The Second Trip to the Island of Lanzarote with Cesar Manrique
Just as in 2019, this photo trip was an indirect follow up to my courses on alternative landscape photography. Again, we let ourselves be inspired by the personality and works of this unique artist. In contrast to the trip of 2019 there were 8 of us photographers, which is quite a big group in terms of organization.
The trip itself was organized by CK Fischer (via the Indivindi agency from Jablonec) since we had good experience with them the first time. We booked a multivan as our means of transport. We were also curious to see what Lanzarote looked like in post-covid times and to what extent there were any restrictions in place and if they would limit us in any way. It must be said that the Spanish did not go to extremes with restrictions, nevertheless, the ones they had in place were controlled. All the places we went to were open, but masks were unconditionally required.
The goal of the photo trip, just like two years ago, was not to replicate Manrique’s work, but rather to attempt to see the island with his eyes. Photography is not painting but it is not a mere documentary tool either. We wanted to get inspired by his works and thoughts – painting, architecture, sculpture, windmills…
We started our work straight away on the first day by visiting the César Manrique Foundation in Tahiche, where we got a great surprise. Instead of the paintings that would regularly be shown there, we could see the special exhibition dedicated to his hundredth birthday anniversary (which was extended by two years due to covid). We could watch several documentaries that introduced César to us as a very colourful personality, not unlike the hippies, but also deeply immersed in the reality of the island. We all agreed that it was very fortunate that we could see these facts on film. You can watch one of the documentaries here.
Painting was at the core of all Manrique’s creative activities. He considered painting to be a form of research which confirms the idea that all his works in other areas were nothing but further development of the forms he had “experimented” with on canvas.
Gradually, we visited the main places associated with his work:
Jameos del Agua, Mirador del Rio, César Manrique Foundation, Al Campesino, César Manrique’s House Museum, Montanas del Fuego (Timanfaya), LagOmar Museum, Cueva de los Verdes. You can read a little bit about each of them here.
Besides these locations, we also took the opportunity to enjoy other beautiful sites on the island: Arecife (Isla del Frances, Castillo de San Gabriel, laguna), Teguise and its surroundings, Pico Alto /Tenesar, Mirador de Guinate, Mirador de Ermita de las Nieves, Caleta de Famara, vinice nad Yiazou, Caldera Colorada, El Golfo a Los Hervideros, Salina de Janubio. Often, I struggled to get the fellow landscape photographers back on track of the objective of our trip, but there was no wonder – on the first visit, Lanzarote will completely mesmerize you with its specific volcanic landscape “stripped to the bone”.
The unifying objective of our trip, just like in 2019, was and is to prepare a joint e-book, which we will want to share around Christmas time. For me, personally, this second trip was also the end of my project on Manrique. For the first time I tried, despite the windy weather, to make a video using a drone (where it was possible, there are quite strict flight restrictions and I did not want to infringe them) and also, when planning for the journey I also planned for multiple exposure in the camera – after all, similar planning can be expected in connection with Joan Miró.
Well, coming up are Turner and Miró – with some of you, I will share these journeys. But those are plans for 2022 and 2023. Before the next shared e-book is out, look at the gallery from the works at the island (most of these reportage photos are from Patrik Manina, thank you!!!) and a video report that can be seen here.
In Liberec, 19.10.2021