Category Archives: EL-DRAC Gallery

The Art of Education

the art of education - what  it is and what should it be?
the art of education – what it is and what should it be?

In early 2020 we had a lot of talks about living in communities, values and goals and further activities and upcoming projects.

It was also a time to reflext about the last years. The following collection gives an overview about social educative artistic activities of our community and address one Always re-emerging question: “What is this all about?”

the art of education - exploring yourself
the art of education – exploring yourself

In spain we are runing an artist residence, the house of the dragon (CASAdelDRAGON). One key to deliver informal education is a huge garden area called the color garden. It is our campus and space for a lot of social activities like camps in nature for families with kids (left photo).

Also we are involved in the summer school activities of APEAL, which is a NGO in Bucharest (Romania).

the art of education - it stuff for informal education purpose
the art of education – it stuff for informal education purpose

For the community project of ApEAL in Chiocanesti near Bucharest we collected some IT stuff to enable the association for computerbased workshops.

the art of education - students from a german university are building bridges
the art of education – students from a german university are building bridges

A group of biology students was building a bridge over one old water channel, designed by roman and arabic conquerors. This project was not part of the original workshop but the realisation of a common wish of the students to contribute in some way to the social project of our color garden.

the art of education - participative art installation in a gallery
the art of education – participative art installation in a gallery

The CASAdelDRAGON is an artist residence, guest house and a think tank for innovative social art projects. In the basement of the house we run a gallery since more than 10 years and we use the space also for partizipative art installations like the regalo bar, a shop, in which you can not buy anything, you just can receive a donation or you can donate something to others. It was quite a challenge for latin souls to use this opportunity.

the art of education - alternative bee keeping in Castellon
the art of education – alternative bee keeping in Castellon

Part of the color garden is a vegetable garden with a lot of young fruit trees. As an addition we are involved in beekeeping in the province of Castellon. This project address the actual situation of bees between industrial agriculture, micro-economical views on nature and sustainable needs for human habitats.

the art of education - aquaponic as contemporary art
the art of education – aquaponic as contemporary art

In a relation to the MLU Halle (Martin Luther University) we hosted from time to time biology students in the guesthouse. As part of one exhibition about social art we showed an smal scale aquaponic installation.

the art of education - latin roots and european identity
the art of education – latin roots and european identity

Magda from a little village near Bucharest was sitting on the terrasse of CASAdelDRAGON and said with tears in her eyes: “I want that my Children will see what i see now!” We where thinking the same 3 years before and we invited the first kids from Romania to visit the region of Maestrazgo, the land of the templer and deeply connected to the european history. In the following years we had several groups visiting and partizipating in our social art projects and we will continue this in 2020 and further on.

the art of education - everything about love
the art of education – everything about love

In our german home unit we established the “room for art” in the basement of one house. We invited people with interest in social art and contemporary education for a one day workshop to paint together. By transforming passive visitors to active creators of their environment we sculptured their brains, following Beuys and his idea of social sculpturing.

the art of education - discovering arabic roots in spanish ground
the art of education – discovering arabic roots in spanish ground

This Hand belongs to a great person. Her name is Fadella. She was coming from Bahrein to study our community life and she gave us a very deep impact in the arabic spanish european history. Her finger points on a handmade ancient nail, laying on a stone which is part of a roman trade path (which is part of our color garden).

the art of education - lunch time
the art of education – lunch time

The hosue of the dragon is an open house. A lot of times we are sitting together and share the Food whioch guests and Friends and visitors. These events are not intensivly organised and prepared and they appear more spontaniosly – but exactly this delives a flair, with is great and special.

the art of education - a christmas market in south France
the art of education – a christmas market in south France

Our close friend Anne is runing a severgardens project in south France. Part of this UNESCO featured project is to explore, develop and share knowledge about natural pigments and dye techniques and ways to produce natural colors for artistic purpose (which is also part of our activities in the color garden in spain). We spend a very cold and long day in France to connect locals with organic products and techniques and developed some connections for the project of Anne.

the art of education - a lecture about social science
the art of education – a lecture about social science

Following an invitation we gave some lectures in Germany for students of Biology. Partizipative strategies and methods of social art projects for science and classical education might re-design the thinking of former education.

the art of education - AMAL - and a happy new year
the art of education – AMAL – and a happy new year

In the educative space of Cecile – permaculture Penyaflor – near Tortosa we invited the guests to paint with us, reflecting the theme L.O.V.E. Later these art works became part of an exhibition under the title AMAL.

the art of education - workshop for leader
the art of education – workshop for leader

In Romania we organised a workshop about leadership. A group of children, teachers, government officials and social workers was involved to create a game about leading a summercamp for youth. The game will be published as part of another social art project ARTSURPRISE. It will be a tool to train youth in social leadership.

the art of education - where we go Cecile?
the art of education – where we go Cecile?

