Mariana Mara Art Exhibition

During the last two weeks of August 2009, Mariana Mara, an expressionist painter, has welcomed Rondeños to an exhibition entitled “Un Momento” in the gallery room of the Casa del Cultura next to the Iglesia de la Merced in Ronda’s Mercadillo district.

Mariana comes across as a fun loving, humerous, intelligent, and passionate person, which is immediately evident on entering her exhibitions. I was greeted to the sound of Elvis Presley coming from Mariana’s laptop, and the frequent outburst of frustration as something didn’t work on her computer.

This sets the scene quite nicely for Mariana’s paintings which are at once bold and filled with colour, subtle with many layers to be sampled, and of course none is to be taken too seriously, all of Mariana’s paintings are to be enjoyed simply because they exist, and for no other reason.

Too many artists strive for perfection in a piece, the perfect stroke, a complicated meaning, but Mariana starts with an idea that is fairly easy to understand, and then proceeds to add layer after layer until she is happy with the finished piece.

I particularly loved her piece entitled “La Marsellesa”, a whimsical look at the world of opera. Painted on wood, the bottom third is painted over letterhead from the Madrid Opera company, and on each sheet of paper one can see a sketch of a lady wearing an opera gown. Over the entire canvas Mariana has painted in delicious skin tones and hues of pink, the face of we suppose a famous opera singer in her prime.

Other pieces also captivate, such as the scenes of the Puente Nuevo in Ronda. Again, Mariana has taken a simple concept, the connection with Bizet’s opera Carmen, and the ubiquitous view of Ronda, the new bridge as seen from the lower gorge. In bold and strong colours, Mariana has overlayed her work on the musical score for Carmen, though this isn’t immediately obvious when looking at the score since it is the French and English version.

My favourite piece in the exhibition though had to be Mariana’s scenes of the sky captured in a variety of different moods. These were perhaps a reflection of Mariana’s true depth of soul, I got the sense Mariana paints moods to escape the meaning and humour she often works with, that her mood paintings represent Mariana relaxing, or venting some frustration, and oddly these simpler pieces let us get to know Mariana better.

Of course we all have our favourites, and in conversations with Mariana she explained that her favourite pieces were those that allowed her to experiement with different media, or allow her naturally witty charm to escape and take on their own life.

A fantastic exhibition though, and well worth half an hour to appreciate Mariana’s work, but leave enough time to chat as well, since her art really comes to life when Mariana is given the chance to express her love of art, and philosophy, the theatre, and of course, life itself.

Ronda Today is pleased to host a virtual gallery of Mariana Mara, which includes every piece exhibited in Ronda.

Chico Andrades, Raices de Ronda Wood Sculpting

Chico Andrades was born and raised a Rondeño, and remembers being fascinated with comics as a boy, a fascination that has led to him becoming one of the Serranía’s top wood carvers.

With Ricardo Dávila, Chico began his training in 2004 in Parauta, at a traditional carving school which has sadly closed down since. It was here Chico first began to appreciate the intricacies of carving in wood and stone, and here he discovered his talent for producing pieces with caricatures.

After finishing his training Chico joined together with Ricardo Dávila, and Diego Guerrero to form Grupo Algorma, a small collective that produced sculptures from discarded materials sourced in the Genal Valley. As part of this small group Chico successfully exhibited and arranged sculpting events, and becoming well known in Ronda and further afield.

These days Chico can be found in his workshop, Raices de Ronda, situated next door to the Mondragón Palace in Ronda. Visitors to the workshop will often find Chico carving his signature cartoon characters into olive tree roots just inside the entrance. Before entering the shop Chico invites you to spend a few minutes watching him as he sculpts, he believes this helps customers understand how the characters are born.

Taking inspiration from his love of childhood comics, Chico rarely spends too much time analysing the timber to be worked, instead allowing the character already in the wood to guide Chico’s chisel. In so doing Chico guarantees each piece is completely unique, it is actually impossible to ever create a copy of any piece since the wood is so different from one piece to the next.

Raices de Ronda

Talla y Escultura sobre raices de Olivo
Chico Andrades nace en Ronda (Malaga) en el año 1968, inicia su formación artística en el año 2004 de la mano del escultor Ricardo Dávila, en la ya desaparecida escuela de talla de Parauta. Allí descubre el mundo de la escultura en madera y piedra.

Más tarde forma parte del colectivo artístico Grupo Algorma (Ricardo Dávila, Chico Andrades y Diego Guerrero) con los que realiza esculturas de gran tamaño utilizando los desechos naturales del Valle del Genal (castaños quemados). Participa con el Grupo Algorma en varias exposiciones y eventos.

