My Spain: a land revisited

The Woodland Camera Forum will present a photographic tour, “My Spain: a land revisited”, by guest photographer, Marta Altisent, of Davis. The program is on Tuesday October 17th, at 7 pm at Norton Hall, 70 Cottonwood St., Woodland.

“Looking for remote places and solace, I have been doing landscape photography for more than 20 years. As a native of Spain, my photos aim at making intelligible some qualities of the Spanish landscape as one of the oldest and most diverse territories of Europe. Away from the sound and fury of tourism and motorways, I have revisited the places I toured as a child, seeking to capture the a-temporal essences of a rural life resisting rapid industrialization. My images do not refer to places but to the sensations these places evoke. They also point to moments when the spirit of the land manifests itself in its humblest ways: the miracle of a Pyrenean waterfall in the rocky trail, the bath of the granite cliffs in the aqua waters of Menorca, the radiance of a Costa Brava beach at noon.”

“In Spain, nature is rarely wild but the intimacy of the people with the land has never been lost. A harsh habitat has formed the spirit of its inhabitants and their workings have in turn left eternal marks in the landscape. The Moorish tower standing in the midst of wheat fields; the multicolor roof-tiles of Salamanca’s cathedral; the Cubist-like compactness of Mura, Albarracín or old Madrid. These whimsical aesthetic patterns reveal an artisan spirit of perfection that has molded natural forms into everyday objects and utilitarian architecture, from the time of the Romans till the days of Antonio Gaudí.”

“Most of the pictures I exhibit belong to the first part of a book-project called: My Spain: a land revisited, in which I depict the contrasting regional nature of Spanish landscapes (coastal and mountain valleys, high plateaus, river canyons, creeks, sea shores in the provinces of Salamanca, Guadalajara, Soria, Segovia, Cuenca, Teruel, Barcelona, Girona and Balearic Islands). The second part of the book is devoted to the cultural traces of Spain’s history and to everyday city scenes. Some of these images will be accompanied by poems and literary texts of native authors.”

MARTA E. ALTISENT received her MA and PhD degrees in Spanish Literature from the University of Barcelona, Spain and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She has been a Full Professor of Modern and Contemporary Spanish Literature in the Department of Spanish and Classics at the University of California, Davis since 1984. She has also taught in Washington University, Saint Louis, and at the University of California-Berkeley. She has authored several books and articles on Spanish literary criticism and on Latin American and Catalan novelists and poets.
Since she retired from UCDavis, in 2015, Marta Altisent has devoted much more time to her passion for landscape photography. She has travelled profusely in the Iberian Peninsula for her book in-progress: Spain: Images and voices of the land; a project that combines lyrical texts and images of the Spanish land. The present photography collection, My Spain: A land revisited, is part of this project.

Members of the Woodland Camera Forum will also show and discuss prints of the photography, and the program is free and open to the public. Refreshments wil be served. For more information about the program or the WCF, contact Susan Bovey at (530) 219-0955, or visit the website at .

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