Archive for November 26th, 2009
Sniffing around in north Tenerife

Some days you don’t always get what you are after, but there are always consolations. I headed up to La Laguna via Santa Cruz, to try to track down British artist Dave McKean. This talented chap from Maidenhead is an accomplished painter, illustrator and photographer, but famous as a comic book artist. I had heard the name vaguely, he wrote a series called Batman, Arkham Asylum. The La Laguna connection was as a photo artist with an exhibition called Pholk, at the Estudio Artizar, his website is being revamped so I couldn’t contact him, and just took a chance of an interview for . I soon found out that Dave is back in the UK freezing, so I purused his work at the small quaint gallery, an old traditional Canarian house. The photos are all based on traditional English dance fiqures, but with a bizarre twist added – interesting. You have till 12 December if you want to check out the work.

That could have been a blow to my day but Great Aunt Matilda always said “a day spent exploring is a day not wasted” that was just before she was shot for trespassing. So crossing the Calle San Augustin to the old convent of San Agustin, I sought out some more art at the exhibition hall. Rosa Munoz was the artist and as soon as I entered the hall, her paintings hit me, bright vibrant colours, all based on living scenes, some in a living room and some in a rural setting, but all boosted by screaming, loud colour – I liked that. For this show, you have unitl 10 December – both exhibitions are FREE.

Christmas is just a month away, time to plant the poinsettias, there were a few of these gorgeous red and yellow plants around La Laguna, but back in Santa Cruz, the borders and flower beds were bulging with them. Although a well worn christmas tradition, poinsettias are known in Spain as Flores de Pascua (Easter Flowers) , Santa Cruz council has bedded in 87, 112 of them, mainly red, but some yellow for contrast, there are also 3.500 persian violets adorning hanging baskets. Parque Garcia Sanabria was looking and smelling  particularly fragrant, especially the flower clock.

Santa Cruz port is always one of my stop off points, always some interesting ships in, and yesterday it was one of the smaller vessels taking centre stage. Petrel is a drug enforcement ship for the Agencia Tributuria, tracking down smugglers, and confiscating their loads. Since it launched in 1995, Petrel has carried out 47 major operations including in the waters off Venezuela, Brazil and even southern England. Their haul has included 84,000 kilos of cocaine, 8,000 kilos of hachis, and 725,000 packets of cigarettes, I bet their christmas party is pretty lively. Oh well that will do for another day, hopefully my next visit will see the christmas shopping frenzy in full swing.