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hair and nature   by                         P    H   S                                  27 January, 2024
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                                               ::: 27th of January 2024 @ approximately 9:40 P.M. MST:::

By, Marc Basil:::

    A sixty-degree night at the start,


    introduced with close-ups of grainy 16mm film.

                         A sense of wavering natural scenes swallows the composition of the dialect that each film is communicating along with the three natural stages of the temporality of a 24-hour day. This abstraction is frozen in time with the collective hair sculpture neighboring the (sunset) video.

Each hair artist at Palabra Hair Studio showcases an individual expression that showcases their constant practice at work to create one-of-a-kind dynamics between hair design and model. Having this unique duality present determines where narrative and reality come together to translate a relation of nature's elements, which are structure, color, texture, and movement through Joriel’s visual direction.

     Palabra exhibits an instinctual connection to nature by relating to geometric and abstract motifs presented like the sky, trees, and landscape of Arizona. Through the inclusion of color-dyed hair, I am also prompted to notice the instinctual and naturally occurring color in nature that is narrated through the layout of the show.

The first visual is of each model lined up wearing the displayed hair pieces.

As we enter we are greeted with one projected visual broken up by three sheets of white fabric. This projection shows trees and the models wearing a hairpiece. This visual is to encapsulate the feeling of the morning or sunrise. As we enter the space, three more projections detail select hair pieces and models individually.

The second big projection is to represent the afternoon or sunset. With this, it feels as if these moments are fleeting in a documented time. There is something familiar about each of these pieces. The feeling is successful in its nostalgia. The musical compositions by Saul Millan also add emphasis to this escaping landscape or character. The uniqueness of this character is detailed in the pairing of the models with the hair pieces. The hair pieces feel fitting to the model's character. Although I do not know the models personally, I imagine that they felt connected to the pieces according to their styles.

The interactions we make with the world are the reflections we express.

Each artist displaying the work as one whole shows individual indications of their style and connections to the environment. With each artist taking the task to reflect their perspective of nature and translate it to a physical form, which is hair, there is an added emphasis to the grander sphere of what nature presents itself as when each hair piece is shown in an installation format altogether. The dialect of what nature is is an amalgamation of varying elements placed all together in an environment, it is fitting to say that each artist presented here is an element of nature in their characteristics that make the nature of Palabra Hair Studio.

Joriel Cura Interview


Justin Lavilla

Joriel Interview

How did this happen?

Priscilla reached out. Way back in January of 2023 (last year) or maybe dec. 2022
About wanting to do some promo stuff for the hair studio (the sun beaming)
Originally a PHS scarf that she wanted to promote

Joriel suggested doing promo for the studio in general and not just the scarf [melancholic music plays in the background]....

Bouncing ideas as to what that would look like and Joriel showed her some references and visual images. One of the references he showed was artist Paul Clipson, who works with 16mm film and double exposure – this is what inspired the double exposure seen on Joriel’s work for the hair studio [chatter of people around us emanates throughout] . One of those references showed an image overlaid with an image of the  sun – led Priscilla to do something with nature and hair. Joriel said that that one particular image stood out to Priscilla

Priscilla also found references online and sent to Joriel after their first initial meeting  

Joriel::: ``knowing us, Priscilla and I, we thought that it doesn't have to be just a promo and it could actually be art pieces. The art “pieces' ' being film that we made together. It could be more abstract and not traditional videos.

ProcessPriscilla had the initial idea (made the references with hairstyles that looked like a canyon or a flower ((mimicking nature with hairstyles))

Hair team worked on styling the models based on Priscilla’s ideas of nature…

Creative process: Joriel

1.Collecting materials (footage)

2.Seeing the hairstyles (absorbing it)

3.(how he selects the scenery) Went out to nature (traveled to mesa, flagstaff, san diego)

4.Tying it back to what he saw when he shot the models and whatever felt good when he went to the spots he went to.


BUT ALSO WHAT MAKES SENSE… (the abstract and the logical)

Editing: he(Joriel) is musically oriented when it comes to editing

And before he edits his visuals he likes to get the score down first

He met with SAUL (*description of artist!) and he made music/beats on the spot  (as he was viewing the footage) which Joriel said was a really cool process. [[presley:this felt like a real collaboration]] …

This was September of last year when he started editing …

PREDATE THE COLLAB: Priscilla went to Cole's exhibit and saw Joriel’s work “SHOUTOUT COLE FOR THAT!”

