From January 2006 I am spending 9 months working on a voluntary art project for the Artcorps in Guatemala. I am working for Fundación Riecken, an NGO who are constructing libraries in Honduras and Guatemala. I will be artist-in-residence at libraries in Chiché and Zacualpa, in the Quiché region of Guatemala. I also plan to do a little travelling along the way...

Friday, October 27, 2006

Stained glass workshops

Workshops in Chichè and Zacualpa libraries

Friday, October 13, 2006

Día de la independencía

Back to Chiché after an extended sick leave and straight back into non-stop creating true Kay-style. The challenge at hand? To adorn a float in an appropriately noticeable fashion, representing the library in the Independence Day parade on the 15th of September. This year, every city, town and village in Guatemala stopped to celebrate 185 years of independence with a rash of national flags, unrestrained marimba music, torch-bearing all across the country and processions involving every educational establishment in existence, each accompanied by its own marching band.

For 2 weeks leading up to the 15th of September we had an open workshop in the library, which slowly filled up with the usual giant structures that tend to appear when I am around until it got so full it became difficult, nay dangerous, to manoeuvre one’s way around, every available inch of space crammed with artwork. The night before the parade I had a team of helpers dressing the lorry until midnight, in near darkness, so it was such a treat to see the final result in its true colours early the next morning. A selection of non-school attending children were clad in their little book costumes and installed atop the float, the queen of the library ensconced upon her throne, and we were ready to go! I took the opportunity to dress in the local traje which caused a sensation in the town. If the locals were not previously aware that there was a “gringa” (as they call me) in their midst, they sure noticed me this day!
The procession was a hoot. Each of the schools had been preparing for weeks, the sound of bands practising had become the norm and there they all were, polished up and shiny. There were cheerleaders dancing to techno music, acrobats positioning themselves in dizzying formations, a gaggle of sexy cowgirls mincing along in spikey-heeled boots, tiny tots performing choreographed dances clutching giant letters of the alphabet, the entire map of Central America unified over the heads of school kids and then all the queens…a mini procession of 4 queens, one for each school in Chiché, including of course Señorita Melissa ensconced within the fruit basket!