Spanish art circles

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Roundabout on the Spanish island of Mallorca Traffic planners in Spain love roundabouts. They build them everywhere. So if you’re going from A to B in Spain, chances are you’ll be “going around in circles” pretty often.

The one problem with all these roundabouts that Spanish traffic planners haven’t really solved yet is how to fill the void in the middle of the roundabouts.

It’s open space that craves to be filled.

In some cases, they’ll put a streetlight, or plant a tree or some bushes in those circular spaces.

But in many other cases, they’ll make the roundabout a little island of creativity and liven up its center section with a little art.

And that leads to some bewildering, amusing and inspiring roadside experiences.

The examples in the slideshow below are from the Spanish island of Mallorca.

It’s not a Picasso, Dali or Miro

Unfortunately, the art that you’ll find in your average Spanish roundabout isn’t exactly by Picasso or Miro. It’s – how shall we say – somewhat more basic.

Cheaper, I guess. And that may be a good thing: after all, roundabout art could easily be damaged if some driver from hell failed to make the turn and smashed into the sculpture.

So the sculptures in Spanish roundabouts are usually pretty robust. They’re often made of corrugated iron or stone boulders.

Big forms that are easily recognizable to the drivers circling around them.

But I must admit that their deeper meaning often escapes me – no matter how often I circle these roundabouts.A rusty spiral and tumbling houses

What’s this one supposed to mean, for instance?

What you see when you drive around it is a large rusty spiral. If you look really close, you can also see some small zinc houses tumbling out of the open end of the spiral.

Is it supposed to represent a hurricane? Is this a Spanish impression of the Wizard of Oz?

It’s beyond me. But I guess “Toto, we’re not in Catalonia any more…”

Written by Thorsten

July 3, 2008 at 6:46 pm

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