Casting was all Priscilla

How was styling like (clothes): (shot in May of last year)

Come as they are. And Priscilla wanted “real” people to model and not “models” someone who’s been at the studio and has regularly gotten haircuts there.


What is your relationship with hair:?

I think what attracted me the most was the nature side of things.

“Personally, i think artist are just drawn to humanity”

“Connecting with hair felt good to me”

Overtime, I grew appreciation for hair. Realized the potential of hair to be anything. And its uniqueness. It's special.

“The silver look with the sparkles in it was probably my fave look”

Joriel said that he’s been cutting his own hair since 2019 and that he would probably a barber because he thinks its an interesting skill if he wasn’t a filmmaker

Joriel works with nature. At the core of his work he is really interested in nature and its connection to things, in this case—hair.


The sun is beaming on Joriel’s red shirt . he sits posed, relaxed with his knees crossed… ruminating…

How does using your medium format (film) progress your own practice?

(*a baby appears with his mom. Joriel continues to muse over the question. Changing his relaxed pos)

How has using a Bolex progressed his filmography ?

He said this is such a common answer with anyone that shoots film but he agrees with it – You have to be more intentional with the things that you shoot. And for him this feels refreshing (in the greater digital landscape of art/ images being proliferated and generated at a massive rate). He loves the intentionally  of film. Pushes him to be careful in a good way. To think. To ponder.

“To me personally, what I've noticed in film is… (he ponders) it's just a technical thing i think but with film I feel like it feels right to do double exposure.”

He said that he doesn’t have a preference between film or digital

Feels better to layer with *film* footage. (i think he is concerned with the aesthetics of the look) and he said that this is what they used to do back in the day where if people wanted to do double exposure they would layer both films (and project that onto the screen **okay a lil bit choppy on this so like not sure if this is actually how it works lol**) so he thinks that it just feels right when doing double exposures which is something he is very into right now stylistically

“There's a physical feeling to film.” 

“I dont wanna shoot film just to shoot film”

Novelty of film. Practice

Ways you want to challenge the format of using film?


Challenge himself to make more. Any art practice its like a muscle you have to work on. Make more personal stuff just for himself. So using film as almost a private diary and with it knowing more about himself. For projects he wants to move forward with more intention.

[[*This is presley: I like his idea of using film as a personal diary to get to know himself even more while also getting practice and getting in the habit of creating.]]

A lot of films get made by pre-production. Work on projects he actually resonates with

Being more authentic each time.

Film Format:

There's a part of him that wants to respect traditional ways that people used film back then

He respects the 16mm filmmakers and continuing to pave the way for artists that this style was birthed of

27th     of    February    2024

~10:00 A.M.  MST

People      present   in   this    dialog   are :

                                                                        P    —  Priscilla Urrutia  - @priscillaurrutia

                                        M  —   Marc Basil                                                                                                                                                                                                       

                                                             E    —   Eva Verdugo - @evaverdugohair

                                                                           R    —   Rosa Rivas - @manosderosa

                                                                      A    —   Angel - @handsof.angel

             (   the “installation piece”  we refer to the one of the image displayed above for greater context   )

P: My name is Priscilla Urrutia, part owner of PHS and we collectively actually asked the team, shared with them that I had an idea and I already had shared it with Joriel the one who made the film, about creating this little movie, hair merging with nature and in the past we had said something we talked about and I got excited to share it with the team, asked them if they wanted to be involved, then they did of course because we all love just enjoy being creative with hair. This is the first project we’ve really done together. And yeah the show overall I mean turned out almost way bigger than I ever anticipated it to be. I at first was not going to do a show and our last meeting was about submitting magazines or like nowness and it ended up turning into a show that happened.

The small amount of promotion, a lot of people came and showed up and respectfully just experienced it without taking up space and I felt that was the most beautiful part of everyone intaking if its not tons of conversation it was more of just receiving..

M: receiving the information

P: absolutely and taking it how they, however, they wanted to take it, that was my favorite part so as far as the production, it was all Joriel and Jorge with the projection and installation was just us, and I did not know  what I was going to do  but I got material and we figured it out

M: no yeah I feel like with this show specifically was like a capstone on on creating the show as a collective and the preamble to that was the installation you guys did (insert image here) and I saw so once I saw that I was like ohhh okay this has room and the space to be a show for all of you guys collectively and like that exactly was the what the installation piece was implying, you know?

P: yeah thank you, that was really fun

E: I think overall it was really fun the day of the shoot, it was really fun to get creative and help each other

M: how is that relationship working together on this and then also working together in the studio, do you guys see this same kind of relation of working with each other on a piece like this…(points to the installation piece present to our right and left sides) do guys see that same kind of uh interaction happen in the salon?

