Fernando Laposse, who divides his time between London and Mexico, specialises in transforming humble natural materials into refined design pieces, working with overlooked plant fibres such as sisal, loofah, and corn leaves.

His cabinet and armchair with long fibres of agave, presented in the State Bedchamber, bring a powerful animacy to the opulent surroundings, creating a presence almost like that of living creatures.

The works directly reference local people and cultures from which these materials originate and draw attention to the cultural, social and political mechanisms that underpin material economies.

Laposse creates them in a Mexican village called Tonahuixtla, which has been devastated by climate change. The primary material is sisal, the fibre of the agave plant – a type of succulent used in the production of tequila. Laposse has pioneered the innovative use of this material in the region, where he is also organising an extensive planting of agave, with the goal of restoring the community’s economy.

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