The Vientos de Poniente (“Easterly Winds”) exhibition at the Gustavo Bacarisas Art Gallery in Gibraltar is showcasing art and culture from both sides of the frontier for a second time following the success of the “Vientos de Levante” exhibition in 2019. Our arts and culture correspondent took a look around.
The province of Cádiz is strengthening its ties with Gibraltar through the unmissable “Vientos de Poniente” exhibition – an exchange of culture and art from both sides of the frontier which is funded by the Diputación de Cádiz and the Government of Gibraltar.
The first edition, which was called “Vientos de Levante”, took place in 2019 and saw the Provincial Palace of Cádiz hosting a selection of art pieces from 17 Gibraltarian artists.
A year later, the Covid-19 pandemic prevented the second edition from going ahead in 2020, but now, as the worst moments pandemic continue to become distant memories, this long-awaited exhibition has finally arrived.
The Spanish minister for Culture of the Provincial Council Antonio González Mellado attended the inauguration of the exhibition on the 15th of June at the Gustavo Bacarisas Gallery alongside the Governor of Gibraltar, Sir David Steel, and the Gibraltar Minister of Culture John Cortes.
The exhibition will be open until the 24th of July and you will come across a wide array of contemporary art from the Diputación de Cádiz’s collection, which is curated by the renowned gallerist Magfa Bellotti from Algeciras.
The Diputación de Cádiz highlighted that the art collection was curated in line with the following criteria when making their selection: the quality of the works, a balance between male and female artists and those artists “who delve into the collective memory of the Campo de Gibraltar”.
You’ll find a wide variety of works on display at the Vientos de Poniente exhibition, covering a range of artistic disciplines: paints, watercolours, sculptures, engravings and photography with a “vast selection for Gibraltarians and Campo-Gibraltarians to enjoy and learn from”.
The exhibition features pieces by the following artists: Ángeles Agrela, Paco Almengló, José María Báez, Magdalena Bachiller, Evaristo Bellotti, Soledad Bermúdez, Juan Carlos Bracho, Julie Rivera, Carmen Bustamante, Mar Caldas, Alberto Ceballos, Tomy Ceballos, Chema Cobo, Ferrán Destemplé, Christian Domecq, Mario Finlayson, Belén Franco, Carolina Ferrer, Paloma Gámez, Alberto García Alix, María Gómez, Luis Gordillo, Josep Güell, Lola Gutiérrez, José María Jiró, Cristina Lama, Teresa Lanceta, Robert Longo, Chema Madoz, Alicia Martín, Andrea Moccio, Lita Mora, Teresa Moro, Rosa Muñoz, Magdalena Murciano, Ouka Leele, Lolo Pavón, Adriá Pina, Guillermo Pérez Villalta, Humberto Rivas, Antonio Rojas, MP & MP Rosado, Pepa Rubio, Antonio Sosa , Miguel Ángel Valencia and Javier Velasco.
A Wonderful Exchange of Culture which Began in Cádiz
The first cross-frontier exhibition took place on the 29th of January 2019 at the Provincial Palance of the Diputación de Cádiz, and ended on the 8th of March.
The Vice President of the Provinicial Council Juan Carlos Ruiz Boix, together with the then-Gibraltar Minister of Culture Steven Linares, were in charge of opening the exhibition, which included works by 17 Gibraltarian artists.
The exhibition coincided with the 50th anniversary of the frontier closure and the Spain’s shut down of Gibraltar’s telecommunications – a sad event, that was typical of the Franco dictatorship to cause anguish. Magda Bellotti commented on the fact that the frontier closure “separated families, caused mass unemployment for thousands of Spaniards and instilled a general sense of helplessness”.
“At Vientos de Poniente, there are no borders in the way of creativity or communication between the communities of artists from both side of the frontier”, Magda Bellotti wrote at the inauguration. She recalled that “art is a vehicle for knowledge dialogue between societies coexist, which asks questions and also provides answers; clearing the horizon and opens people to new life experiences and understanding of the world that we live in”.
She added that “Culture and Art are well-established healing agents, because only from a place of absolute freedom can this kind of art work”.