Rural Mural ART in cARTajima!
Summer of 2020 will long be remembered as the time of plague that put an end to all all normal activities.
Nowhere was this more true than in the little picturesque Andalucian mountain village of Cartajima where the villagers wait all year for the warm summer months. A time for socialising, chatting outside in the streets with neighbours in the cool of the evening, lounging around the municipal pool, and living it up the four days of the village festival in August – staying up all night dancing and singing and snacking on tapas.
But in 2020 none of these summer joys were possible. We were told to limit social contact, stay at home as much as possible, the pool was open but on a limited basis, no summer activities for the kids, and, worst of all, NO FERIA!
So innovation from the Ayuntamiento – the Town Hall! They offered four paid positions for a team capable of creating and executing rural murals around the village with the idea of further beautifying this already stunning village and attracting tourists.
The chosen theme was the rural life that is fast disappearing from Spain as it becomes more centralised and modernised.
One of the most charming murals is of a donkey which is obviously so realistic that another visiting burro stopped to say hello! Whilst years ago every family had their donkey for transportation, the last died a few years ago, inevitably replaced by cars.
The mural above documents the making of mosto, the local white wine still produced every autumn. It shows every aspect from the collecting of the grapes, the pressing and the bottling. In normal times there is a festival in November when the local viniculturists vie for the honour of First Prize in the tasting. The Ayuntamiento have informed me that they don´t think there will be a mosto festival this year.
The largest mural by far, so wide it doesn´t fit in one photograph, is this one honouring the women of old who had to go to the nearest spring to get water every day and carry it back on their heads. There are three springs and one well around the village and it was always women´s work to do the heavy lifting.
The four young women who were selected to create these wonderful rural murals worked solidly for two months, sometimes working high up on scaffolding. The shots above show some of the charming little details they included in every mural, mostly of insects, butterflies and little lizards.
As if there weren´t enough reasons to visit quiet Cartajima! (pristine valley, Covid free, very peaceful, no crowds, fantastic hiking – shall I go on!) There are twelve rural murals scattered around the village and we are going to create a guided walking tour around the village with details of the story behind each one. The team is also putting up QR references. Come visit!