interconnectedness and a reverence for nature and the environment. Through spiritual practices, individuals can develop a greater connection to the natural world and a deeper sense of responsibility towards it.

This awareness and connection can then lead to a greater sense of sustainability, where individuals and communities work to protect and preserve the environment for future generations. At the same time, sustainability practices can also be deeply spiritual in nature. For example, permaculture principles demonstrate a reverence for the interdependent relationships between all living beings and the importance of cultivating sustainable practices that prioritize the health of the land and its inhabitants.

Overall, the correlation between humanity, spirituality, and sustainability lies in a recognition of the fundamental interconnectedness of all things and the importance of taking responsibility for our actions in the present to ensure a healthier and more sustainable future for all beings.

What does oneness mean to you?

Oneness is a deep inner silence that dissolves our human condition, oneness is where absolute peace is hidden. Once this stage is reached we experience the Oneness.

Interview & Art Direction by Priyanka Singh @Priyanka.parihar16

Photos by Wilson Ballarin @wilsonballarin

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