Archive for April 3rd, 2009
Painting a brighter life in Santa Cruz

Walking through a giant human colon, surrounded by statistics of untimely death. No,it’s not the new single from Morrisey, just part of another interesting trip to Santa Cruz, the always surprising capital of Tenerife.

More of those bodily functions later, but top of my agenda today,was the new exhibition of Still Life paintings from the Prado museum in Madrid.  The touring exhibition, El Bodegon Español en El Prado, is at the Espacio Cultural Caja Canarias (upstairs from the large Caja Canarias bank at Plaza de Patriotismo, just up and to the right of Plaza de España) and will stay until 31 May.

The FREE exhibition opens from 11 am to 1 pm and 5 pm to 9 pm Monday to Friday, and 11am to 2 pm and 5 pm to 8 pm on Saturdays. It was my first foray into the display area, bright, modern and spacious, it’s a good setting for the frequent culture shows that they put on. In this case, there are 60 offerings from leading Spanish painters of the 17th to 19th century. The Goya work, above, is Perros En Trailla y Utiles De Caza, from 1775.

Most of the paintings feature animals, and food, and are so rich and evocative of their subjects, thay made me quite hungry. This one above is Dolces y Frutos Secos Sobre Una Mesa, by Tomas Hiepes. In case you are wondering, these are not photos taken by me, the very serious looking security guards looked ready to swat me like an annoying fly when I asked if I could take photos, even without a flash.

Judging by the well thumbed and gratefully signed visitors book that has followed the paintings on their city by city tour, I was not the only one to be impressed by the work on offer. If you want a colourful souvenir, they are selling a 200 page glossy catalogue for 20 euros.

Leaving the building, I was intrigued by a bright orange concertina tube at the entrance to the Plaza de Principe de Asturias park. Silly me, it was a colon of course, the young ladies in attendance thrust some leaflets in my hand and propelled me towards the colon mouth. I soon discovered that it was a graphic way to alert people to the dangers of cancer of the colon. Here’s a couple of shocking facts for you, the Spanish death rate from colon cancer is 6 times that from AIDS and 3 times that from road deaths. Despite being the most common form of cancer, it has a 90 % cure rate if caught early. The display is only there for a few more days, so do yourself a favour and have a quick look at the website for the alliance to prevent colon cancer.

Not a bad old place Santa Cruz, culture and health education, all within one small area of the city. I look forward to more revelations on my next trip.