Miami Living Magazine

Emily Procter

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PROFILE It's Elemental, My Dear… ML uncovers their enchanting exhibit Words by Mackenzie Maclay When I moved to Miami in late November of last year, I was constantly hearing all this "buzz" about Art Basel. I regret not taking the time to explore what is now considered the most prestigious art show in the Americas. Last year, I was most fortunate to be invited to the launch party of elemental's second location in the Wynwood Art District. The event took place on November 30th and was called "Re-enchanted"; a collection put together with art pieces by Frédérique Morrel, complemented by design furniture by Ibride and lighting by Nicolette Brunklaus. Although I do enjoy exploring art and the unique characteristics of each piece, I must admit I was apprehensive to enter elemental's store due to my lack of artistic knowledge. However, my fears vanished when I was immediately welcomed by the familiar smile of Rebeca Diaz, Studio and Operations Manager for elemental. She took the time to show me around this enchanted indoor forest, and as she did, I couldn't help but let my mind wander and imagine myself in the enchanted forest of Hogwarts from the Harry Potter series. I was surrounded by vivacious colors and strange looking 106 MIAMI LIVING creatures and taken-over by the sort of mood that creates goose bumps and that words often fail to describe. Rebeca guided me through this installation and opened my eyes to the creative artwork of French artist Frédérique Morrel and husband Aaron Levine, who create one of a kind, life-sized, embroidered tapestry sculptures. In this case, wild animals, such as Baboon, Jumping Deer, Bambi and more. The following is the description displayed in front of their artwork, "'Carefully underlay polyurethane taxidermy shapes to the hand-stitched vintage needlework. In the primeval forest, the creatures of the wild roam about, each one dressed up in regalia that rivals in extravagance with their neighbors.' In this fairy "tail" land, Bambi may very well meet up with a Baboon and a Deer jumps over the moon. Frédérique Morrel uses her unique collection of vintage tapestries to bring to life her personal bestiary, while redeeming the painstaking work of anonymous women from generations past." To me, the most exciting part about this work is that it tells a story. Rebeca explained to me that Frédérique travels throughout Europe to find needlepoint tapestries that different women have hand-woven. Her job is then to find a way to put them all together in an emotionally artistic fashion. Friends of mine that enjoy art have always told me that certain pieces just "speak to them"; I never knew what they meant by that —until now. Elemental's intention for this exhibit was to display, "Elements inspired by nature that transfer feelings of freedom, movement, and personality, while creating an emotional connection between objects and people." Not only did this exhibit meet their intention, it brought me on an emotional journey filled with vibrant colors, unexplainable feelings, and has helped form my opinion about art as a whole. I have a new-found appreciation for this subject and feel inspired and grateful to have had the opportunity to expand my mind and go through this truly "enchanted journey." January 1st, 2012. However, you can still find some of Frédérique Morrel's wild creatures, which are still for sale, wondering around elemental Wynwood, and some others migrated to elemental@the bass, the Bass Museum of Art's new gift shop/ concept store. ML The show "Re-Enchanted" ended on

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