Daniel Luque I Vélez-Málaga (Málaga), (EFE).- The art that springs from lifeless nature. A hundred-year-old ficus from the Malaga town of Vélez-Málaga, which is already dead, is acquiring a second life thanks to the work of two sculptors in charge of making different artistic figures “sprout” from the long-lived tree.
From its branches germinate figures that refer to emblems of this town, such as a cat on a stack of books, in honor of two of the best-known passions of the most illustrious veleña, the philosopher María Zambrano; or a guitar that seems to be playable, due to its incredible details, by the flamenco singer Juan Breva.
Three snails that seem to slide down one of the upper branches of the tree honor the poet José Martín Ortega “Miguiña”, who is said to have been looking for these molluscs to sell and get extra money. A Malaga goat and a rooster, so representative of the city according to the locals, adorn other joints of the tree.
Symbols and representative animals of Malaga
You can see other animals such as the chameleon, in danger of extinction, and another very characteristic of the locality, the veleño buchón pigeon, named for its exaggerated crop and which stands out at one end of the branch of this ficus that attracts the gaze of local inhabitants and visitors.
The representation of multiple animals seems to fulfill the purpose of giving life to a tree that no longer has it, but some utensils such as a jug are also made from it. Two arms that protrude from the root firmly hold the trunk of the ficus so that it resists the passage of time.
The objective of the initiative is to give “fruit” to this tree and for it to be “admired and enjoyed by the people,” sculptor José Casamayor told EFE. The artist, who explains that he started by making a sketch but had to improvise some parts, points out that people enjoy “a unique work” on a 112-year-old tree.
This sculpture, according to the gallery owner Fernando Gil, began having detractors, who asked the workers to cut down the tree because, once dead, it was no longer good for anything. However, these same ones later became “staunch followers” of the figures that were sculpted on the ficus as the work progressed.
A tourist attraction
The rustic sculptures, located in the ficus of the central Paseo de Andalucía of the town, have become in a month -the time they have been carving and modeling this work- in a mandatory stop for residents and tourists. Some teachers even direct their students to this place to observe the tree.
One of the tourists who admire the work, which he describes as “incredible” and “fantastic” is Hartmut, a German who lives in the nearby municipality of Sayalonga, and who has personally gone to congratulate the sculptors. Like him, other foreign visitors come to show their satisfaction and disbelief for the great work done to Casamayor and Gil. The art that springs from lifeless nature.
The residents of Vélez also show their admiration for the carved figures, such as the case of Piedad, a Catalan woman who has been residing in the town for two years. The woman, like many others, believes that this “impressive” work will attract “a lot of tourism” and something “precious” has “germinated” from the branches of this tree. EFE