Hello, hello. I haven't fallen off the face of the earth yet, I'm holding on to its edge with my nails and teeth. And if you think the earth has no edges, you are quite mistaken. It has way too many. It's an edgy affair, it is. Or is that life?
Well, in the middle of this edgy love/hate affair with life that I will not write about today, art is churning out events and opportunities. That's very nice of her (I can't imagine art to be anything but a 'she', probably because the noun is feminine in Greek and I'm Greek, remember?) So, after our un-meeting with the gallerist at the beginning of the month and while I was trying to create a layout of sorts for my Personal Histories book due in August, art threw a contest our way. 'Our' as in 'our local group of artists'.
wip - the Iberians, wine and olive oil
The Iberians were the people that lived in the Iberian peninsula from the Neolithic period up to the 2nd century B.C You can find more information through the link, that will take you to a Wikipedia article on them. They occupied different parts of the peninsula and one of those parts was Northeastern Spain, the area where I live now. Their culture was not sophisticated and they were greatly influenced by the Phoenicians, the Greeks and the Romans when they successively colonized the peninsula. Among other things, they learned how to make wine and olive oil.
One of the very simple decorative patterns they used was a jagged line, coarsly engraved on their urns and other ceramic vessels.
They used archaic characters to write with but the meaning of their writings has not been deciphered yet. There are not enough bilingual documents - Iberian/Greek or Iberian/Roman - to help interpret their texts. The Iberian letters were mostly drawn with straight lines, I haven't been able to find any curved letters among them.
The art event that has been organized on this subject brings together artists from 3 neighbouring territories: the Matarranya (that's where I live), the Terra Alta and Morella. And we all have to create works inspired on the Iberians and the cultivation of vines and olive trees, that are still two of the main products of this area. Any type and number of works can be presented by each artist and what you see here is a mixed media piece that is still in progress.
Or maybe it's finished. It's still too soon to know, I need to let it breathe for a couple of days and see what it says to me.
The elements are obvious, I think. Branches of what could be a vine or an olive tree (no realistic intent here), the black beads can easily be seen as olives, fragments of Iberian writing partly covered by acrylic gesso and a ragged line beneath, deliberately embossed by hand to look rather coarse.
I would like to create two more works of a very different kind. A tall paper and fabric urn, reminiscent of the ceramic urns they used to keep in the ashes of their dead, and an artist's book that is still very undefined in my mind but will probably include collage, fragments of Iberian writing and... I'll let you know as soon as I do!
There will be a quite tempting prize for the winner, who will also need to create 4 smaller works that, in their turn, will be the prizes for the winners and runner-ups of a literary contest to be held in August. Not bad at all, right?
And a very important footnote: one of the members of the jury is... drumroll... the Un-gallerist!
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