Saramago and the “Juguetes del Viento” (wind toys) of Lanzarote
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Bárbara (Arquitecta): Bárbara (Architect): Hello! I’m Bárbara. Together, we will explore my adopted land, Lanzarote, through the works of two characters that have marked the history of the island: César Manrique and José Saramago. A way to discover Lanzarote with a different perspective.
On the trail of José Saramago and César Manrique
This tour centres its focus on these two international figures of culture that are César Manrique and José Saramago: the first is a native of Lanzarote and the second adopted Lanzarote as a residence, spending much of his life on the island.
It is impossible to imagine Lanzarote as it is today without César Manrique. He was a painter, sculptor, ecologist, monument curator, construction advisor, urban complex planner, landscape and garden configurator.
José Saramago, of Portuguese nationality, was a prestigious writer and thinker. In 1998 he won the Nobel Prize for Literature, making him the first – and only – Portuguese writer to win this award.
Today we will walk their tracks in the company of Bárbara, to discover Lanzarote through their eyes.
The tour by steps
1º We will meet the artist who will accompany us during the tour. Bárbara, architect and artist of the Urban Sketcher movement, will pick you up at the Hotel La Isla y El Mar. You can make the route in your own car or in a rental car (extra cost).
2º First stop: César Manrique’s “Monumento al Campesino” (Peasant Monument). This iconic work, avant-garde and modern, is a public statement of the artist to the men and women of the Lanzarote countryside. A tribute to the worker and farmer of Lanzarote. Bárbara will take the opportunity to comment in detail on the Work of César Manrique, with emphasis on the Wind Toys and his landscape intervention.
3º Second and third stop: César Manrique’s wind toys. These mobile sculptures, called “Juguetes del Viento” (Toys of the Wind), move due to the action of the wind. They are solid, heavy, iron structures, composed of spheres, circles, pyramids. With the wind they become ethereal, weightless, and establish a complicated opposing rotational movement.
These works are associated with the image of windmills, abundant in Lanzarote in the past. Manrique’s intention was to populate the island with these substitute references, given the slow disappearance of the mills.
The first wind toy we will see is located in Montaña Blanca. Dated 1992, it is a column with coloured blades and playfulness. Made of painted stainless steel, it measures 7 x 4.3 x 4.3 meters.
The second wind toy we will stop at is located at the airport, specifically at the Guacimeta airfield. It is a sculpture that pays tribute to José Ramírez Cerdá, who was president of the Cabildo of Lanzarote between 1960 and 1974. Forged in stainless steel, measuring fifteen meters high. The structure rotates on an axis with pendulums and hollow figures.
4º stop: Guided visit to the house of José Saramago. According to him, “A house made of books”, in which he spent most of his final 18 years. We will enter José Saramago’s house and take a guided tour of all the premises: library, gallery, study, living room, bedroom, kitchen and garden. Before returning, we will enjoy a coffee while Bárbara shares the secrets of this great writer.
5º Return and watercolour gift: During the activity, Bárbara will create an original watercolour on-site, between size A6 and A5 on watercolour paper, minimum weight of 150 grams. The technique used will be watercolour and marker, following the Manifesto of the International Urban Sketcher movement.
The Urban Sketch movement was sparked in 2008 by Gabi Campanario, a journalist and illustrator from Barcelona based in Seattle. That year he founded the USK community and since then this phenomenon has not stopped growing, with urban sketcher communities around the world.
At a glance:
Hours: Mondays from 9:00 to 13:00.
Languages: Spanish, English, Catalan.
Time to book in advance: 5 days.
Number of people: 1 – 6 people.
Duration: 4 hours.
Ideal for: Single, Couples, Friends, Families.
Town: Tías and San Bartolomé.
Entrance and guided visit to José Saramago’s house (1,5h – 2h approx).
Visit to the “Monumento al Campesino”.
Tour of two “Juguetes del Viento” sculptures.
Souvenir drawing of a moment of the Tour.
Optional: hotel transport with private driver.
– The work submitted cannot be manipulated or modified without the prior written consent of the author and article 24 of the intellectual property law will be respected.
– Exploitation rights are not granted for the original work of the drawing, therefore economic rights cannot be obtained with its sale. It is permitted to share the work in social networks.