I knew Flying Angels, the only non-profit organization in the world specialized in the air transport of seriously ill children from the poorest countries in the world to a hospital ready to welcome them to undergo operations that could save their lives; we had raised funds during a sailing regatta.
When my client asked me to follow the image for their dinner, inside my beloved Palazzo Ducale in Genoa, I accepted with great pleasure to give them the small contribution of my creativity.
As always, I started to think with my hands and with my heart, and it is precisely a heart that I created by giving shape to one of my nautical ropes, red like the passion that, while I was working, I began to feel stronger and stronger for the work of this Association.
The red nautical rope slowly unfolded between my fingers, drawing the shape of a heart as if made by the wake of the small metal airplane I flew upwards. For me it would already have been a perfect centerpiece, but in the end I gave in to the insistence of those who suggested that a real centerpiece should have flowers.
Well, I said to myself, what kind of flowers are they, but let them be the flowers that more than others could express the simple and spontaneous way of flourishing again of the children saved by the Flying Angels: the daisies in my garden. I collected a lump of it, shaped a sheet of lead into soft and welcoming shapes, placed them inside and the result was truly exciting.
However, I hadn’t taken into account the fact that dinners have the flaw of taking place in the evening, and that the daisies close in the evening. So, when I arrived in Genoa, I started looking for an alternative solution. The first idea came to me from the customer, who suggested I visit a company where they grow the very fragrant Genoese basil, and the scent I smelled as soon as I entered the greenhouse door made me dream.
I started filling all my lead containers with basil, the effect was interesting, but my thoughts continued to remain fixed on the daisies. And it was precisely the perfume that suggested the path to me: I would have composed a bouquet, in the sense that perfume creators give it, placing the small chamomile flowers next to the basil, which are basically daisies which, in addition, have a perfume. delicate that suggests the calm necessary to face even the most difficult situations, such as those that the Flying Angels deal with every day.
My husband then patiently accompanied me on a pilgrimage among all the best florists in Genoa, and finally, the miracle. A stall had just received, without having ordered it, a huge bouquet of chamomile flowers: evidently it had been an angel, who wanted to help his colleagues.
The evening of dinner. My airplanes drew with their trail a heart that surrounded the lead vases with basil and chamomile on all the tables.
The table at which I was sitting was occupied by a group of lawyers, intent on commenting on the centerpiece: “It is very beautiful and poetic” they said “it was created by a designer. What do you think, madam?”.
I was forced to reveal that I was the mysterious designer, and as always I was happy to hear the appreciation, but the happiness increased when, given the success, they decided to put the centerpieces on sale to raise further funds: they all sold out.
Even the actor Maurizio Lastrico, host of the evening, complimented it, making the moment exciting. In memory of our meeting, I gave him one of my lucky bracelets, wishing luck to all the children who can be saved by the Flying Angels.