R: we work really good separately and then we finally whenever Priscilla has this brilliant idea to collaborate we may not understand fully what it's going to transpire into but we get the excuse to work together because we talk a lot about hair but it's not actually creating together in projects and this is only the second one, so it’s new to all of us but in a really exciting way. We’re all just actually getting to do what we say we want to do you know? So it may not be instantaneous but,

M: yeah cause I feel like that type of creative control, it does have to be manufactured in a very careful way especially in  a very respectful way as well to give the creative direction and vision and give it justice that it wants and that it's calling towards

A: I think just how Rosa was saying how we are doing well, we each have this own twist and when we collaborate together it becomes  this beautiful thing and we get to see it as great because we all work together so well

P:We all have our special gift within a gift that we all share together. We’re all so different and also very much  the same at the same time, that’s why it works and that’s why involving them in projects like this has been so simple in a way

M: because you are all a part of the same organism in a type of way

M: so we spoke about these kinds of characteristics you guys are inspired by in the example of seeing a photo are there any specific characteristics that you guys try to draw out into your own style or anything that you kind of draw reference upon whether it is another hair artist or if it's doing installation work like this, anything that provokes you to draw upon these themes or the abstract shapes that I’m seeing from this installation and the first installation as well.

E: Me personally we are always inspired by our peers, I think nowadays I find inspiration in a lot of things definitely I am someone who spends a good amount of time on social media looking up inspiration I mean there is so many incredible creative hair artists that are showcasing this incredible work and I mean I probably find myself looking through a lot of Japanese hair stylists specifically but also hair art has, I mean I think it’s always been emerging, I think hair art is now being seen as it has more potential and respect

R: perhaps there was a quality on hair art in the past that was seen as unappealing or strange but now what we were saying that perhaps with your client looking at a magazine, its been existing for a long time but I don’t think that it's like gotten to the level of a hairstylist actually being an artist, they’re out there though

M: I feel like it's a very specific platform that doesn't really have the notoriety as other artists with a platform

R: it’s very niche and I think like if you want to figure it out more like the hairstylist or artist that we follow are creating works of art that are being published in magazines that are very beauty-based, the difference between what Priscilla’s trying to do collaboratively with Jorge with the support of our people, we want it to feel like it is something you can experience. And she has the platform with this beautiful space to do it and she is going to create it herself assuming that the only mediums that will kind of like I mean for me seeing mediums with artists online that do a lot of editorial work it seems kind of intangible because it feels like you have to really commit to this specific route or path and that path tends to look like kind of elitist and you have to live in a specific city and know the specific people and Priscilla just wants to do it because it’s fun. It is something we may want to do down the line but what can we do now? There is not really any gain to it other than us..

M: doing it for the sake

R: for the sake of art I guess

M: of making it

E: also it's a really cool way to showcase that you guys can be more than just doing hair behind a chair, yes hair behind a chair is creative in its own way but in a wig out of hair is another whole thing, what I learned is I can be more than just, well not just, but like…hairstylists doing hair behind a chair but we can be more creative in a different plane

M: Seeing this installation not on a person, how is that treatment different from having a client behind a chair?

P: I think going back to what everyone is saying, leading up to having a salon, I envision ourselves to not be only behind the chair and there’s nothing wrong with just being behind the chair, but we saw ourselves as artists and we wanted to do more.

A: working on the mannequins is different cause it's not actual hair but I do think we create the same amount of hair on a person and we can make it look like something that can be on a person…creating the shapes…

M: I would say.. It's about the final treatment of the product that is translated into something that is not supposed to be worn on top of a person versus something that is connected to someone's actual scalp yeah I feel like the one thing I can relate that to is maybe cooking for someone else or maybe making a drink for someone else is like oh, even though you are not drinking it or eating it yourself you are still going to treat it you know in the same treatment that you would do for yourself you know you’re gonna have it taste the best that its going taste or look the best that it’s going to look. I feel like that’s what these wigs are going towards.

R: But it's showing us and the audience that hair is ultimately a fabric whether it is attached to someone’s head or it’s being presented as an objectified kind of art piece

Yeah and on the person and the models in the video they fit on their own personality. Everyone in the video dressed themselves

P: yeah in the video everyone dressed themselves, so they are the character, they just enhanced it a little bit with the hair, that felt very special

Also shoutout to Joriel because without Joriel obviously this wouldn’t have happened but his vision took place in that, I said merging and that’s literally what it did. Let’s put branches with spikey hair and combine those and create with that

M: Is there anything, cause I know you guys went to Mexico before this, was there anything in that trip that influenced you in a way or drew your attention to expand on your practice?

