Arte Para Todos 2010 Sevilla, Spain / by EricOkdeh

Photo by Caleb Neelon In September 2010 I travelled to Sevilla, Spain to participate in Arte Para Todos. Art For All was a two week public art event in which 40 artists, muralists and sculptors from all over the world came to transform the neighborhood of Poligono San Pablo into a gallery of international public work.

Organized by Peter Claesson of Indigoincoming, the objective was to "offer the opportunity for citizens to enjoy public art, as well as to offer the city an improvement of the public spaces that invites us to reflect and transmit positive messages". The theme for the event was a broad idea of "Global Community, Local Culture." We were encouraged to think of people envisioning solutions to global problems on the local level; as well as the UN's Millenium Development Goals. The following two links go deeper into the UN's Development Goals, and the Arte Para Todos website.

My mural design has its roots in the practice of Biomimicry. Biomimicry is a fundamental shift in scientific thinking pioneered by biologist Janine Benyus in which one "borrows nature’s design principles to create more-sustainable products and processes." The main figure in the design finds herself trying to improve upon a solar cell. Scientists have gone the route of Biomimicry by studying photosynthesis in order to create a better solar cell.

The Imagery throughout the design depicts natural elements and occurrences whose properties have been closely studied by scientists in effort to mimic their effects. For example; Coral Reefs have taught us how to reduce the CO2 that is released during the process of making cement. Hawks quickly attain great heights with little energy through riding pockets of air called "thermals". The strength of spiderwebs can inform improvements in engineering. Gecko feet are being closely studied to devise ways to improve glue adhesion through more natural means.

The forest scene on the right recalls Benyus' quote "we need to develop roots and habitate symbiotically where we are." Benyus explains that organisms in a mature forest are very efficient. They make the most of the limited resources and develop cooperative relationships.

The design itself is based on the Fibonacci Spiral, a mathematically proportionate pattern that regularly occurs in nature.

The embedded slideshow below comes from my main page, it goes into the making of the project in detail. The overall mural took 2 weeks to complete. We worked hard every day, to see our individual projects through. Spain was an unforgettable experience. I look forward to the next Arte Para Todos.