Afterglow at night, the next day sun Linocut print. Hahnemühle paper of 300 g. 40 x 40 cm. Limited edition of 30 prints (available for purchase here).
«Arreboles» is the Spanish word to describe a meteorogical event that can be observed in the late afternoon and, according to popular tradition, it predicts a sunny morning the next day. It is a luminous phenomenom that takes place when the light of sunset falls on a sky full of clouds, dyeing them with vibrant reddish colours. This ancestral knowledge is gathered in a popular saying that today is practically in desuse: «Afterglow at night, the next day sun» (in Spanish, «A la noche arreboles, a la mañana soles»).
Peppers are drying out Linocut print. Hahnemühle paper of 300g 40×40 cm Limited edition of 40 prints (available for purchase here).
A popular song from Ponferrada (the capital city of El Bierzo, Northern Spain), titled A Ponferrada me voy (To Ponferrada I am going) says in one of its verses: and after having sung to the Patron Saint of El Bierzo, I am going to ask for rain because the peppers are drying out. These two women dressed in the regional costume of El Bierzo, supported by a large oak tree and the skeleton of the old industry, represent the past, the present and the future of this region; a region that, like many others in Spain, has had in coal the main support of its development throughout the 20th century. However, in the last decades, this territory has seen how its population and its productive fabric have been diminishing little by little because of a deficient decarbonization process.
Que se secan los pimientos (Peppers are drying out in English) is, therefore, a metaphor about time, generational change and the transformation of the territory, where the past remains behind the two protagonists, who represent, at the same time, the present and the future of the region, and from whose basket fall the bell pepper flowers that will come to sow that future in which we will continue to sing A Ponferrada me voy.
The filandón Drypoint on handmade paper of 320 g. Dimensions of 30 x 30 cm. Limited edition of 10 prints.
In the past, in Leon and Asturias (two regions located in the Northwest of Spain), there was the custom of gathering around the fire at the end of the day to tell stories, chat and drink typical liquors while women spun the wool or, as we say here in these regions, filaban. From this word comes the name filandón, by which these meetings between neighbors, friends and family members were known. With the advent of the radio and television, the filandón was gradually disappearing. However, in the recent years many initiatives have been developed to recover this beautiful tradition.
Life is a party Linocut print. Hahnemühle paper of 300 g. 40 x 40 cm. Limited edition of 50 prints (available for purchase here).
La vida es una fiesta, in english Life is a party, captures the spirit of the popular festivities that are celebrated in La Alberca, a small village located in the south of the province of Salamanca, Spain, during the summer months. The protagonists are two women dressed in the spectacular Traje de Vistas: a typical costume of La Alberca that attracts attention for the impressive set of jewels with which women cover their entire body.
The Traje de Vistas, in origin, was a means to show the family wealth through the superimposition of jewels and pieces of clothing. The more jewels hung from the neck of the albercanas, the higher the social position of their family. Among these jewels, we can find long necklaces made with coral beads and silver bollagras, religious medals, huge crucifixes and an endless number of amulets to protect against evil and disease, such as the Holy Face, Caravaca crosses or the symbol of the crescent moon.
This costume, which was traditionally a wedding dress, has gradually lost its nuptial character to be used only on feast days such as Corpus Christi or the celebration of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary on August 15th.
El Bierzo Alto Linocut print. Hahnemühle paper of 300 g. 30 x 30 cm. Limited edition of 50 prints.
My entire maternal family comes from El Bierzo Alto, a small region in northwestern Spain, bordered to the north by Asturias, to the west by Galicia, and to the east by León. El Bierzo covers an area of 2828 km², and almost 150000 inhabitants live there, about half of them in the capital, Ponferrada, well known for being an important transit point in the Way of Saint James. But, more specifically, my maternal family comes from Colinas, a beautiful village located in the heart of the Sierra de Gistredo.
With the passing of time and the new needs imposed by modern life, my grandparents came down from the mountains and built a house in the vicinity of Bembibre, a small town close to Ponferrada. Near their house, my grandparents bought a vineyard, La Viña, where they planted a mimosa tree, under which all of us who came along grew up playing. A few kilometres from our vineyard is Folgoso, the birthplace of my cousins’ grandparents. In fact, it was their grandfather, Ser Puente, who made the name of Folgoso famous in all the region thanks to the incredible handcrafted nativity scene he built.
Redeiras de Ons Linocut print Hahnemühle paper of 300 g. 35×35 cm. Limited edition of 50 prints (available for purchase here).
Redeiras de Ons is a tribute to the so-called redeiras, women who have been dedicated to weaving and repairing fishing nets in Galicia, Spain, since ancient times. The redeiras, despite being essential in the fishing activity, still continue to fight for decent working conditions. As it was a job mainly performed by women, it was considered as just another household chore for a very long time.
My father’s grandmother was born and raised in a village near the city of Pontevedra, located in the heart of the Rías Baixas. She left her hometown when she married my great-grandfather, who came from a small village in El Bierzo. That is why, with the arrival of summer heat, my family moves to these Galician lands every year since my great-grandparents’ marriage. Another custom my family preserve is to witness the sunset from the beach, and, every single evening, we watch the sun fall down over the Ons island. This is the reason why this Atlantic island is the setting for my new linocut print, of which San Xoaquín is the patron saint.
The prayer in the phylactery –Saint Joaquin of the island, give us wind in the stern, because we have to reach the port and our sails are broken- is taken from a small poem painted on the facade of the church of San Xoaquín, built in the 1960s. Researching on the Internet about the origin of the poem, I came across a totally unexpected story. The author of these verses was a young man who entered a school poetry contest whose theme revolved around the Ons island. His poem was so good that it was inmortalized on the church’s facade, but, as I could read, he wants to keep his name anonymous.
Redeiras de Ons is, therefore, an ode to this land of western Galicia and its traditions, as well as a vindication of this race of women who still continue to struggle for decent work conditions. But, in addition, this art print is also a call of attention on the problem of plastic in the oceans.