Eliurpi’s hats turned into art
Elisabet Urpí (1985, El Papiolet) grew up with the idea that art was a conciliatory meeting place. She grew up among scraps from the workshop of her grandmother, a dressmaker in the village, although her passion was always drawing and painting. “Maybe that’s why I’ve never considered fashion design in the conventional sense,” admits this graphic designer and half of the artistic duo Eliurpi.
An adventure she embarked on twelve years ago with her right-hand man, photographer Nacho Umpíerrez (1983, Colonia del Sacramento), which has taken them from selling headdresses at the revered Sombrerería Mills to seeing their sculptural straw hats in editorials in VOGUE USA or in the window of Browns, -which could be considered the tempo of British design-, Harrods or Lane Crawford.
For them, the mastery of their craft is not exclusive. That is why the thread that leads the exhibition From art to object and from object to art crosses and blurs artistic boundaries, managing to bring together their hats, design, painting and sculpture. “Our work in fashion has always had many artistic influences, but now we have gone a step further.”
The exhibition has been curated by ART U READY within the framework of ARCO. It was inaugurated on February 21 at El Invernadero The Sibarist, where amidst good music, conversations in the courtyard and snacks, attendees were able to see how wide the boundaries of art are.
Under the glass of the El Invernadero, right in the center of the structure, hangs a hat made of wicker. Its black braided wings encircle a tan-colored crown like a sun. The first visitors to the exhibition gaze over the piece, stopping at every detail, until their eyes light up: “It’s a hat”.
It is Eliurpi’s favorite work in the exhibition. “It is the most special because it conveys the background of the show very well. It is one of the hats that we usually wear in the context of fashion, but we have transformed it into an art object,” explains Elisabet.
The rest of the artistic works flow from this concept. All of them are based on the principles of the Bauhaus school. Almost as if it were a game, visitors to the conservatory try to define the limits of craftsmanship until it becomes a painting or a sculpture.
No one is indifferent to the copper, reddish and black tones that predominate in a palette outlined in pure, geometric lines. Earth colors and authentic materials, such as wicker, straw, cotton thread or rayon, which share their origin in the fashion signature of the artist couple like a circle that closes again.
“The designer is the archer who aims at the target (the problem) with the desire to hit the center, the place of compromise and balance among the many factors of a project. The artist is another type of archer who consciously shoots the arrow outside the range, with the will to go looking for it in order to know what lies beyond the limits of what is possible.” Martín Azúa, artist and designer.
“We are always creating pieces and working on several at the same time.” The elaboration process is slow. After the original design idea, each material requires time between each step, and the process can take weeks.
“We like the idea that it ages over time, that it takes a natural course, that the straw and the rage change color in the process. We think it’s very beautiful. A message that builds bridges between art and fashion to achieve model sustainability.
For the sound of the exhibition we had exceptional partners such as Bang & Olufsen, a Danish company with 95 years of tradition of emblematic and iconic audiovisual equipment. Leaders both for its technological quality and commitment to innovation, which achieves the best sound on the market thanks to its continuous research, and for its timeless design with fine materials and craftsmanship. We enjoyed their elegant musical heritage pieces to accompany our exhibition with the best sound and a playlist created by ART U READY for the occasion on Spotify.
For the inauguration we enjoyed impeccable catering by Bechic and organically grown wines from VERUM wineries.