“Pigments are so sensual, so alive,” says Elizabeth Langford. A painter and modern alchemist, Langford transforms the raw materials in her environment into beautiful natural pigments. Earth, sea salt, posidonia, plants and even trees all lend their rich hues to her expressive paintings. Inspired by ethnobotany – the relationship between people and plants – her site-specific work offers a fresh way of engaging with the natural world.
For Langford, pigment-making is part of the creative process and integral to the final artwork. She gathers her materials with care, taking only small amounts in a sustainable way. Her work draws on techniques that date back to ancient cave painting and the Renaissance, using processes such as drying, grinding and immersing in water with natural acids. “All organic matter carries a trace of its history,” she says. “That’s what’s so exciting in pigment-making, because you’re suspending that moment. The pigments are non-uniform, each one is alive and unpredictable. My work celebrates that.”
Langford honed her craft in her native England, moving to Ibiza in 2016. Her artworks have been exhibited around the world; in Ibiza she’s now in residence at Vessel Studio and her pieces are on permanent display in Nobu Hotel and in private collections.
Her art is constantly evolving in response to the landscape. Recently, she used wood from felled almond trees that she found to create drawing charcoal and a strong dark pigment. “I’m inspired by the process of putting myself in dialogue with the materials, and the transformation that happens in that,” she says. “Ancient alchemy was really an inner quest – transmuting shadows into gold.”
Inspired by inner and outer landscapes, Argentinian artist Li Ramet’s work has a luminous quality. Using a multitude of media, her creations explore the alchemical interaction of light, colour and movement.
Nature is central to her art. “I need to be close to nature to create,” she says. “My art is a transformative process, a way of exploring my inner self and my external territory.” Her pieces resonate with organic elements, forms and textures. She also crafts special paintings with natural pigments, made using Ibiza’s sustainably harvested spirulina, plants, herbs and spices, infused in water. These large-scale artworks are created in live performances set in beautiful natural surroundings. Drawing on her background in contemporary dance, Ramet uses her whole body to spontaneously create vibrant compositions. “I research how to make the brightest possible colours,” she says. “But I also like that the pieces fade over time – it’s part of the process, the artwork is organic and continues to evolve.”
The finished pieces often spark a new series of work. And the images and videos documenting Ramet’s performances are integrated too – sometimes projected onto other paintings, adding layers of texture and symbolism. Ramet also creates sculptures, using pieces of woods such as sabina, which she finds on her walks in remote places on the island. These are mounted on bases and embedded with stones, crystals, glass or resin.
Her work has been shown internationally and in numerous locations in Ibiza, including Six Senses Hotel, Sala Refectori in Dalt Vila and ADDA Gallery. “Ibiza is an amazing inspiration for me,” says Ramet. “Every season has a different material to work with, can influence us in different ways, and brings a new connection with self and nature.”