Gabrielet and his creative retreat at La Mola
A man and an artist who was fifty years ahead of his generation. This is how the potter Antoni Ribas Costa 'Toniet' defines who his teacher was: Antoni Tur Costa, better known as 'Gabrielet' born more than a century ago in Santa Eulària.
The artist found his future during a visit that the School of Ceramics of Madrid made to the Villa del Río in 1931. His qualities as a draftsman allowed him to obtain a scholarship in Madrid the following year at the aforementioned school, where he studied with the painter also from Ibiza. Narcís Puget Riquer.
His father, secretary of the Santa Eulària City Council, and his grandfather were shot during the Spanish Civil War. Despite this, 'Gabrielet' continued her studies after the war, and, once finished, decided to return to the island. Here he met the Marquis de Lozoya, general director of Fine Arts in the Franco dictatorship, who helped him secure a place at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome. During his stay in the Italian capital, he became acquainted with great Spanish intellectuals and artists and met the Spanish queen in exile Victoria Eugenia.
Rome was not the only capital 'Gabrielet' lived in during her youth. His life in Paris, Copenhagen and Belgium made the artist a man of the world who made a long list of friends throughout all the cities in which he lived and who, nevertheless, decided to return to Ibiza in 1947. Possibly that's why 'Toniet' always remembers her mentor "always surrounded by interesting people."
At 44 years old, in 1961 he took the step of moving to Formentera determined to withdraw from social life and focus on his artistic side. There he began to make murals with reinforced concrete, many of which were commissions for the hotels that began to be built during the first years of the tourist boom in Ibiza and Formentera.
In 1977 he began his time as a ceramist in the workshop and ceramic oven that he assembled in La Mola, where he converted his drawings into ceramics, to which lithographs, engravings and numerous plates of private houses and shops in Formentera were added.
In recognition of his ties to the island, in 1997, a year before his death, he was proclaimed an illustrious son of Formentera and an honorary member of the island's neighborhood association.
The street that bears his name, on the other hand, runs in his hometown, Santa Eulària: Ptge. A.Tur Costa 'Gabrielet'.
A life devoted to art in his studio in Formentera
Antoni Tur Costa decided to move to Formentera in search of a suitable environment to carry out his creations. Although his first house was in es Pujols, he decided to move to La Mola as soon as tourism here began to grow.
'Gabrielet' turned the highest part of Formentera into her refuge, where she is remembered coming and going in her 'mobylette' until age allowed it. There he ended up living alone in his pottery workshop until three years before his death.
In 1984, the Formentera City Council commissioned him to label the streets of the island and the ceramic shields in the plenary hall and on the façade of the Town Hall. He also made the crosses on the facade of the Pilar de la Mola church and was co-founder of the Fira d'Art i Artesania de la Mola.
The last tribute to his figure was the construction of the Antoni Tur Costa 'Gabrielet' Center in Sant Francesc, dedicated to promoting crafts and food products made with traditional procedures.