Artist Elizabeth Wessel honours Princess Grace at Art in Motion Helmets exhibition 

In Monaco’s Espace 22 Gallery, the ‘Art in Motion’ exhibition of helmets is currently underway, featuring more than 13 artists and their diverse interpretations of equestrian, triathlon and urban bicycle helmets. Among them is Elizabeth Wessel, known for her bold and evocative designs that blur the lines between fashion and fine art.

The ‘Art in Motion’ exhibition of Art Helmets is running from 12th June through to 10th July at the Espace 22 Gallery in Monaco. It has been curated by French Product Designer Najette Derni, who founded House of Helmet in 2019, and features more than 13 artists from Switzerland and the Mediterranean area. This collective exhibition of ‘Art Helmets’ is a testimony to the diverse and innovative ways art can be incorporated into everyday objects.

Among the 13 talented artists exhibiting their art helmets is artist and fashion designer Elizabeth Wessel, with her work titled ‘The Princess’ Roses’. 

Wessel’s designs are bold and evocative, blending chic sophistication with timeless allure. Blurring the line between design and painting, her stylised sketches of haute couture emanate a strong precise line. Her subjects are presented with a daring humour that is both playful and provocative.

“The Princess’ Roses helmet is a warm homage to the memory of Princess Grace and her passion for flowers,” Wessel tells Monaco Life’s Celina Lafuente de Lavotha. “In creating it, I had in mind a rose garden. The flowers are lying on the geometric lozenges of the crest of Monaco with the colours modified to match the rose that was created and bears her name.”

Elizabeth Wessel and two of her art works

Elizabeth is an accomplished painter who has participated in several art exhibitions in the Principality and worldwide, including the International Art Biennale at the National Museum of China in Beijing. She is also a recognised fashion designer.

“Feeling a strong need to connect my two disciplines, I searched for a link that could captivate me, and I chose to incorporate volumes into my canvases,” says Wessel. “I started layering the fabrics I sewed onto my paintings to achieve a third dimension, and I realised that my paintings began to speak to me. From there, I found it interesting to cut, paint and apply the same canvas as the quality of the painting onto the painted work for a play of reliefs, sometimes wild and disorderly. From this process, the idea of elements always cut from the same canvas was born, but this time, extending beyond the edges of the frame. These are paintings that explode. An arm, a leg or a strand of hair carry on, bypassing the boundaries of the scene and, thus, lying on the wall, bring us a feeling of freedom.”

Elizabeth is also an accomplished rider, hence her decision to exhibit a riding helmet.

“Horseback riding has been a transformative experience for me. It instills discipline and serves as a psychic medium, reflecting and responding to my state of mind,” she reveals. “Horses are healers, and they don’t tolerate any form of dishonesty. This unique connection, this energy, has greatly influenced my art. This equestrian relationship is at the core of my art expression.”

Wessel says her ideal working environment provides ample light and space. She emphasises the importance of natural light as electric light can alter colours and distort her perception of her work. Additionally, she is a self-proclaimed “large space consumer”, needing room to spread out and have everything related to her work within sight. She says space allows her thoughts to flow freely and her creativity to flourish.

“I love other artists’ company, warmth, and open minds, but I create alone,” she says. “My work is a unique journey of personal exploration. I don’t follow trends, but strive to create something original and unlike anything else; it is my hope and artistic vision.”

Looking to the future, Wessel says, “My dream project would be to have a retrospective of all my work as a fashion designer and a painter combined.”

The other artists involved in the ‘Art in Motion’ exhibition include Sylvana Aymar, Virginie Broquet , Joelle Cabanne, Patrick Christ, Gianni Depaoli, Jean-Claude Issenmann, Dominica Leccia, Ginny Litscher, Kristelle Marcelin, Yves Masaya, Raphaela MLD, Simone Monney, Sebastien Pridmore, YapaBandara and Anastasia Sabatié.


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Main photo: Artist Elizabeth Wessel (left) and Najette Derni, founder of House of Helmet, at the Art in Motion Exhibition, photo by Monaco Life