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Rebuilding Guernica

   by Emily Camp for Re-Invent a Work of Art (2013)

Inspiration Piece: Guernica

Inspiration Artist: Pablo Picasso

Materials:
Arm/oak tree: cardboard armature held together with glue, covered with paper mache using newsprint packing strips, dipped in water and laced with glue. Topped with wire branches stretching out from each finger.
Balcony window: channels cut into blocks to support window and act as lower part of building. Wood panels for the window, shutters and railing. For extra support in the back of window I cut strips from the top surface of cardboard and glued them to back of windows (and building as well) to act as tape. Flowering plant: shaped with plastic molding beads. Balcony railing was set in place using hot glue stick.
Horseman and woman: clay figures, fabric for shawl and kerchief, supported in the back with wire.
Horse: floral foam block sectioned, cut, stacked, glued, and painted. Harness from rope attached with glue. Tail from rope folded over a piece of wire which was inserted into the foam.
Building: arch cut into canvas panel and separated for top and bottom section, then glued to cardboard sides. Wood panel (cut in 3 sections – two for main supports, one for bottom of grate). Wooden dowels are used for pillars and bars on grate, fabric glued into opening and painted for distant scenery. To add depth to the stone, I cut 1" strips of paper off of the cardboard and attached it to the edge of the building.
Ground covering: cobblestone - painted onto wood panels and grass made of newsprint strips chopped then mixed w/water, glue and paint.

The work of art that I chose to recreate is Picasso’s painting Guernica. Rather than build upon the destruction of the city; I decided to focus on the hint of hope for the future that is represented in the simple form of a flower growing through the midst of the chaos. Perhaps the flower even represents the “Gernikako Arbola” - a sacred oak tree that symbolized the freedoms of the Basque people, which incredibly managed to survive the actual attacks as the rest of the city crumbled around it.
I decided to tie those two signs of hope together. In the original, a severed arm lays in the foreground. Here, it grows up from ground - into the form of the oak, the flower of hope is represented by a flowering plant growing on the balcony. The mother and baby become the mother and children. The horseman walks his horse, and the wounded woman stands on both legs. As in the painting, the characters look up – not helplessly to the heavens as bombs fall from the sky – but to the branching oak as Guernica rebuilds itself around it. I think that this peaceful version of Guernica represents the future that Picasso was hoping for when he added that simple flower.

The work of art that I chose to recreate is Picasso’s painting Guernica. Rather than build upon the destruction of the city; I decided to focus on the hint of hope for the future that is represented in the simple form of a flower growing through the midst of the chaos. Perhaps the flower even represents the “Gernikako Arbola” - a sacred oak tree that symbolized the freedoms of the Basque people, which incredibly managed to survive the actual attacks as the rest of the city crumbled around it.
I decided to tie those two signs of hope together. In the original, a severed arm lays in the foreground. Here, it grows up from ground - into the form of the oak, the flower of hope is represented by a flowering plant growing on the balcony. The mother and baby become the mother and children. The horseman walks his horse, and the wounded woman stands on both legs. As in the painting, the characters look up – not helplessly to the heavens as bombs fall from the sky – but to the branching oak as Guernica rebuilds itself around it. I think that this peaceful version of Guernica represents the future that Picasso was hoping for when he added that simple flower.

 


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