Saturday, June 12, 2010

broken ceramics, broken bones

The intensity of our artistic marathon warranted some time for reflection and musing. The sky was the deepest cerulean, the sun was warm, it was a perfect day for a walk in a park. Spread out high upon the hills of Barcelona, is a green wonderland of cacti with waves of shattered ceramics, Gaudí's Parc Güell.

Conceived as a housing development by Eusebi Güell, the project never caught on. Gaudí bought one of the two houses nestled within the Parc, and set to work transforming the land into a municipal garden— a pocket of peace above the bustling city.

Hidden amongst the trees are curving stairways, fairytale buildings and an enormous terrace adorned with a long serpentine bench of colourful broken tiles. As I was midway through a sketch, the afternoon tranquillity was interrupted by the disturbing sound of fist hitting torso.

A territorial dispute between trinket vendors suddenly erupted into violence. As the blur of flying fists and kicking feet came crashing towards me, I threw my sketchbook into my bag and fled, just as an old man drove a wooden plank into another man's head.

I abhor violence. I ran off into the trees until I could no longer hear the shouting. Beneath limbs shaded green, I found the quiet again. Along a meandering path, I stumbled upon the most beautiful sight in the park. It was so marvellous, and dare I say perfect, that I wondered if it was crafted by some artist's hands.

Two knobby, rolling trees, sighing into each other, entwined like lovers.

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