The missing link is another social art project in which we connect social spaces like Ceciles Permaculture Penyaflor, EcoTros or others. Quo vadis – the question for all of us and especially for social entrepreneurs like Cecile.

the art of education - a rocket stove for lunch time
the art of education – a rocket stove for lunch time

German students are buildung a rocket stove in the color garden. They are highly motivated by creating the foundation of something useful for the lunch of the next day (and the next day was really the next day!).

the art of education - light sculptures in Girona
the art of education – light sculptures in Gerona

In another open social space, the masia from Francesc, a friend living close to Gerona, was th stage for one art performance in the night. We created some light sculptures in the dark and enjoyed a conversation about art and relevance and sustainability of contemporary art.

the art of education - self organised cooking event as informal learning session
the art of education – self organised cooking event as informal learning session

To transform a passive event of a lunch into an active partizipation of the guests we invited some creatives in the color garden to prepare and enjoy local food and experimental cooking.

the art of education - learning as a personal process
the art of education – learning as a personal process

Learning something is in our opinion a personal process embedded into a social environment in which the person is free to discover and receive what (s)he is Looking for. Therefor the job of a contemporary living community with the goal of establishing a social space for informal learning and personal happiness is to create this space, to maintain it and to protect it.

the art of education - the free university of informal education
the art of education – the free university of informal education

Tine gave a workshop about awareness and meditation. The workshop was part of the educative activities of our free University (UNIIE). This underline, that we see our task more in enableling the space for informal learning than to just offer workshops.

A lot of people have a lot to tell. We want to enable them to do this… and to enjoy it at the same time.

the art of education - sense and meaning in life
the art of education – sense and meaning in life

Life brings people to the house of the dragon and they continue their way through their lifes. Some of them, as the nordic nod mosaic in the kitchen of the CASAdelDRAGON reflects, find back later and enjoy another time what they created and what others created in between.

If you have been reading this article till now – something we appreaciate a lot – you might belong to a group of people who really want to go deep into something. If you cross all These pieces of Information and ask yourself where is the red line in all of this, it is the power and success of partizipative art and ist influence on contemporary education. We are not aware about the outcome but we feel to be part of a wider movement of a lot of creative people all over the world. And even if we do not know if we will reach the goal, we are happy on the way.

Somewhere over the rainbow – the healing snake – Part 2

the healing snake in the CASAdelDRAGON
the healing snake in the CASAdelDRAGON

In the last days of 2019 we finished the healing snake in the house of the dragon in Spain. The missing link in the construction between the second and first floor was, together with the final skin (trencadis), the last big task (how it started here…).

the healing snake in the CASAdelDRAGON - details
the healing snake in the CASAdelDRAGON – details

The snake contains a little bottle. It is a kind of postbox for wishes. Every visitor in CASAdelDRAGON who remember this secret feature can receive a message from an former visitor and (s)he could place another new message for the next.

Everybody who will pass this snake on the way to the Terrasse or living room will pass this special postbox. We will see how it will be used by the guests.

Most of the ceramic tails are collected of the last 35 years. The mix of colors and pieces represents also the creative history of ceramic mosaics in the house and around and on the color garden of our artist residence. Like a quotation to all this works some pieces also found their way to be part of the skin of this snake.

Also there are some blue ceramics from Penyflor, a donation from Cecile, running a permaculture garden near Tortosa. We see this as a reference to a lot of alternative living community projects and we like this link between these hotspots of new emerging community designs.

Another source of material was realised by left-overs form the family. Ceramics of broken cups and dishes where used as well, like a quotation to Gaudi and his advise to the bricklayers and construction workers to take their broken dishes to build some details of park Guell in Barcelona.

the healing snake in the CASAdelDRAGON - the new living room
the healing snake in the CASAdelDRAGON – the new living room

Between 50 and 200 guests are passing the CASAdelDRAGON per year (since 1987) and they all contributed in one or another way to the history of the place. For most of the visitors the place and its temporary inhabitants are a challenge, sometimes a provocation – not in an aggressive way but by questioning fundamentally personal decisions and values brave and strong.

As we know from feedback for most of the visitors it was a positive experience and more and more are returning after years to the place to revisit and to maintain the idea of another form of community life, based on donation without expectation.

