Project Description


Ejercicios para crecer 2015. Ceramic paste, glassfiber, iron and wood. 23 x 30 x 4 m.



Things are not worth the time they last, but the trace they leave.
Arabic Proverb

Monique Bastiaans conceived this work in order that anyone who comes to the square contributes to the creation of this installation and with his own hands participates in it, shaping with clay the spike on top of the canes.

Origins, tradition and modernity meet and coexist in this work and in this square, as a witness of a new offering.
Each individual piece is installed in the set, up to a total of 4.200 pieces that complete the work and turns the citizens and tourists into collaborators in this offering to Nature and Culture.
Among all, we plant a field of fertility, abundance and hope.

The work is directly inspired by the architecture of the Alhambra in Granada.
The decorative element that the architects of the Alhambra most employed, was the ataurique or vegetal decoration, characteristic of Islamic Art. The lattice is another of the important and omnipresent elements. A space divider and generator of atmospheres that creates mystery through the sunlight.
The pattern that forms the base and sustains the whole installation is derived from the lattice of Alhambra’s Gate of the ‘Patio de los Arrayanes’. To be more precise, it is the gap of this lattice.

This, even though they seem remote concepts, brings us directly to Valencia, where the Muslim culture, its architecture and infrastructure still remain in our day-to-day.
In this representation of the importance of the origins and traditions, the value of the artisanal, the manual and the artistic takes all sense.
It’s a return to our origins, to the earth, to the genuine, to our hands in order to keep on growing and looking to the future, to innovate and grow more.

Trough this intervention the participation and interaction of the spectators contribute to fundamental elements that transmit those feelings of community and unity against the current individualism.

The uniqueness of each spike and every imprint provides the entire work a natural look, which marks the difference between mechanic and human.

This barley field also hides its symbology. The fountain of the ‘Plaza de la Virgen’ represents the figure of Neptune symbolizing the Turia river and the naked women surrounding him personify the eight irrigation ditches of the Vega of Valencia.
Once again we return to our roots, the Muslim, who brought us the irrigation systems and taught us how to cultivate.

Due to its size, only an aerial view reveals the lattice that merges with the geometric shapes that cover the surface of the ‘Plaza de la Virgen’.

Within the whole of the intervention, a labyrinth, different areas are formed, to walk, to rest and to coexist.

Sponsored by: Alhambra beer, Ideo, Vicente Diez


Monique Bastiaans "Ejercicios para crecer" from Tano Gimenez on Vimeo.