Getting closer the users, making the museum more accessible, taking the museum where there are public who can’t visit it, are lines that we are working on to open up. Since the beginning of the year at the Museu Picasso we have started, little by little, but surely, to intensify the relation with other entities and collectives of Barcelona. There are various reasons for this: to establish relations with those closest to us, with those who can add value and with those who need it most.
Today we will talk about the collaboration of the Museum with the Hospital Sant Joan de Déu, internationally recognised for its specialisation in paediatrics. Since October we have held, once a week, a workshop of masks and storytelling based on the works of Picasso.
“Pau, Menut and Quim too”: a story by means of which it proposes taking a stroll through the world of Picasso seen through the eyes of a young boy, Pau, a cat, Minú, the great-great-grandchild of Menut, the cat of Picasso, and a musician, Quim, the father of Pau. The story is based on the tale, Picasso and Minú, by P.I. Maltbie with illustrations by Pau Estrada.
The Masks Workshop
“Animalades” [ literally “Silly things”, but playing with the double meaning of the word in Catalan, that refers to the animals, as well]: Dogs, cats, goats, owls, bulls,… all appear in the works of Picasso. He liked to paint them standing and from the back, and even did sculptures and pottery. In this workshop, based on shapes and colours, the children create masks inspired by Picasso’s animals.
The workshop is led by the plastic artist Maja Cecuk, and we have asked her to explain the experience in her own words:
-“Throughout my professional career I have given many workshops, but none of them have generated as much respect in me as the workshop of masks for the children resident in the Hospital Sant Joan de Déu. There were many things to take into account, the choice of the topic, the preparation and selection of the material, etc, but above all the relation with the children living a difficult reality. Thousands of questions entered my head, and the most important being whether I would have the serenity to pass on a sense of enthusiasm.
-The preparation covered two questions, the formal and practical, and the other about how to manage my emotions when facing the challenge. The conversations with Tina, a magnificent lady who has been a volunteer for many, many years, helped me a lot.
-The preparation of “Animalades” was a task that demanded rigorous research. To begin with, it was essential to get a clear idea of the masks in the works of Picasso, and to adapt the ideas and concepts to the sensibilities of children of a very wide age range, from four years old onwards. Furthermore, at a formal level, it was necessary to have tools and materials that enabled the children to carry out the activity without creating difficulties which would impede them.
-The masks of the workshop began with the idea of cutting out a flat piece of card which is folded to give it volume as can be found in examples of the masks of Picasso created between 1955 and 1961, cut out from a simple piece of cardboard. Picasso played with shapes that let him incorporate expressions to the final face of the mask. I decided on making masks of animals. We can find many examples to be enjoyed in the pictorial and sculptural work of Picasso.
-The creation of these masks requires a lot of effort and the masks are a trophy that brighten up the walls of the children’s rooms and when they return home become a positive memory of their time of recovery.
For me this workshop has been a lesson in humility and respect for life and its diversity.
We will continue to give news on this blog about other collaborations with entities and collectives.