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Iberoarte: An Event where Art and Craft Meet

Source Ahora 27.10.2016

Iberoarte: An Event where Art and Craft Meet

These days the city of Holguin is swarming with people, as fans of quality and new ventures walk through its main streets on their way to the Arts Centre or the ExpoHolguin fairground, venues of the Iberoarte Craft Fair. In these two exhibition areas, arts and crafts are available for those who arrive there to seek objects which combine with homes, clothing and other areas of daily life.

This is the fifteenth edition of the crafts fair in the eastern province, which has a rich cultural tradition. This time, the novelty comes from Hindu hands, as for the first time artists from this oriental country come to the event to show part of their creations. In fact, the India Bazaar is the largest, and the one that gets the most attention in Holguin.

Rugs, bedspreads, cushions, figurines, textiles and lots of jewellery are some of the proposals that move the calculations of visitors to the fair, which will run until October 30.

Gopal Arora, a businessman in charge of the six participants of that nation, said they have "tried to show something that represents each province of India, from Kashmir to the north, Gujarat west, Tamil Nadu in the south and Orissa in the east. And we have tried to bring some, albeit small, representative sample of what is done in each of these places. "

Among the objects that have attracted most attention are the elephants of fortune, an element that transcends the decorative to take on different meanings. In that sense, Arora says that these items "do not represent any particular religion. For example, Buddha is international, is known by all mankind. What happens is that religious and cultural issues go together in India ".

In this regard, the ambassador of that country in Cuba, His Excellency Mr. Tsewang Namgyal, said that "people who have come from India bringing their products propose a sample of what craft is in our country, which are a reflection of the rich Indian tradition in the field of crafts and is part of the cultural exchange between the two countries, it gives an opportunity to the people of Cuba to see and experience what are the crafts of India.”

Another novelty of the fair is the participation of the Havana´s MIGUETAL project, led by Miguel Morales Garcia, who recycles items of metal to shape his work.

"People discard many things because they consider they are no longer useful. We have given ourselves the task of turning these commonly used objects into decorative pieces such as lamps, incense candlesticks ... "says the artist.

Although Garcia Morales affirms that public acceptance has been very good, he warns that "Holguin has to change a little the outlook and the mentality of people, because I have seen the decorations of houses and what they have been looking at on our stand. People need to open up a bit, to be contemporary. "

This criterion is based mainly on products that this artist is able to sell, which is away from the boldest proposals, like metal ants that adhere to the walls or spiders that hang, however, in cases like him and other artisans, they should review the prices of items, as perhaps there is, and not in a good or bad taste of the public, the response to low acquisition of these elements.

Another proposal gaining the attention of people is the Oasis plant project, from Las Tunas.

"This is a project aimed at promoting the culture of ornamental plants and pottery. We want people to have in their homes, in addition to products from industry, those items produced by the artist together with nature. It is an artistic piece that includes the natural. Acceptance has always been fantastic. Within a couple of years I think every Holguin resident will have a plant in their homes," says Maikel Velázquez, representative of the group.

Meanwhile, Angela Espinosa Escalona, who has been three times to the Fair, speaks about cultural gains that their participation in these events means to her.

"We can learn from other works we see, of foreigners, and even in the same province. Here I have seen many ways to work cold ceramics. The ornaments for the fifteen years celebrations caught my attention, which are very interesting. The creator notes and incorporates what he or she learns and I really like that cultural exchange. In addition, this space has allowed me to show my work, performing it on the stand itself. Then people stop to see how I do my work. They ask themselves how candles are made or the process to give them colour and scents. I love that. "

Iberoarte not only hosts commercial spaces, it is also an opportunity to exhibit the work of designers, fine artists and even learning through workshops and exchanges with craftsmen artists. This is an excellent opportunity for the public of Holguin to learn and know not only about national culture but also that of other people. And like the culture of the people’s sister nations, Iberoarte is a way to extend ties of brotherhood beyond the borders of Holguin.

Written by Liudmila Peña Herrera

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