A project by Studio Toogood with PERRIER JOUËT
Milan 2011
NATURA MORTA, the Italian term for “still life”, literally translates as “dead nature”. The four outsized still lifes showcased in this provocative exhibition were composed from an abstract collection of handmade and found objects designed to celebrate the darker side of the natural world.

Adding to the air of the subversive, Natura Morta was held in a private Milanese apartment – the Era Studio Apartment Gallery – where Faye Toogood launched her second collection of objects: Assemblage 2.

Photography Tom Mannion

LOCATION: Era Studio Apartment Gallery, Milan
TYPE: Exhibition / Midnight Dinners
SCOPE: Concept Design, Detail Design, Installation, Styling
COLLABORATORS: Arabeschi di Latte (food), Barnaba Fornasetti (DJ)
SPONSOR: Perrier Jouët
NUMBERS: 10,000 visitors


During Natura Morta a series of Midnight Dinners were prepared by the Italian food designers Arabeschi di Latte under the heading Underkitchen. Guests were asked to taste simple but intriguing ingredients including eggs dyed in tea and spices that appeared as giant marbles, black rocks formed out of cheese rolled in coal, a rustic dessert made from black bread soaked in water and dark sugar, and artichoke flowers carbonised to black on the balcony of the gallery. All served with Perrier-Jouët champagne.

Working under the creative direction of Faye Toogood and incorporating beautifully abstract food styling by Francesca Sarti, photographer Marius W Hansen shot a series of powerful and provocative still lifes for each of the four rooms to further enhance the dark alchemy behind Natura Morta and Underkitchen.

In the dark shadows of the private midnight dinners, guests encountered waitresses draped in dresses designed by Studio Toogood, inspired by the shape of a bat. They also wore sculptural headpieces, designed by Zara Gorman and Faye Toogood, which further enhanced the fierce and powerful nature of the exhibition.

Barnaba Fornasetti opened the first midnight dinner with some seriously cool tunes.