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Wonderful Blood


This is the starting point of a series of drawings (and book) I am calling ‘Wonderful Blood’ -A Visual Theology On Blood-.

With this project I am making through drawings a visual investigation on christian blood cult, mostly from western european XIV-XV centuries, going through eucharistic (eaten and visual), relics, bleeding objects and images, visions, apparitions, pilgrimages, art representations, legends, private and public devotional phenomena, theological controversies, and so on.

In a way this project is a continuation of something I started with my book of drawings (230) ‘The Red Cathedral’ (2013-2014), although in that book I treated christian imagery and phenomena as well as its “holy matter” characteristics in very general terms. In this occasion I am focusing solely on Blood cult and devotion as the “holy matter” and visual means those cults were performed with.

I kind of abandoned the drawing style and visual patterns I developed with ‘The Red Cathedral’, but I find that language I created is a perfect tool to go through this subject, so I am recovering that way of drawing and working. But I will be developing other projects on the same subject using other kind of techniques as well.

My interest for holy matter and holy materiality started when years ago I read about the concepts of 'Immanence' in saint Augustine works and how closely related the christian mystery of 'Incarnation' is with the inherence of the divine and the spirit in 'Matter' and in 'Image', a phenomena that in a way sums up the utterly non dualistic essence (communion between spirit and body-matter) of catholic christianity and other christian traditions. In Catholic christianity matter-body by itself is not considered evil, nor a bad thing whatsoever, and actually we can purify ourselves through a christian way of approaching matter, body, images and the whole world in general. That spiritual communion with/through matter and image quite interests me.

Back in the XIV and XV centuries it was very common the use of mental visual exercises to meditate about the life of Christ, making use or physical images and many texts that recreated very visually the episodes of his life. In those exercises we have again a communion between matter (the visualization of life) and spirit (the outcome of that visualization).

I find all of this is intimately linked too to some other subject I am very fond of: the spanish mysticism of XVI century from the catholic contra-reform times, which mystics (st. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross and many others) experienced and mostly expressed their mysticism in very “material”, visual, tactile, tasting ways. An intense 'sensuality' that in many occasions were expressed with even almost erotic means (Although not in a literal way). That “sensual” tendency is probably a direct in-heritage of sufi mysticism, since muslims occupied Spain during many centuries not so long before the times of St. teresa of Avila. In this spanish mysticism we have again an intimate communion between the divine/spirit and body/matter (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xGPHseCQrI).

In any case, all the things I’ve talked about above can be summed up on this: my interest on the “Holy Materiality” phenomena. And this project is just one piece in my research, a piece that is focused on blood cult.

The drawings I am posting here are just a slight example of what I working on. I will be posting more as the project goes along.

With the drawings I am posting pictures of some of the books I am getting inspiration from for this project, with especial attention to those of Caroline Walker Bynum.



-Man Of Sorrows As Fountain Of Life-


-The Five Wounds/Fragments Of Jesus Bleeding As One And As A Whole'


               -Blood Acheiropoietos As A Result Of A Miraculous Bleeding Chalice -


                      -Christ in the Chalice/Winepress-

 
                        -Soteriological Sacrifice Of Christ As A Bleeding And Illuminating Candle-
(Solid Wax As Body, Wick As Soul, Flame As The Divine, Melted Wax As Soteriological Blood) 


  -Five Wounds Of Jesus As Soteriological Bleeding Candles-


 
  -Saint Francis Getting The Stigmata As A Result Of Mirroring Jesus Christ-


                              -Presence Of Christ In Holy Matter/Blood-                                     -Blood As Word, Word As Blood-


                      -Soteriological drop/fragment of Christ As Soteriological Whole Of Christ (Fragment As A Whole)


                -Mass Of Saint Gregory I- 


                                                  -Holy Wounds Veil-                               -Bleeding Fragments/Pieces (Relics) of the Cross-
                         

                                          -Blood As Body, Body As Blood-                           -Pieta Of The Holy Wounds-

 -Concomitance I. Host As Body And As Blood-             -Concomitance II. Fragment As A Whole-

                                             -Taste Communion-                                                     -Visual Communion-






 

 


Sanguis Christi

This is the first piece for my series ‘Sanguis Christi’, which is a parallel project for my other series of drawings ‘Wonderful Blood’ (click here to this other series). They both work together and belong to a bigger project in which I am researching on all kind of “Holly Matter”, but with these two series I am exploring the matter of blood in western christian blood cults and devotions.
‘Sanguis Christi I’ (43X31 cm) Mixed media. -Álvaro Barcala ©-




Ángel Caído De Ningún Sitio (Angel Fallen From Nowhere)

I have published in the following blog a prose poem (in spanish. September-October 2016)) and a musical choral piece (December 2016) that work together under the title 'Ángel Caído de Ningún Sitio' (Angel Fallen From Nowhere):


Christ In The Desert

Another musical 'meditatio', this time on the time Christ spent in the desert.

