Sustainable connections – the illy sustainArt world

From 7 July to 31 August, works by the eight artists illy has chosen to design the two collections of coffee cups for Expo Milano 2015 will be on show at the Triennale di Milano

Milan, 7 July 2015Adán Vallecillo, Elias Sime, Esteban Piedra León, Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa, Felipe Arturo, Ernesto Bautista, Wanja Kimani and Marcelo Moscheta are the eight artists featured at the Sustainable connections – the illy sustainArt worldexhibition, which runs from 7 July to 31 August within the illyartlab, at the Triennale di Milano. Entrance is free of charge.

illycaffè, the Official Coffee Partner of Expo 2015, during the last two years invited these artists, all from coffee growing countries, to design the illy sustainArt Collection dedicated to Expo.

For the first time, the “Sustainable connections – the illy sustainArt world” exhibition gathers together all their works
. Their various artistic techniques and practices stimulate dialogue on the meaning of sustainability in the lands from which they come, narrating new frontiers for creativity.
The exhibition consists of a refined selection of visual artworks, offering a nexus of total multi-disciplinary immersion and a chance to discover the latest trends on the international arts scene.

These eight artists were selected as part of the sustainArt project, which illy began in 2007 in order to extend its approach to sustainable growth to the international artistic community. The programme helps raise the profile of creative talents from emerging nations. The website has increasingly become a window on the contemporary art world, a point of reference and a venue for artists and curators to meet and benefit from cultural exchange, showcasing and raising the profile of these works.

The artists and their works for “Sustainable connections – the illy sustainArt world”

Country: Ethiopia
Title: Waving Back At You
Materials: mixed media (cotton and barkcloth)
Year: 2015

The embroidered patterns resemble sea waves reflecting trade routes and the interconnectedness of sustainability. The pieces are exposed to the elements, particularly open to human touch. The triptych makes use of natural materials; cotton, like coffee, is a political crop due to its importance in world trade and emerging economies whilst barkcloth is used for various cultural practices as a sign of social status and in various celebrations. 

Country: Honduras
Title: Civilización X
Materials: rubber patches on canvas
Year: 2015

The use of rubber patches is a third world technology; when tires are completely damage the people bay inner tubes and put them inside the tire to do extensive it's life. Rubber patches use to repair each next hole and next and next....I have been working whit this material since 3 years ago, and for me is another way to explore the painting's possibilities using this particular material to think in other ways the configuration of emergency, contingencies, landscapes and natural disasters.

Country: Ethiopia
Title: Gorée Island
Media: yarn stitch on a canvas
Year: 2004 

The title is Gorée Island. It measures 1m x 2m. He made it soon after he returned from Senegal after the 2004 Dak'Art Biennial. He was one of the selected artists. It is his impression of Senegal and their fish culture.
Sime's piece, stitched out of plastic yarn, shows an array of monochromatic sea creatures superimposed over a silhouette of Gore Island. The creatures blend in with the land and the water, appearing connected with everything.

Country: El Salvador
Title: New Promises
Materials: video Installation. Texts on the sides of white van containers from Central America to EU
Year: 2014/2015

New Promises is a literary project promoted in a visual way. Putting phrases and content on trucks that we could call “showcases on wheels” allows us to target an extremely diversified audience in a very specific way. These are trucks that are constantly on the move,  traveling through different and interesting situations (border crossings, manufacturing districts, cities, highways, etc.) and they serve as a device I use to try to offer up poetry as part of the collective thought; though these phrases reflect upon the things that are most ordinary to us, it doesn’t make them any less personal. In this way, I am able to offer up one (or many) new starting points.

Country: Brazil
Title: Bianco Puro
Materials: graphite drawing on PVC board and Carrara's marble
Year: 2009

The drawings with graphite on a PVC board may appear sometimes like a print, due to its very singular way of reflection and texture. Like a mirror duplicating the reality, BIANCO PURO talks about perception and how form reveals the intricate characteristics of each piece of Carrara marble represented. The drawings are never white as the marble is, but in contrast with the black background they become more light and shiny. For comparison matters, a colour chart is placed side by side with the drawings, revealing that there’s no white colour except the immaculate  mineral on the ground, but only a grayscale.

Country: Guatemala
Title: Three Ghosts
Materials: video

“Three Ghosts” stages a ritual of sorts and examines how perceptions of ancestorship and spirits are affected by contemporary popular imagery such as the ghosts in the Pac-Man video game.

Country: Colombia
Title: Coffee patterns
Materials: marks of a coffee cup on Fabriano paper
Year: 2015

This work born from an experimental process, using the coffee like ink and a cup of espresso as a graphical tool. Following this logic, the bottom of the cup, used as a stamp of coffee brands, becomes a device to create patterns of rings. The result is a graphic pattern with reference to Islamic decorations, mosaics Mediterranean or technical pre-Hispanic, reminding us of the historical journey of coffee from the Arabian Peninsula to the shores of the Mediterranean, to the Caribbean, to Central and South America. Similarly, this model tries to relate the routes geographical contemporary coffee with the daily experience of this substance and its container.

Country: Costa Rica
Title: Untitled
Material: mixed media
Year: 2011

Artistic practice has something of the archaeologist who excavated knowing that you will find something but does not know for sure what it is.  The process of unveiling takes you to a series of reflections on the historical layers that sediment material and objects and it is necessary to reinvent from a series of intuitive, speculative or poetic tools. My work focus in the relationship between space, subject and the different ways of representation who comes from that process.

illycaffè was founded in Trieste in 1933; the company manufactures and markets a unique blend of 100% Arabica espresso coffee and is the leading brand in top quality coffee. Illycaffè is an official partner of Expo 2015, creating and managing the content, exhibits and events centred on coffee in the common area of the Expo Coffee Cluster. Almost 7 million cups of illy coffee are consumed daily throughout the world. illy coffee is sold in more than 140 countries and is served in over 100,000 of the world’s finest restaurants and cafés. Espressamente illy, the Italian-style café franchise, currently operates through 230 outlets in 43 countries. The company also set up and runs the Coffee University with a view to fostering and spreading the culture of coffee; this centre of excellence provides comprehensive academic and hands-on training for coffee growers, baristas and fans covering every aspect of the product. The company has approximately 1,084 people on its global payroll, and in 2014 posted consolidated revenues of €391 million. illy purchases green coffee beans directly from growers of the highest quality Arabica, based on partnerships underpinned by the principles of sustainable development. Out of its Trieste headquarters the company encourages long-term partnerships with the world’s best growers in Brazil, Central America, India and Africa, sharing know-how and technology and paying higher than market compensation.