‘oliverance’ is a tribute to the olive tree, a reminiscence of the rich history of an ancient tree with its many branches which has given birth to the culture of the past millennia. It is about the iconicity and magic of the olive in both myth and modern times, about the destructive power of time and the perseverance of this enduring tree: steadfast, strong, and independent, it is a true symbol of survival. The jagged bark of the olive tree bears witnesses to the hardships that it has had to face, having endured catastrophes, such as drastic drops in temperature, sweltering heat and injuries of every sort.
In this context, the subject deviates from classic ideals of beauty: the gnarled trunk and the pain-stricken bark propose symbols of a long and eventful life. It just seems to give shape to the soul, as if the tree itself were the visualisation of a living mind. Joachim du Bellay (1522-1560), French poet of the Renaissance, even wrote an entire ‘olive orchard’ of sonnets on his female ideal, which he nicknamed ‘Olive’. Not only did Olive become a cipher for the ideal of sacred femininity and supernatural beauty, but at the same time it was established as a trademark for a new style of French poetry: the olive tree came to represent the feminine ideal, a synonym for femininity itself, for the woman par excellence.
The olive tree can appear both modest and majestic at the same time. It desires to be conquered. Bellay was not the only one to acknowledge the conquest and the agony – for him, it was the agony of love – but Vincent van Gogh did as well. In his work, the olive tree represents the embodiment of his physical and psychological agonies and thus stands as a symbol for his own existential conquest. For van Gogh, it posed a very special challenge to engage with these things in the way a painter would do – with immediacy, torture, rigidity, refusal. The olive tree evoked in him an interplay between taming and unleashing, between entrenchment and the desire for deliverance.
Artist Leila Hujeirat was inspired by the multifaceted nature of the olive tree and the countless associations it evokes: on the one hand, there are the themes of patience, strength and steadfastness to endure the challenges of life, the marks of which can be traced so vividly on its trunk; on the other hand, there are delicate, feminine, intangible motifs, expressed through the flickering of its silvery leaves and the variations of light and shade. Combining these motifs of femininity and fertility with those of strength and steadiness, Leila Hujeirat takes up the characteristics of the olive tree to shape the image of a modern, strong, and independent woman who faces the challenges of life without having to renounce her femininity.
‘oliverance’ as a brand envisages timeless and eye catching design. Each classically elegant piece in the collection has no ‘expiry date’ and offers an alternative to the current, disposable fashion industry.
The materials used are sustainable, natural fabrics such as linen, silk, wool and cotton. Synthetics are from principle avoided.
From conception to completion every piece is elaborately hand crafted in a small studio in the historic old town of Heidelberg. The design, materiality and implementation are of the highest quality and with a view to longevity and sustainability.
All products are printed by dieUmweltDruckerei using 100% recycled paper, organic inks and green power.