words Johanna Agerman
“I have been collecting wine corks for some time now,” says English designer Sebastian Bergne, whose exhibition Cru at the Aram Gallery sees him taking on the world of wine connoisseurship. “I’m an armchair wine enthusiast,” admits Bergne, who recently moved back to the UK from Bologna, Italy.
Cru explores the traditions around the enjoyment of fine wines, aiming to add a new dimension to the experience. Corked is a set of glasses and a decanter/funnel where used corks are the focus. The recycled material serves as the stem of the glass and as the stopper for the decanter. It also cleverly creates a link between the decanter and funnel, making the pouring of wine a true art form that requires utmost concentration and attention. “The ritual of decanting wine becomes slightly different, there’s a tension that you get from wondering if the wine will leak,” says Bergne.
All the pieces in the exhibition were created to make you consider the act of drinking more carefully, instilling a sense of occasion and enhancing the interaction with the wine. Sebastian Bergne is not moralising about over-consumption but simply suggesting that the moment of drinking should be savoured.
The smallest piece in the exhibition is Geo Cork – a kind of drawing pin that lets you build your own sculpture from used wine corks – while the biggest one is Marcel, a 200kg wine rack in limestone. It is supposed to fill space, explains Bergne, to take a central position instead of being tucked away in a corner.
All the pieces are currently made to order but Bergne isn’t ruling out the idea of putting some into production. “The jury is still out on that.”