Barbarita´s life in seashells

Barbarita´s life in seashellsIn the sunset she walks through the beaches of Cienfuegos city; the shore is the target for her sharp-witted eyesight. No one could tell her purpose, people only watch carefully a woman looking for shells, small corals and seashells that will take texture and form in Eugenia Bárbara Reyes Fuentes´ collections.

Imagination knows no boundaries for her, barely having vision in only one eye this ordinary and vivacious woman materializes the muses of her inspiration. “La vida en caracoles” (Life in seashells) is the name of the most recent exposition from Barbarita´s (as she is called), in the Provincial Museum and it deals with the use of these organic resources in the handcraft miniature confection.
Her creations represent the fauna: dinosaurs, roosters, doves, swans and flamingoes form the whole collection and suggest movement, energy:

Why this preference on the animal world?

“Honestly I don´t know; my inspiration is very spontaneous, everything comes from my mind; sometimes I try to hold images from the animals I see on TV and quickly build them with my shells before the idea scapes from me. I often find mollusks that resemble some other animal and so I almost have the piece made right from the beach”.

Restless and selfless, Eugenia tells about her days of fast at her home´s workshop, in which she assures to do evertything handmade using tools created by herself. Twizers, handmade glue and a delicate brush are the daily witnesses of her endeavor and passion.

“For example, I haven´t slept today, I´m too anxious and I spent the night creating new still wet figures for the exposition. I always think of doing more and more”.

The existance that emanates from Barbarita´s essence and skill have not only been shown in seashells but also in pieces of soap, an ability repeatedly awarded in national contests sponsored by the Cuban Association for Craftsmen and Artists (spanish acronym ACAA) and a First Prize in the “Hecho a mano” (Handmade) workshop in Cienfuegos city with expositions like the current one:

“I am very open to the critic; I feel that is the best form of improving my work; I stand next to the visitors and listen to their comments, I look like one of them; their words of encouragement stimulate me a lot as well as the support from my family, my neighbors and also the senior people from the place where I work as a security guard”.

Only a year and a half ago Eugenia Bárbara decided to present her creations and today she is quite admired by everyone. Perfection in the details of her pieces, the outstanding aesthetic magnitude and the intentional nuance above technique define the artistic peculiarity of the authoress.

Every shade and nacre piece find the perfect place in the works.

Specialists stress the conservationist nature of this series, a most of this globalized world and valid in a city that holds the condition of Cultural Heritage of Mankind.

Coming challenges?

“I always set new goals for myself; now I´m planning to build a map of Cuba using seashells and represent every province with an animal; for doing so I need resources and time; that is my next aim”.

Essential rescue and representative of our cultural identity, Bárbara´s ethnic objects shine in the central- southern part of Cuba, a touristic pole and location of a true sea tradition, prototype of the community´s social imagination.

{xtypo_rounded2} The handcraft made from seashells qualify among the objects accepted by UNESCO as “handmade” and they are also catalogued as “recycled” handcraft. History reveals their abundancy in the 19th century, specially made by nuns.
Now-a-days they form compilations in the museums and art galleries for antiques in the world, mainly due to their aesthetic value and the characteristics of manufacture, hard to achieve industrially.

El autor

Redacción Digital

Editor web de las Redacción Digital del Canal de televisión Perlavisión, de la ciudad cubana de Cienfuegos.

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