Barrio Fiesta

Whilst working with my Warwickshire Open Studios series, I became nostalgic about fiestas. Perhaps, becoming slightly homesick, again (a perennial problem for me). For the uninitiated – they are simply parties, a good excuse for getting together, sharing food and feeding people in a spirit of generosity. Where I come from, there is a religious subtext, usually associated with saints and thanksgiving. To this day, I get all nostalgic when I reminisce on the fiestas I have participated in as a child growing up in rural Philippines, where small villages are still called barrios.

What I love most about these gatherings, are of course, the colourful food! I could spend hours just observing them, and sketching them. My grandma was an old hand at these fiestas, and she used to cook the most amazing dishes. I just remember the hubub in her house, as all her friends and neighbours descend upon us to sample her cooking. The whole experience is so full of positive energy, good natured laughter, many, many stories, music and spontaneous dancing! This work is my way of visualing such a memory.

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