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Thursday, 20 August 2015

Art for Art's Sake

On one of the walking routes near the tiny pueblo where I'm staying, someone had put this art installation at the side of the track, right at the very beginning. It's part of a general initiative here in the Sierra de la Francia: Arte en la Naturaleza. Now, you may think that this is hippy-dippy, smell the flowers, new-age nonsense, but I like the idea. I took the photo about 5 days ago. 2 days ago the installation had gone, as ephemeral as the blossom on a fruit tree. There are other works dotted around the senderos all over the National Park.

In the front yard of a house near the place I'm staying there's a sculpture of two figures, a man and a woman. I don't know what the medium is, plaster, clay – it's probably not plastic, not here – but here's the thing. They look like they're made out of paper bags, the kind you still get your fruit and veg in at a farmers' market, if you're lucky.

It's a strangely magical place. Where I'm staying, the owners leave local produce in the lobby, so the guests in the two flats in the building can help themselves. And yet. Here I am with my laptop open using the village 4G network and the wifi to write this. Are we the last lucky people? Will I look back on this time at the age of 80 (if I'm lucky) and think about the time when fuel was available and I could travel 300 miles in a matter of hours to somewhere as different from the Costa del Sol as the Earth is from the Moon? I hope not. In the meantime, I'm glad to be alive and kicking now, in the best of times.

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