The snake will be a silent but visible representation of these very private ways to personal happiness. And on the way, you could receive a message, if you find the secret mailbox.

MUARCO – the museum of contemporary art

MUARCO - the museum of contemporary art
MUARCO – the museum of contemporary art

Familiafeliz is a contemporary living commmunity and therefor we like contemporary art as well.

In 2020-01-01 we celebrated the groundbreaking for the building of MUARCO (museo de arte contemporaneo) in the colorgarden of the artist residence CASAdelDRAGON.

Several friends helped us and we placed a message to the future in a bottle inside of the foundation.

The museum will host contemporary art of international artists and it will be playground and part of the examination of a contemporary museum as an institution.

The museum publish news under its own website.

At the border of communication

at the border of communication
at the border of communication – sculpture by Nora Valdez (ARG)

If you visit the art camp, which is part of the colorgarden of the CASAdelDRAGON in Cervera del Maestre (Castellon) you might have a look at the amazing sculpture realized by Nora Valdez. You might also think about the meaning of this artwork – Nora decided the title “communication” – and about the background and the circumstances, how this sculpture from an international famous artist arrived in this place.

Here we want to share this story with you. And at the end we will invite you, to be part of a new story…

at the border of communication - laying of foundation stones
at the border of communication – laying of foundation stones

Whenever humans are trying to motivate themselves they imagine a result or outcome. By visualising your dreams, desires and wishes you make a first big step to realize the work itself. When Nora was clear about her project she invited some wwoofers and friends to join the process of creation. In a first step everybody was writing a message in a bottle.

It was a magic moment. Everybody was surrounded by others but after a short time everybody was in her/his own world thinking an feeling what would be a message to the future, and how to express it.

at the border of communication - helping hands all around
at the border of communication – helping hands all around

To work out a bigger art project like this the artist is relaying humans, ressources, time, knowledge and many other things. Entusiastic helpers mixed the concrete for the foundation and later the soil-clay-cal-cement mix for the construction. Like a lot of international art projects in CASAdelDRAGON it was a team of art lovers from Slowenia, France, Hungaria, England, Poland, Spain and Germany who helped Nora to make it happened.

at the border of communication - the creation process
at the border of communication – the creation process

Nora is a real self made artist, comming from drawing she explored her love for carving and sculpturing in Italy in an art symphosium long time ago. Working with a block and exploring the sculpture inside is a mental movement from the big raw outside to the little secret inside. In this project Nora had to take the opposite direction.

CASAdelDRAGON is not funded by public. There are no companies sponsoring the social art projects till now (2019). If an artist choose the art residency he will be part of the friends, visitors and guests and woofers in the house at that time. The artist could use free leftovers and local material, sponsored by the living community FamiliaFeliz. So Nora could use only what was available at that time in the art camp, some bricks, soil, cement, cal and some tools.

It was a big challenge for Nora to figure out a reverse process of adding material to a given piece instead carving away what hide the wanted outcome.

at the border of communication - the inner dialoge
at the border of communication – the inner dialoge

Improvising cheap solutions and using as much as possible organic natural materials or recycling is the common way in the art camp. The soil-cal-cement mix (4:1:1+water) is a very useful material to build the structure and later the shape of the sculpture. Once mixed its usable for hours and can be rewatered again to expand the usable time.

at the border of communication - the hidden champions
at the border of communication – the hidden champions

To make it happen – is a process and with gratitude pointing out all the helpers who contributed to this art project it is a form of respect to think about them for a while. People like Nina or Rebekka or Francesca where working behind the scene to prepare the food and to serve the daily needs for all. People like Karsten contributed to our budget to make us able to buy good organic food for all. Even harvesting almonds for tasty cakes to reenergize the team to work on the art project was the amazing outcome of this artistic intervention. And Amanda was cooking and cleaning a lot every day – these are really the hidden champions of this project.

at the border of communication - the sculpture in the art camp
at the border of communication – the sculpture in the art camp

Painted with minerals the sculpture got its final shape.

There are plenty of untold stories about this sculpture done in summer 2019 in the art camp of CASAdelDRAGON. Its up to everybody to reflect and re-think about this time. The house of the dragon is a mysterical place. This location provides magical moments, awareness and peace. And even its peace is unhiding our fear.

Everybody might look at the work from a subjective perspective and will make up the mind with a personal interpretation. Here is not the place for this. Great art does not need so many words. And this is great art.

