dilluns, 13 de juny de 2011

Gràcia and the festival...

When I first stumbled upon these windy streets there was a chaotic excitement in the neighbourhood for the Gràcia street festival that happens once a year. Not only did I focus on these incredible work of temporary art but the permanent collection of buildings evoking some, to my surprise, an Arabian style with its mosaic tiles peeping in on some corners as well as the churches that appear to say that Christians have conquered this place for centuries. This alternative neighbourhood is distinct from the others in Barcelona and has been well preserved as such.

As I walked down bedazzled, I had no idea what more to expect of the other streets in this neighbourhood as more and more I was starting to question the culture, the people and the place. Later I learned that the neighbours gather to make all these decorations with recycled materials, working together all through the year to hold this event every august, as an 8-day festival "Festa Major", known as Festes de Gràcia, one of the largest festivals in Barcelona.

Among some of the most astounding work, were an entire placa of flowers hanging from the trees made of recyled water bottles painted in different colours and hanging at different lengths. A truly efemeral quality it had and I was completely taken by it all. One of the others was a curtain covering the entrance to a street made of pasta coloured in a metallic silver and strung together with nylon. Each street had its theme and each one was alive boasting the creativity of the locals.