Gaudi in Barcelona, A reflection by Katie Weitzman

Recently during my trip to Barcelona, I decided to visit some of Gaudi’s architectural work in attempt to gain inspiration from his unique and flamboyant designs. His works are located all around Barcelona- however the ones I visited were ‘La Pedrera’, ‘Basilica of the Sagrada Familia’, and ‘Casa Batllo’.

The first building that I visited was ‘La Pedrera’. The construction took 6 years and is now a world heritage site, as it was previously built for a wealthy couple, who hired the famous architect. It is now surrounded my many high street shops and other art galleries within the busy street life. As well as the ‘Casa Batllo’, which is a 5 minute walk away from it, they both stand grandly amongst modern city life.

The two buildings were very different in design, yet it was obvious that they were Gaudi’s designs due to his distinct works. ‘La Pedrera’ was eye- catching – each balcony rail was a sculpture of it’s own. They give an eerie and ghostly effect to the building, almost giving a spiderweb effect to the building by covering the windows. The rails also had figurative detail imposed in them, for example some included faces and birds within their ribbon-like design. The immense detail was different to what I had seen before, although there are detailed and authentic buildings in London, the wavy shape of the building in addition the balcony rails give it elements of surrealism, which was the main source of inspiration to me, as I would like to create a scenery with a surreal-imposed element to it, maybe by distorting my own pieces of work. The inspiration of this was further fuelled by the ‘Casa Batllo’. This was a very expressive, colourful building which was not as eerie as ‘La Pedrera’, but again was very dreamlike- highlighting how distinct Gaudi’s style was.

The other building that I visited was ‘Basilica of the Sagrada Familia’- an unfinished cathedral. To me, it looks like many different types of buildings merged together, as it looks like a different building from different angles. One side highlights themes of the crucifixion
through his design which is more angular and depressing, whereas the other side is more uplifiting, and organic. The design contains more life forms such as more animal sculptures, angels and musical instruments. The main inspiration that this piece of architecture gave me was the idea of contrasting feelings and emotions all projected through one piece of art.

From the experience of visiting Gaudi’s work , I have been inspired by two main themes- surrealism and the idea of contrasting themes. I could do this possibly through distortion of my work, maybe using photoshop on past pieces of work that I have done.

review by Katie Weitzman

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