If you have a look at this artwork you will be able to share the history of its creation with others. A lot of times – if we see something amazing – we would like to be part of the process of creation as an eyewitness or active contributer. Sure its not possible for this one. But as i promised before i will end with my personal invitation to you.

You can be part of a new story, you could join a team of creative international supporters and help the next artist to give life to his dream. Or maybe you are the next artist and you like to create your sculpture embedded in an international community. You are welcome.

Nora Valdez donated this sculpture to the citizens of Cervera del Maestre, the guests of CASAdelDRAGON and the visitors of the art camp and the color garden. She placed her artwork like a message in a bottle. She decided the title Communication. In the name of all who helped and supported this project: Thank you, Nora!

The power of passion

the-power-of-passion - the dragon dream
the-power-of-passion – the dragon dream

In November 2017 Viane was facing some new challenges. After preparing a part of the working bench in our open kitchen near the vegetable garden she focused a grew wall. This wall is part of the kitchen structure and on top of a foundation layed out by Margret, Mariella and others in 2015.

If we realize how many people in the last years where working at this place: its amazing. Some of them had the chance to meet in place, some of them are not aware about the former or following worker. But all their work and contruction is part of the story of CASAdelDRAGON and FamiliaFeliz – and therefor also part of this story.

the-power-of-passion - giving birth to an idea
the-power-of-passion – giving birth to an idea

Viane started to draw a sketch on the wall. Over three days she was looking and thinking and trying to find the right proportion and expression. Finally she get very sure about her design.

the-power-of-passion - facing the crystal bullet
the-power-of-passion – facing the crystal bullet

The first dragon was showing up in the color garden. But it took more than 12 month to continue the work.

the-power-of-passion - wings get shape
the-power-of-passion – wings get shape

Antje and Corinna started to work from outside to inside. The selection of colors was decided by both of them. As a quotation to the dragon on the wall of the artist residence CASAdelDRAGON they selected also last leftover pieces of its lightful blue color.

the-power-of-passion - trencadis - being in a flow
the-power-of-passion – trencadis – being in a flow

The white glue (special product to stick ceramics on walls) is waterbased, usable for some hours and give enough time for relaxed progress.

the-power-of-passion - trencadis - all about love
the-power-of-passion – trencadis – all about love

As a passionate tribute to a big love Juan added the heart in the center in late 2018.

the-power-of-passion - trencadis - the finish
the-power-of-passion – trencadis – the finish

In spring 2019 Antje and Corinna finished the work in a two week session.

the-power-of-passion - trencadis - nearly done
the-power-of-passion – trencadis – nearly done

The dragon as a positive symbol of power and passion and health will be part of the history of the color garden. This dragon will focus the crystal bullet in the wall, aware about the future of this space.

the-power-of-passion - trencadis - the power of love
the-power-of-passion – trencadis – the power of love

In early summer the dragon was finished. He is waiting now for the next sessions around him to continue the work on this open kitchen.

We should never underestimate the power of passion, to create an idea, to start, to continue and to finish a joyful project. Even if it takes sometimes years to succeed we should never give up our dreams. What remains until the end: the power of love.

Klangprobe – sound sculptures by Andreu Ubach

experimental sound performance by Andreu Ubach

Monday, 2019-08-12 – 7pm – CASAdelDRAGON – sound performance and social sculpture featured by Andreu Ubach – admission free

As a homage to the sound sculpture pioneers, the Baschet Brothers, the Catalan artist Andreu Ubach performs in the gallery of the artist residence CASAdelDRAGON with self invented sound instruments.

In the special environment of the exhibition space, Ubach invites guests to create an experimental sound collage and thus to contribute to a social accustic sculpture.

Location: CASAdelDRAGON, Las Parras, 19, 12578 Cervera del Maestre, Castellon

Encoding realities – the journey of Arlo Laibowitz

CASAdelDRAGON – the spanish location of familiafeliz – is a artist residence since more than 30 years. We hostet artists from all over the world. The visual artist Arlo Laibowitz visited us several times in 2018 and 2019. He partizipated in exhibitions, art performances and in the daily life in the familiafeliz community.

The burning heart sculpture - artwork of Arlo Laibowitz in the sculpture garden of CASAdelDRAGON
The burning heart sculpture – artwork of Arlo Laibowitz in the sculpture garden of CASAdelDRAGON

Artists are coming and going all the time. Arlo gave us a strong impact and high motivation to continue the project of hosting artists and give them space to develop their art projects. In a microeconomy driven world it might be not easy for a non profit orientated project without any public or private funding to organise accommodation, catering, hosting and social art activities but artists are also creative in finding solutions for that.

