Presentation of Cueva de sombras, Plantas de luz at Contemporary Art Museum Reina Sofia (Madrid, Spain)
I am very pleased to share some images from the final presentation of "Cueva de Sombras, Plantas de luz" at the Reina Sofia Contemporary Art Museum in Madrid (Spain).
This visual documentation is followed by a description of the project in English language. This is just a glimpse of it! More to come soon!
For now, I would like to thanks to all who made it happening, in particular to all the kids with whom I closely collaborated during April and May.
Thanks also to Victoria, Modesto and Sofía, the teachers of the groups, for their motivation and passion for pedagogy, taking the challenge of a different project giving as much as possible to make it happening as well as Erika, the director of the school Cuevas del Castillo.
Also special thanks to Yayo, for the invitation to participate and close collaboration, as well as Kois and Cristina, from the Education department of Reina Sofía Museum and Garua Cooperative, without their effort on making possible such important initiatives, the frame of such project wouldn't ever existed.
To end with the special thanks. I would like to thank to Óscar, mayor of the Puente Viesgo town council as well as his council team for their support during the process of this project locally.
Thanks to all, with all the efforts we made "Cueva de Sombras, Plantas de luz".
"Cueva de Sombras, Plantas de luz" ("Cave of shadows, Plants of light") is a collaborative project between the Cantabrian artist Seila Fernández Arconada and the 5th course of CEIP Cuevas del Castillo school in Vargas (Cantabria, Spain).
The project is framed on the project "Pedagogías del mañana: educación ecosocial, escenarios de futuro y arte" (Pedagogies of Tomorrow: Ecosocial Education, Future Scenarios, and Art), which suggests the following: "In the face of ecological and social emergency situations, we need to rapidly deploy a comprehensive education capable of preventing catastrophe, anticipating alternatives, and fostering hope in uncertain futures."
Organised by the Reina Sofía Museum of Contemporary Art and the Garúa cooperative, this proposal has selected three artists and three schools from across the country. Over a period of slightly over three months, the teaching staff has participated in training on the subject, as well as engaging in an artistic process alongside the students and the artist Seila Fernández Arconada, in the case of Cuevas del Castillo school.
"Cave of shadows, Plants of light" is an artistic intervention that has taken place at Cuevas del Castillo school, where Seila Fernández Arconada has guided an artistic process that involves a journey through plants, from prehistoric times to the present and into the future. This artistic intervention, as Seila states, "arises from feelings and care, and its objective is to rethink ourselves in our habitat and explore what other ways of understanding ourselves in nature can offer us, ultimately seeking to become more like plants."
That greenness of the "green Cantabria" that we inhabit is them—the diversity of plants that accompany us. In these times of climate uncertainties, one can observe changes in tone, dependent on their relationships with other living beings, especially water. Where are the plants represented in prehistoric caves? This question was the first of the reflections posed by Seila in the process, given that no recognized plant representations exist among the studied caves.
"The shared process has been very intense, and the artistic experiences have provided us with other ways of experiencing and approaching the nature to which we belong," comments the teaching staff. The 5th course students have participated in various activities, including mapping the territory they inhabit, creating a "living herbarium" with stories about identified and drawn plants, representing themselves as seeds, and envisioning future imaginaries in an attempt to "become more like plants," among many others. Imagination and critical thinking have been vital elements in the process, and that is where this journey has led the group to create a film through the act of projecting a series of plants onto one of the walls of the Cave of Castillo in Puente Viesgo, using projected light as pigment or engraving. Furthermore, the soundtrack of this film is a collective sound creation, where the group has represented an imaginary ecosystem through sounds.
The project culminated on June 6th with a meeting-exhibition of the works created at the Reina Sofía Museum, where both the students and the teachers, along with the artist, will be present in Madrid. There, they will present all the materials created as a multidisciplinary installation, which will also serve as the stage for the "collective ritual" invented by the group of students. It is a collective performance to express gratitude towards plants while symbolically seeking to communicate with the plants of the future, telling them what is happening in the present, warning them of climate changes, water scarcity, and other potential situations they will have to face, as well as encouraging them to stay alive, accompanying and taking care of us because we couldn't live without them.
The photographs are part of the project's archive, authored by the teachers and the artist.