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Performance art / 20 November 2007

Crippen Performance Art cartoon

Crippen Performance Art cartoon

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Just to show you that it’s not only cartooning that I do, I sometimes get dragged into local events down here in Southern Spain. One such event was last Thursday when I was approached by the older mujeres of the village (little old ladies who all wear the black of widowhood) and asked if I can decorate the village hall for them for the forthcoming village fiesta. We used it last year for Jeni’s birthday celebration (no, I’m not saying how old!) and I managed to get hold of the big flags that are made by a mate called Angus and which are used at the Womad festivals. We hung the flags from the ceiling, which is about 25’ high (that’s about 8 meters) and the effect was to break up the echo that is caused by it being a huge great barn of a place. I also made some big bamboo frames and hung the large multi-coloured Alpujarran carpets on them for standing against the wall and deadening the sound still further. We topped it off with huge fig tree branches hanging from the walls festooned with fairy lights. Quite a nice effect, even if I say so myself. Well, that was it. Once the village elders saw what I’d done, I was instantly appointed village hall decorator for all future occasions!

This time I’ve made them some large bamboo frames (smallest is about 3 meters square), and covered them with rolls of lining paper. I’ve then painted them all different colours, and the plan is to hang them along the ceiling as a giant mobile. The fiesta is at the weekend and it’s to celebrate a Saint who appeared to a villager about 150 years ago and told her to tell her neighbours not to drink the town water. Sure enough, most of the town folk died of cholera the next month, where as all the villagers were saved. Viva Santo Corvero! We have fireworks, a parade of the Saint through the village (not him personally I hasten to add, just a large effigy) and then it’s all topped off with a party in the village hall with dancing until about 4am the next morning. And this is with a population whose average age is about 60! Hopefully, the large mobile will do the same job as the giant flags last year and also add a bit of colour. I’ll let you now how it goes.

And if my mother sees the above cartoon and starts to worry (you know what they're like!) No mum, I won't be going up into the roof myself. Manolo and his mother have volunteered (he's 60 and she's 82!). Well, it's their ladders so what can you do?!