Art adn Handycraft
Minorca has been the artist’s muse for ages. Its natural beauty and special way of giving colour to everything, has become a never ending source of inspiration for painters of all time, who have projected their landscapes on their canvases on uncountable occasions. The love and admiration towards this island has been confessed in many written verses by poets and its magic has given birth to the best musical compositions by musicians through out history.
Historically, Minorca’s art has been conditioned and has developed according to external elements of each period. Until the arrival of nowadays, the Minorcan artists have been influenced through out time, by craftsmen and Catalan and valencian artists, sailors and traders in contact with the Italian Renaissance or by the british occupation. Everyone has agreed in enhancing the expressive strength of the island’s natural elements, ever since the portrait painter Giuseppe Chiesa reflected with true resemblance the reality of the time. One can encounter, at any of the different museums around the island, artists such as Pascual Calbó, Francesc Hernández Monjo as well as the most recent works of painters such as Torrent or Vives Llull.
The island’s beauty has suggested themes for great writers like Josep Pla in his journeys to Minorca, as well as a number of Minorcan poets outstanding Ruiz y Pablo or Gumersind Riera from the immense quantity of artists.
Traditional folk music has always occupied an important place in the Minorcan society. Its references to the popular customs and the island’s landscapes can still be appreciated listening to new musicians who have managed to adapt such a rich source of traditional music to their repertoire.
Minorca’s handicraft continues to be more alive than ever. The island’s craftsmen have traditionally manged to transmit their skills and inspire with their art, the desire for tradition, new creators.
The relevance of this sector on the island is shown at the Minorcan Handicraft Fare, where the hands of those who have the knowledge to transform prime material into beauty gather. The diversity of handicraft made by the masters of woodwork for the manufacture of farming tools is such that they are famous for the manufacturing of the traditional Minorcan gates commonly seen among the country scenery of the island.
Some craftsmen, such as pottery makers and jewellers, collaborate with their signature incorporating new techniques and materials into the traditional pieces. Creativity and experience is also shown in the shoe making sector, combing avant guard trend and all time traditional handicraft in their designs. A special mention has to be made about the “abarcas”; a popular footwear born in the countryside, which are made from leather and tyre sole. We can still find craftsmen today who manufacture them to fit.