Portraits of confinement

  • A group of Catalan urban cartoonists exhibit the portraits of health personnel they created from photographs during home confinement due to covid

Drawings not to forget. Tribute to the health workers who have been fighting from the front line against covid since the first day of the pandemic And, above all, in the toughest period, the one with the most uncertainty and the confinement of the population two years ago, in 2020. In those months and locked up in their houses, a group of urban cartoonists (Urban Sketcher) decided to put their grain of sand in the recognition to the staff who work in hospitals and in health centers: doctors, nurses, cleaners or receptionists. From February 1 to 28, twenty Catalan members of this movement They exhibit their works at the Center Cívic de Drassanes, in Barcelona (Nou de la Rambla, 43).

The ‘urban sketchers’ define themselves as “a global community” of cartoonists, both amateur and professional, who practice drawing ‘in situ’ and quickly in the cities, towns and villages in which they live or to which they travel. These urban artists identify with the principles of this community spread over the five continents and whose main motto reads: “See the world, drawing by drawing”. His soul and drive, Gabriel Campanario, is a Spanish journalist and illustrator born in Barcelona and living in Seattle (United States). In an interview published in EL PERIÓDICO, he made it clear how to do this movement: “My best drawing tool is my notebook”.

For a few years now, groups of ‘urban sketchers’ have expanded throughout Spain (in some cases they call themselves “nomadic portrait artists”). In Catalonia they have been implanted in several towns and every day the number of people who participate in their meetings is greater. They meet and draw, but they also share experiences. It is another way of understanding art; fast and agile drawing. With the covid pandemic and the confinement, suddenly stopped the calls and the meetings. In prison, they decided to launch a solidarity initiative, to vindicate the efforts that were being experienced in hospitals during the most intense moments of the coronavirus.

from photographs

Pilar Bulto He had worked before retiring at a health insurance company. As a result of his professional activity, he has contacts with employees of hospitals and outpatient clinics in Badalona and Barcelona. Following in the footsteps of an idea born earlier in Madrid, this component of Drawing Badalona he began talking to groups of urban portraitists and his contacts in the medical world. From there, the solidarity machinery was put into operation. The staff of the health centers sent her photographs of everyday scenes or of their faces and she distributed them among the members of her group who, from their residences, captured them in their drawings.

“It is a tribute to those who were on the front line. Receptionists, cleaners, doctors, nurses. The goal is to encourage them”, Pilar insists, that “since her whole life” draw. “I have it inside & rdquor ;, he emphasizes. Draw even while traveling by subway. When he painted the toilets, a sense of pride invaded him and he wondered how that person was feeling and what he was doing.

A big family

Piedad Martinez drew with a calibrated pencil or marker. He draws, he confesses, since always and has come to do some exhibition. He started with watercolors, went through oils, and now he practices drawing ‘in situ’, what he sees live. He defines his fellow ‘urban sketchers’ from Badalona as “a big family”. “It’s a very different drawing, it’s fast and it’s not that easy & rdquor ;, she explains. She has been a nurse and the fact of drawing toilets is something special for her. “It is a way of giving them support. As if projecting them into the drawings could help them in some way at a time when they did not stop working, without thinking of themselves, but of others. Some heroes & rdquor ;, remember.

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TO Angeline Capdaigua is another promoter of the project. He loves to draw on the street together with his peers. “You couldn’t go out in confinement and it was a way to continue drawing & rdquor ;, he says. she belongs to Drawing Maresme, which participates in the exhibition, like other Catalan groups, such as the one from Sabadell, Girona or Barcelona. “Pilar Bultó sent us the photos, the names of those who appeared in them and their specialty and we drew, most of them in DINA size four or five. “It is a recognition of their work, a thank you because they were and are at the foot of the canyon. They took care of us and they take care of us & rdquor ;, she assures, like the other cartoonists. That admiration is reflected in each of the paintings by these urban cartoonists who, for a few months, were forced, like all citizens, to live within four walls.


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