Arlo is working worldwide (Las Vegas, Shanghai, Barcelona, Valencia) and part of the burning community and engaged in figuring out new art performances based on temporal installations all the time.

Uncertanty is the space for evolution and the emergent feature of Love. Happy birthday, Arlo!

Juan Petry

Arlo is a storyteller and he tells his stories by using the wide range of media which is available for contemporary artists of this century.

In his new project he will create a tree of love for the upcoming burning event NOWHERE 2019. He used crowdfunding to succeed (deadline beginning of june 2019). CASAdelDRAGON offer the space for premanufacturing the segments. Arlo will gather a group of supporters to prepare and move the parts to the festival in summer 2019.

Virtual worlds and media are playgrounds to discover and simulate reality in a laboratorial environment, but we should bring into account that we do this to face a glimp of reality and to get closer to the brain of others.

Arlo is passionated in cooking as well as in using all media to deliver the story, to reach the other, to get in touch with the audience and to get in touch with himself.

Nowhere is a good sample for his journey. It is a project to gather people, to enjoy the moment and to share happiness. The temporary momentum of the Tree of Love will remind us, to enjoy this moment.

Luftmensch - Arlo Laibowitz art work 2018
Luftmensch – Arlo Laibowitz art work 2018

Family Constellation

family-constellation-familiafeliz
family-constellation-familiafeliz

In early march 2019 we had some visitors from Germany, a young family with 2 kids. Lea the woman, started the communication with us and finally they arrived, coming from France on their way to Portugal. They parked their Camper Van in the garden area under a big carob tree and joined us in some tasks in the garden.

family-constellation-familiafeliz
family-constellation-lunch under olive trees

In the last four years we had several times families with young kids at our place, and a lot of times we have requests or applications from single-mums with a little child on the way to search for a siutablle community.

In most of the times we are asked if there are other kids in the community. We have to say NO (because we talk the truth), not yet. The normal reply is than: “Ok thanks but i am looking for a bigger community with children because i want that my child is playing with others and i want exchange and sharings with other mums.”

As long as nobody want to be the first, it will not work in our place. We are just in the process to create a community life here in CASAdelDRAGON and we need people willing to start something from scratch.

family-constellation-familiafeliz
family-constellation-space for peace in the garden area

We enjoyed another time the visit of this family with kids and we ask them for a short review on their stay in the color garden.

“Searching for communities and different ways of life, we made our first stop at Familia Feliz in Cervera. We had read about a dyer’s garden. We did not find what we expected, we found what we did not expect 🙂 . For example we found in the garden: Philosophy of life, rooted in simplicity and expectionlessness; very different kind of fruits connected like a mycelium, unclear to the naked eye wheather its one organism, several or plenty; a place where every plant can find its place to grow.  One thing is sure: never expect to find what we found – a garden is constantly changing and there is so much space to grow… Thank you very much! We had a very enriching and inspiring stay enjoying our time together a lot. All the best!”

We have to say thank you. Both adults where very social and helping in construction. We created a place to prepare the food in the open kitchen of the art camp.

Pictures of an exhibition – participatory social art performance

On the artist website www.petry.eu you could read a quot from Elon Musk: “I wanted to be involved in things that would change the world.” and the reply from the spanish german artist Juan Petry: “I wanted to be involved in worlds that would change the thing.” Following his mission to figure out agagin and again new kinds of participatory social sculptures he invited friends and neighbours – with the german artist Rolf Habel – to a very special art exhibition.

Under the titlle “Copii de Ciocanesti – the kids of Ciocanesti” he mounted 14 canvas in the “room for art” in Windeck near Cologne, in our second home unit in Germany.

Every canvas was related to a real human friend in the area of Ciocanesti, a villlage 31 kilometer far from the capital Bucharest in Romania. Laura, Raluca, Irina and all the other children of the yearly summer school where described with a portrait foto, a short description and some information about their role in this summer school event.

The “special” in this exhibition was the issue, that no painting was worked out. Petry had mounted white canvas at each place.

Before the audiance entered the exhibition space, Petry talked about his experience in the summer school in the last two years and his workshops and the lovely people in Romania.

After a walk from canvas to canvas talking about the little stories related to the kids of Ciocanesti the audience started to work out all paintings. Everybody choosed 3 or 4 stories and they organised themselves in teams to paint 14 works in 4 hours.

Finally all art works where mounted again and we all enjoyed a walk through this “pictures of an exhibition”.

This is one of the works, titled: “Raluca”.