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Vientos de Levante: Works of 17 Gibraltarian Artists in Cádiz

Rosario Pérez • Photos: Fran Montes

Vientos de Levante

El Palacio Provincial de la Diputación (‘The Palace of the Provincial Council of Cadiz’) will host carefully selected works from several Gibraltarian artists, curated by Magda Bellotti and María Soto.

“For these ‘Vientos de Levante’ (Easterly Winds) there are no borders… and there are no borders for creation and communication between communities of artists on both sides of the frontier either”.

Magda Bellotti, alongside María Soto were the curators of this exhibition which opened on the 29th January at the Palace of the Provincial Council of Cadiz.

Vientos-de-Levante-Art-Exhibition-Cadiz

This exhibition will continue until the 8th of March. This selection of art is intended to reflect “the recent History of Gibraltar, the closure of the border in 1969, the separation of families, and the feeling of isolation, experience which have shaped peoples lives and thus the work of the artists”.

It is no coincidence that this collective exhibition is taking place during the 50th anniversary of the unilateral closure of the border, and the interruption of telephone communications with Gibraltar, an unusual and traumatic event, which, according to Bellotti, “provoked a general feeling of helplessness and also forged a way of being Gibraltarian and Campogibraltarian; a special idiosyncrasy that, undoubtedly, is reflected in many of the works of this exhibition”.

Vientos-de-Levante-Art-Exhibition-Cadiz

“Vientos de Levante” (a title that refers to the; “wet and persistent wind that sprays the daily stage of its characters every morning”) offers the people of Cadiz a selection of the work of 17 Gibraltarian artists, most of whom studied in universities in the United Kingdom, some of them returning to Gibraltar with fresh ideas, and with “an exhaustive knowledge of the new artistic movements and techniques”.

The show brings together veteran creators such as Nina Danino, Paul Cosquieri, Francis Gomila, Alex Menez, and Pat Naldi, with young talents such as Stefano Blanca, Patrizia Imossi, Naomi Martinez, Diego Porral, Aaron Soleci, and Christopher Tavares.

Vientos-de-Levante-Art-Exhibition-Cadiz

It also features the ceramist Ermelinda Duarte, the photographer and filmmaker Lizanne Figueras, Hungarian photographer Vera Francis (Gibraltarian by adoption), the multidisciplinary artist Alan Pérez, photographer Neville Zammit, and the filmmaker Ana García, producer of “Gibraltar: My Rock”, a film that traces the painful history of the closure of the border, which is being shown during this exhibition in the Provincial Hall of Cadiz.

Among the hall’s arches and vaults, the public can also find videos, paintings in very large format, both colour and black and white photography, charcoal drawings, clay sculptures, and even “haikus”, short poems written in calligraphy in vibrant colours.

Vientos-de-Levante-Art-Exhibition-Cadiz

Next March, “Vientos de Levante” will exhibit at the Gustavo Bacarisas Gallery in Gibraltar, which will also give several artists from Cadiz the opportunity to publicise their work.

It’s a new cultural exchange that, in the words of the Chief Minister of Gibraltar Fabian Picardo, which were included in the exhibition’s catalogue, “will promote new opportunities for both communities in which they will be able to advance together, increasing their creativity”.

Vientos-de-Levante-Art-Exhibition-Cadiz
Vientos de Levante

At the opening ceremony, which was attended by, among others, the Vice President of the Provincial Council, Juan Carlos Ruiz Boix, the provincial deputy of Culture, Salvador Puerto, and the Minister of Culture of Gibraltar, Steven Linares, the curator stated “We would like to open a new chapter in our common history that leaves behind the shadows of the past and that makes us look with optimism towards a common future… and there’s nothing better than culture to heal those old wounds”.

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