En la actualidad tiene su propia tienda en la parte antigua de Ronda, concrétamente en la plaza Mondragón frente al museo de Ronda. Allí talla, expone y vende su trabajo directamente al público.

Trabaja las raices de olivo de forma directa, inspirandose en las formas naturales que va encontrando y respetando siempre el trabajo de la naturaleza.

Amante del comic y la caricatura, nunca dibuja, mide o traza, no tiene en cuenta proporciones alguna y hulle totalmente de la simetría. Simplemente ataca las raices directamente, buscando los personajes que se encuentran en su interior, dando como resultado obras que nunca se repiten.

Contact Chico Andrades at Raices de Ronda

Chico can be contacted for private commissions.

Address: Plaza Mondragón, 9, Ronda, Malaga 29400
Would you like to purchase one of Chico’s pieces? Chico has his workshop in the heart of Ronda’s old town, right next door to the Mondragón Palace. Some of Chico’s Raices de Ronda pieces can be bought directly from his website, and shipped all over the world.

Click to send an email to Chico:

Gallery of Chico’s Sculptures

To display larger images, click the thumbnail

Mariana Mara, Artista de Andalucía

A poem from Mariana – Un Momento
Préstame un momento, o mejor, date un momento.
Un momento para la calma, un momento para le tempestad.
Para la complicidad, el miedo, la mística y la pureza.
Un momento para el sentido común, la creatividad, el reencuentro, la tramoya y el desengaño. Para la paz y la esperanza. Y para otros momentos, todos conscientes, todos intensos. Momentos sin pretensiones.
Y ojalá nuestra memoria, solo guarda los buenos momentos.

English Translation
Give me a moment, or better yet, take a moment.
A time for calm, a time for the storm.
For complicity, fear, mystique and purity.
A moment for common sense, creativity, reunion, stage props and disappointment. For peace and hope. And for other times, all aware, all intense. Unpretentious moments.
And hopefully our memories, to remember the good times.

Contact Mariana Mara

Mariana can be contacted for private commissions.

Would you like to purchase one of Mariana’s pieces? Mariana exhibits throughout Spain, so please send Mariana an email for locations and dates of current and future exhibitions. Click to send an email to Mariana:

Gallery of Mariana’s Paintings

Academy Pacqui La Bailaora Flamenco Show

On the 1st of August 2009, the students of Academy “Pacqui La Bailaora” in Ronda staged a show as part of the Noches de Ronda festivities that had run through most of July and the first week of August.

A larger crowd than there were seats turned up, leaving the organising team running frantically to make sure everyone was accommodated, and then the show began. From the first clap of the flamenco dancer’s hands the atmosphere became electric.

People in the back rows desperately tried to peer over the rows in front to get a glimpse of the footwoork, all manner of amateur and professional cameras appeared, some even leaving their seats to get better photos from the sidelines.

This was a show to remember, made more memorable because the dancers were students, local Rondeños we see in town every day, yet giving everything they had to make this a special evening. Pacqui, the lady who owns the academy didn’t perform, nor did she sing, she simply stood amongst the musicians and clapped, lending real support and a reassuring smile to her students.

As a member of the audience I sat enthralled as the dancers stomped their feet, clapped their hands, and danced at the same time. The noise from a single stomp echoed and reverberated around the patio, but with three or four dancers stomping several times per second the noise was deafening, at times drowning out the singer whose voice was carried on some of the largest speakers I’ve ever seen.

Hotel San Cayetano, Ronda **

Situated along Calle Sevilla in Ronda, the Hotel San Cayetano is a good place to stay for tourists looking to tour the historic town. The hotel is very close to popular tourist spots in the area from the birthplace of bullfighting and other historical sites to modern establishments like the local mall.

The Hotel San Cayetano was built upon an old building which has been refurnished to provide modern amenities for guests. All the 24 rooms in this hotel have been fitted with air-conditioning units. During the winter season, guests can also enjoy the benefits of the hotel’s heating system available on all rooms. The rooms are also built to be soundproof.

Book this hotel now

Continue reading Hotel San Cayetano, Ronda **

Using British Electrical Appliances in your Spanish property

TVs, DVDs, Computers
TVs, DVDs, Computers

Welcome to Spain, and the joys of using British electrical appliances in Spain. We all know the move to Spain isn’t cheap, but the great news is that most of the appliances you bought in the UK will work here in your new Spanish property, and you don’t need to be concerned about the different voltage in most cases.

Continue reading Using British Electrical Appliances in your Spanish property

Ronda – Tourist Information – Hotel booking – Activities – Events in Ronda and Surrounding Villages

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