Urban In Ibiza Opens In Style At Atzaro

Posted on August 12, 2017

Words: Olivia Ebeling

Images: Tamara Sini

Over the course of its nine year presence on the White Isle, Urban In Ibiza has established itself as one of the most talked about and hotly anticipated cultural events of the season thanks to its innovative and thought-provoking mix of art, fashion and music. Curated by founder and respected London gallery director Paul ‘Dizzi’ Saunders, every year the movers and shakers of the island community and Ibiza visitors in the know turn out in force to celebrate the arrival of the two-week showcase.

Held at the beautiful Agroturismo Atzaro and running until August 24th, this year’s opening night was a kaleidoscope of vibrant artworks, statement fashion pieces and soulful, emotive music. Titled ‘Nine Lives In Ithaca’ in a tribute to the nine years the exhibition has been coming to Ibiza, and referencing the mysterious Greek island Odysseus ended his adventurous travels in as an homage to the equally mythical and ever-changing nature of the White Isle, Urban In Ibiza’s 2017 showcase passes commentary on everything from challenging political themes to pop culture across a variety of mediums. And, this being Ibiza, the entertainment on the opening night was top notch.

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When we arrived, French singer and songwriter Junkerry was performing an ambient and emotive set on the boutique hotel’s terrace, mesmerising the audience with her soulful vocals and zen presence. We decided to start our evening with a stroll through Atzaro’s magical gardens, nipping down to the famous statement pool where several graffiti artists were working on canvases during live showcases. It was a fantastic opportunity to see their creativity and imagination come to live on a blank page, seeing not only their skill and talent unfold, but also being able to ask questions about the message behind the pieces.

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At the heart of Atzaro’s sprawling gardens and right by the hotel’s La Veranda restaurant we found the static exhibition, a colourful display of paintings, sculptures, light installations and fashion pieces. From the iconic last supper reimagined with Marvel’s biggest super heroes to a pill-shaped coffee table surrounded by smaller pink and blue tablets imprinted with love hearts and doves, a colourful portrait of Malcolm X and a drawing of Star Wars icon C-3PO interpreted as Leonardo Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man, there was much to marvel at.

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Fashion fiends were whipping out their credit cards to snap up one of the brand new Charm Offensive designs, a jewellery line by Saunders’ own label Tailored Anarchy. From afar, the creations might look like innocent charms to wear on your necklace or bracelet, but when you come closer you realise they are controversial motifs of political unrest and rebellion, such as police dogs, gas masks, megaphones, and hand grenades dangling off handcuff shaped links, challenging pieces to make a statement with.

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The ninth edition of Urban In Ibiza also saw the introduction of the fictitious Ministry of Offence, three ‘cabinet ministers’ inspired by the famous iconography of the ‘hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil’ monkeys, each with their own agenda and back story. For this, Paul and his team created almost identical replicas of the British government’s red budget boxes, each filled with content that reflects a different monkey minister’s shady and manipulative actions. A gold-plated set of DJ headphones and mixing equipment represented the ‘hear no evil’ act of ignorance, a striking piece of art that sparked much discussion. As the host, Paul himself was of course at hand to show curious guests around and explain the concept and its meaning, finding himself in hot demand throughout the night.

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Meanwhile, island-favourites Hot Ice Band had teamed up with Bahramji, a Kurdish New Age musician who performs on the Persian string instrument the santoor, and a much loved artist on the White Isle. They performed an atmospheric and eclectic showcase of covers, giving old favourites such as Bob Marley’s Is This Love an ambient and hypnotic world sound that was still deeply infectious. Dancing along to their unique interpretations, we only left the dancefloor to catch the hotly anticipated fashion show, a joint presentation between Tailored Anarchy, OMCSU London and CAMI AND JAX Swimwear.

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Models in sexy but sophisticated one pieces and bikinis, styled with bold statement sunglasses featuring gold handcuff detailing, descended onto the runway showing off tropical prints, interlaced string detailing and eye-catching cut-outs, perfect to make a statement on Ibiza’s glamorous beaches. Other designs were kept minimal with clean lines and held in only one striking colour, offering something for those who prefer an understated air of cool.

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The second part of the show saw the boys come out to play, taking to the catwalk with plenty of punk spirit and swagger as they flaunted hand-painted leather jackets that would later be hung up as a display in the static art exhibition. Featuring intricate and colourful drawings on the back, each jacket had its own message, again making a statement with disruptive motifs such as prescription medicines, portraits of iconic freedom fighters and symbols of rebellion. They were joined by the female models halfway through the presentation, who rocked the women’s collection of biker jackets and denim waistcoats over the swimwear they had stepped out in earlier. We had to seriously sit down on our hands to stop ourselves from digging out our wallets and giving away all our money in return for some of the edgy pieces.

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Unsurprisingly, there was a rush for the exhibition and fashion space following the show, with the stylish crowd keen to snap up their favourite creations, but Melon Bomb founding member Scott Gray was doing a fantastic job behind the decks in luring revellers back to the dance floor with one of his signature funky and irresistible sets. The space in front of the open air booth filled up in no time, with guests of all ages throwing shapes to his infectious track selection. Now in its ninth year, like all good things, Urban In Ibiza is only improving with age, so make sure you head to Atzaro to experience this colourful and stimulation showcase of art and culture.

Further Information
fb: www.facebook.com/UrbanInIbiza

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