In Conversation: Enrique Bedoya and Marie Fitzpatrick

Enrique Bedoya is an artist who moulds and paints the natural environment of the Cazorla National Park, in Jaen, in Andalusia. I met him this autumn while visiting Quesada, in Jaen.

Quesada is a small town of 6000 inhabitants, which lies beneath Mt Cabañas the highest peak of the Casorla Mountain range.

M.: Enrique, I find your work immensely creative and satisfying to view. I'm attracted to the textures; the idea of nature's brush stroking the canvas, as well as the earth that is embedded within the concept which grounds my aspect. And as I view it, I find myself reflecting on the 'ashes to ashes dust to dust' element of life. I think it's fair to say that your inspiration comes from the mountains, the land. But what drew you to this type of presentation, please?

E.: Everything started as a reunion between man and Mother Earth. I was born in a city where I lived for more than 20 years and my first approach to Nature impressed me so much that it provoked a change in my lifestyle and made me come to live in the countryside, strengthening my relationship with the land and the natural environment that surrounds me. This passionate relationship triggered the necessity of expressing everything that I capture in my paintings.

M.: You were born in Granada. How old were you when you had this realisation about nature, please, and where were you -- on a family picnic, a trip into the countryside, work? I ask, for not everybody sees to know or understand, and imo it can happen at different ages. To quote The Kingdom of God by Francis Thompson -- The angels keep their ancient places -/ Turn but a stone and start a wing!/'Tis ye, 'tis your estranged faces, /That miss the many-splendored thing. '

E.: When I was about 20 years old I came to Quesada to work in the olive's, and generally in the countryside. I'd go back to Granada but as time went by I realized this was the place I belonged to.

M.: This is my understanding of the creative process. You go into the mountains, here, you leave a blank canvas in a dry river bed and over a number of months -- would it be a year? you allow nature's brush to stroke the canvas with; snow; rain; zephyr; sun; this energy combines to dress your canvas and create its texture. Is this correct or is my interpretation too broad?

E.: Actually I feel more as the director of my paintings than as the painter. I decide what I am looking for and what exactly I want to say in my paintings, nature does the rest. I feel as an observer of Time as it goes on tearing and moulding our environment.

M.: And then you collect the finished sketch and act as editor, tweaking the surface elements until they meet your standard. You use a board to paste the material to?

E.: In this series, I worked with canvas without framework, in order, to mould to the place I was working in, but in other series I work with different techniques.

M.: How many are in your collection?
E.: About 10

M.: Are they for sale and have you an exhibition planned at any time in the future?

E.: It was never my intention to sell my work, I should consult with Nature, my partner. I have 2 expositions planned, in Bar 43 H and a bar in Granada.

The very best of luck to Enrique with both expositons. Bar 43H is an intimate spot in Quesada town, which is full of old-world athmosphere, jazz and art.


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