A: when we went I was in awe of the young people walking around with spikey hair and little rat tails. There were thing I wouldn’t have thought would be in Mexico and it takes a while for people to kind of see those things, to express themselves that way in Mexico is cool and I thought it was so insane that people were walking around wearing there clothes and being creative and it was beautiful that inspired me a lot.

M: do you see that same attitude being portrayed in Phoenix?

A: I feel it's definitely coming up

R: we’re also not Mexico City you know what I mean, we’re not a metropolitan walking city, you’re encountering and are exposed to a lot more in Mexico City…it’s a moment-to-moment thing you see a person one second and then they’re gone, it’s just so dense. And here it's dense but you’re not interacting with the city in the same way

M: yeah no I feel like just from being from LA and experiencing the community here I feel like it's a breeding ground for something in that nature that is very expressive and whatnot because to me it is a mini LA it’s just very hot and the desert.

But how has the desert landscape treated you guys, do you feel like it reminds you of parts of home, does it invite any sense of nostalgia to you guys?

E: I think people are realizing how beautiful the desert is and all it has to offer so I think we can see more people coming

M: The desert is not forgiving but it is very beautiful

P: and it’s something to be proud of, I think it’s time for us to not try to be so much like the other cities and start embracing what we have here and because you know the other cities are embracing it before we are, you know it's like a cool thing to be in the desert and it’s ours we should be proud of it. And I think we are, the people that are here are enjoying it and it is hot but once it gets cooler you forget all about it and it's fine.

M: then it’s time to wear all your jackets, all the jackets come out

Which brings me to my next question, How do you guys see the desert landscape in terms of just color and color around nature, do you see it guiding you when working with dying a client's hair or any of these pieces?

R: I think it is natural for us, for the ones that enjoy to be outside, it's just that you are kind of around it and if you happen to pay attention as a human instinct to appreciate things that, like Angel was saying, it may not translate into words but because we are detailed people we like detailed work, we like color, we like imagery and romanticizing things that you can see a rock with a little bit of moss barely growing on a rock, you notice the colors and the textures and maybe other people don’t but I don’t know we are naturally just drawn to those things

E: one thing that nature has taught me is that in reality, we can find any color in nature whether it is something neon, something very subtle, it's all in nature, it all belongs in nature and that’s why I like going out because if you find something really bright you’re like oh! I can find that.

M: well, I think we got everything the points I wanted to touch on with you guys, is there anything you guys want to voice, express, that you want the chance to let out…

P: umm, there’ll be more, I’ll do more, we’ll do more.

R:  I think it’s really hard for us naturally, I feel like we’re kind of all the same I feel like we’re articulate in our own way but it is really hard when we’re constantly working with hands it's more of a feeling that we’re trying to bring out it’s like a mutual thing with artists, in general, I think its really that we may not have a clear message but it’s there and I think that it is something that we collectively we all want to work on is that. It’s not that it’s oh I’m not really good at articulating how I feel, no it’s actually something that we care about and with everything that we have done the reason that we are showing up is that we care about it there’s an essence of us. We love the laborious quality of and the interaction of detail and… yeah sometimes it’s hard for us to put it into words! And then other times it’s like it’s so easy, it’s very interesting, so thank you for allowing to us to try to think on the spot haha

(laughter ensues between everyone)

(end of interview).

I extend my acknowledgment and gratitude to everyone involved in the making of this project and article.


Writers (interviewers) Marc Basil & Justin Lavilla @saintsissy

Video of the exhibition by Anitah Diggs @shotbyanitah

Palabra Hair Studio  @palabrahairstudio

Palabra @_palabra

Priscilla Urrutia @priscillaurrutia                                                                                                                                                                                       Eva Verdugo  @evaverdugohair

Rosa Rivas  @manosderosa

Angel Natera  @handsof.angel

Ezra Rizo @ezrarizo

Leona Demón @akaleonademon

Film by Jorial Cura @jorielcura

Samantha Vo

Saul Millan

Jorge Ignacio Torres


Christine Andres @profano.sacro

Julia Young @juliarrrouge

Samantha Lass @chooseurplayer

Rudy Escontrias @codeineandlaughingboy

Itchy Acosta @1itchystar

Daniel Rincon

Parker Mirich

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