Adoration of the Shepherds

Another minimalist choral/polyphonic work, titled 'Adoration of the Shepherds'.

Flight Into Egypt

A minimalist polyphonic work about the flight of Christ into Egypt . 

The Birth Of God

I've made this choral work in and for Nativity's day and I've called it 'The Birth Of God'.

One of the things that occupied my thoughts and feelings in this day is the idea of how tragic and conflictive was the context in which this event happened, despite the affable and edulcorated way it is presented nowadays with naive images of the nativity, merry carols and hyper socialized festivities.

But the mystery of incarnation occurred in total marginality (in a stable in the middle of nowhere with any kind of assistance for the birthing, which might have been quite traumatic), marked by solitude and soon conditioned by persecution and slaughter. No merry ceremony, or any kind of ceremony, for one of the most important and relevant moments for christianity, the eclosion of the incarnation of the divine into flesh.

Extrapolating this to our personal account it makes me wonder if the birth of spiritual awareness in our inner life normally happens in a context of interior marginality and solitude, or literally under such conditions.

In any case, I dedicated some valuable time this Nativity's day to meditate, visualize and internalize this "event", having actual good feelings for what  actually meant and means, but having very present at the same time the conditions under which it all happened.

This work is a musical outcome of such reflexions:


Psalm In The Desert

I've created this piece as a choral prayer in the desert.


Angel Fallen From Nowhere

I have published on my bandcamp a choral-polyphonic work I finished these days. It is titled 'Angel Fallen From Nowhere' (inspired on a prose-poem I wrote some months ago with the same title). You can listen/download it in this link:


Marian Iconography

I am working on a series of paintings about Marian Iconography. In this project I am using very simple iconographic patterns and I am proceeding in a very sketchy way since my main purpose here is not so much the artworks themselves, nor developing new visual patterns and so on, but just reading and meditating on this subject. Sometimes I like to visualize some of those reflexions, so I make these paintings quickly since they help me to internalize the concepts I'm learning,  "ruminating" or mostly giving a devotional attention to. So, now and then I am posting randomly some of these visual procedures, but they are not done so much with "artistic" intentions.




‘Lady of Lilies’. 55X60cm. Pastels on paper.



‘Eve-Mary’. 55X60cm. Pastels on paper.


‘Mary’s humility as a stairway through which the divine goes down from Heaven to Earth and into flesh’. 55X60cm. Pastels on paper.


‘Mary’s Uncorrupted Womb As Marriage Chamber Of The Divine And The Human’ 
55X60cm. Pastels on paper.



‘Mother Of The Holy Wounds’. 55X60cm. Pastels on paper.




‘Three Headed Mary’. 55X60cm. Pastels on paper.
(Theologically speaking representing Mary as a three headed trinity is quite wrong and aberrant, but when I made this image I simply wanted to see what impressions and vibes I get while contemplating it, playing with the fact as well that it is represented on the veil with its following echoes of an "image of an image" and so on)



‘Theotokos I’. 55X60cm. Pastels on paper.



‘Annunciation’. 55X60cm. Pastels on paper.





Golden Paintings

These are some few examples of the golden paintings I made in 2014 to illustrate a prose poetry book I wrote during my stay in Portugal.

                            







50 DRAWINGS TO MURDER MAGIC

This is a piece I’ve done with chorals and piano inspired by the drawings and texts Antonin Artaud made during the last period of his life while he was incarcerated in a mental asylum, before dying. While Artaud was there he filled several exercise notebooks (those for children schools) with texts, strange totemic images, pierced bodies and enigmatic machines. Two months before dying he made the last one and titled it ‘50 Drawings to Murder Magic’. It was the very last thing he wrote.




HUMO

This is my last album, mostly done with strings and wings instead of piano. It has just six tracks but their elaboration has served me as a meditative exercise. This album has been my way to express what's really inside me, getting rid of the noise of this world and just looking through the most essential things I've been able to go through.

I am releasing this album at the very end of 2016, which for me it is a very relevant thing. There has been absolutely nothing relevant for me in this year but inner search, music and inspiring readings. I have burned all the unnecessary things, all toxic people and all unnecessary circumstances. The outcome of all that burning is this: HUMO.

GLOSOLALIA

Glosolalia es una trilogía poética escrita en prosa, algo así como un diario imaginario que he realizado entre Enero y Mayo del 2016 donde simplemente he volcado mi manera de ver el mundo y a mí mismo. Este es un libro que publico como autor en el siguiente link para que pueda ser leído libremente (por favor no utilizar el material aquí mostrado sin mi permiso):


CORE. Piano album

I've just released on bandcamp my last album 'CORE', a 12 tracks project mostly based on piano and arranged at times with atmospheric strings. You can listen the whole album and/or download it from this link: 

Ballad of the Rose

I have published in the blog I'm showing in this post my whole project 'Ballad of the Rose'. This project consists of an album with seven piano tracks and a poem with twenty illustrations.