Art for Fart’s sake

Everyone likes taking the mickey out of a foreign language; the mis-spellings, the sounds or words that are correct in context in the foreigner’s language but amusing in our own. This weekend we’ve had an art project in my barrio that had the Brits giggling behind their hands.

My barrio is called Ruzafa, and has more art galleries and studios than you can shake a paint brush at. Add to that a number of arty bars, and you have just the place for the arts set to hold a pretty sizeable gig, opening their studios and homes to display their own work or, in the case of the studios and framing shops, (and even one particularly hip hairdresser) to host exhibitions of artists from outside the area.

To create the title of the programme the organisers ran the two words ‘Ruzafa’ and ‘Art’ together and came up with the name ….. Ruzafart. You can just imagine the piss-taking that went on! Invariably we Brits living in the barrio separated the words again into Ruza Fart. We then went on to describe the exhibitions as being a bit ‘arty farty’ – childish, I know, but what else could we do? (Frankly, some of the work actually was exactly like that, but to be fair there was also some pretty good pieces.)

Throughout Saturday painters set up their easels at various points in the barrio, working in a wide range of mediums. Mostly it was amateurs taking part in a group exercise – and good luck to them, because I wouldn’t have the bottle to stand on a street corner making a hash of a canvas with the neighbours looking on. There were a few pro’s working, though, and I had to laugh when I saw one chap painting a view of the market who was using an old ironing board without its cover as a table to put his paints and brushes on. Portable, so why not? As the people started to knock off for lunch, a few ladies gathered around his easel for a photo opportunity, self-consciously holding up their awkward canvases and probably realising that while his would go into the exhibition the following day for the public to decide a winner (and he’s really should be in at least the top three), theirs would end up behind the wardrobe, hidden from the world’s view.

If you would like to know more about Spain, visit my web site, www.derekworkman-journalist.com , and Spain Uncovered

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