barcelona flaneuse

I've been to Barcelona three times and I'm ready to return!


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THE CLOISTER (WITH GEESE!)

IMG_3147 Above, one of the thirteen geese living in the cloister at the Barcelona Cathedral, a Gothic wonder with a pond, fountain, and the essential votive candles.

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  St. Jordi’s fountain depicts the knight overcoming the dragon, a common theme in art and artifacts around the city of Barcelona.

IMG_2977     The votive candles were a prominent feature during Easter week.

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And the fountain is not only impressive, the desperate tourist can drink the water.  I often wonder about the innocent European tourists who come to the U.S. and assume they can drink the water from our decorative fountains!

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     This emblem, in the floor of the cloister, commemorates the contribution of the shoemakers’ guild, I am assuming.

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The Cathedral itself is grand, of course, but the cloister seems more memorable.  I’m always more compelled by living things among the beautiful things that such grand architecture provides.

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SPINNING STRAW INTO GOLD…

We’re returning to the Roser Capdevila exhibit at Palau Robert in Barcelona.

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Her handmade journals and sketchbooks are well displayed. I could see here the fuel for many projects that grew out of her daily experience — both positive and negative.  Some of Capdevila’s most memorable work developed from her having given birth to triplets, girls who became central characters in many of her children’s books.  She also used the experience of being seriously injured in a traffic accident to construct a cardboard ambulance!

This was among the images in the Palau Robert display window that coaxed me into the exhibit.

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This flamboyant witch is the central character in a number of stories, including one which involves Red Riding Hood, the wolf (wearing a blue track suit), and the triplet girls.

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These are pages of character studies for a project.  Nothing seems to escape her attention and then serve as fodder for future work.  Roser Capdevila must work constantly, but the product of her efforts is so joyful, it must hardly seem like work.

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As enchanting as all this is, the precious thing I take away from the exhibit is that nothing is wasted.  All our experience holds potential.


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CARDBOARD AND CREATIVITY…

In which I stumble upon an inspirational exhibit.IMG_2876

Forgive the blurred image.  The picture was taken through glass.  I had found the art store, Vicenc Piera, in the Eixample neighborhood, then rested in a lovely little park.  As I left the park, I took a shortcut past Palau Robert and saw the display advertising an exhibit then in residence.  Wow!  A wonderful collection of images and constructions that coaxed me into the exhibit, a retrospective for the Catalan children’s book author and artist, Roser Capdevila.

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What became immediately apparent is that this woman was a genius with cardboard.  I imagined that no piece of the corrugated  stuff was safe from her, and I love cardboard!  So, won over immediately, I noticed the many ways she employed it.

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Cardboard ovens.

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Cardboard folders (even for her bills!).

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Cardboard tableau (Mozart’s studio).

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And best of all, cardboard theaters!  I was inspired.  So much so that when I got home, my granddaughter, R., and I put together our own theater.

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Thank you, Roser.  More cardboard wonders to come!