I’ve just got back from a week’s holiday in Barcelona. We walked and walked and walked. I am so inspired by the architecture and art that we saw. It’s making me realise what a lot of work I need to do if I am going to create something meaningful.
I have been to Barcelona before. Possibly 6 times, maybe 7. It was the first continental European city I visited with my family when I was 8 (in fat I had my 8th birthday there. That means I was there during the last few months of the Franco regime. What I remember from that trip are the smells and sights of a new, very different, place. I remember military policemen (Guardia Civil) with sub-machine guns on buses we went on. I remember having middle-aged Spanish women stroking my hair, as it was so blond. I remember a white gorilla at Barcelona zoo, called Copo de Nieve (though he seems to have a few different names. I remember him as Copo de Nieve, rather than Copito de Nieve. Maybe that is one of those childhood false remembrances…I also remember strange buildings. I must have seen the Casa Battl and been to the Guell Park. I remember the lizard. I also remember, on  a couple of trips visiting the Sagrada Familia – I knew it as the second (unfinished) cathedral. I remember 4 towers, then eight; but no interior.

On the trip I have just made I revisited the Sagrada Familia and paid the entrance fee including an audio guide. I was staggered by how much it had developed. I suppose that during the Franco regime it was not considered a priority, I expect due the overt Catalan Nationalism that is in the design. I was also blown away by the detail that must have gone into Gaudi‘s design and the planning and construction (which are still progressing).

It, and his other creations, are beautiful works of art. They fuse science and nature, geometry and life, in ways which still, nearly 150 years later, seem impossible. The beauty of the modernist aesthetic, as realised in his work, as well as the detailed study and planning, as well as modelling, that enabled the conception and realisation of the creation have left me wondering what I can do to continue that tradition. Gaudi studied nature and used that to inspire (and underpin) his creations. We also visited the Parc Guell and had a tour around the Palau de la Musica Catalana, conceived and designed by another modernist architect and Gaudi’s one-time teacher, LLuis Domenech i Montaner. Once again, the beauty and hard work which are evident in the creation take your breath away.

I am inspired by the conceptions, the ideas. I am inspired by their dedication, their lack of fear. I am inspired by their detailed years of study. I am inspired by the boldness of their vision. I am inspired by the support they received from their communities.

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If you like what you see, why not check out Artsy’s Gaudi page here. Artsy are on a mission to make the world’s art accessible to all. Great idea. Go take a look!! Tell them I sent you!

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