Artist Blog by Oliver Martin

In this post, I will share Archival images that helped inform the project. This first image (Puig, 1900) shows a very different landscape to the one today. This little cluster of pines was the first to establish itself and would soon dominate the forest. Before the pines, the forests comprised slower-growing Alzina (Holm Oak) and Garrofer trees. Large areas of this original forest were cut down to create space for grape vines, but a fungus killed nearly all these vines at the turn of the century (image 2, Puig, circa 1900). Deforestation and subsequent fungal disease dramatically changed the landscape, making it barren. The faster-growing pines started establishing themselves at this time, changing the landscape to how we see it today. Image 3 (Photographer unknown, Museu Arxiu archive) shows Roca d’en Toni, a Catalan gallery sepulchre dating from the Chalcolithic period (~ 2500 BC). Close by are the caves of La Granota, d’en Pau and d’en Joan. These dolmens and caves are evidence of use in the mountains that stretches back to the Neolithic age. A path leads from this dolmen to a high-medieval necropolis where seven tombs have been constructed from granite flagstones. (Diputació Barcelona). Water was a vital commodity and highly valued at the turn of the century. Dowsing was employed in attempts to locate water sources. If a source was found on your land, much wealth could be accrued from the sale and access. This is demonstrated in image 4 (Puig, 1910), showing a wealthy estate with a woman washing clothes at the water source. Image 5 (Puig, 1910) illustrates font Saint Mateu, a water source higher in the forest close to the Romanesque hermitage of San Mateo (Ribera, 2021). The final three images (Photographer unknown, 1940, 1945, 1950 Premia de Dalt Archive) show hunters. There has been a long tradition of Hunting in the forests. These images, taken during the fascist regime of Francisco Franco, indicate the traditional binary gender roles of men and women at the time. Men as proctors and providers and Women as mothers and guardians of culture (Iverson, 2017 p65).

Reference list • Puig, Pujol Villa. (1900). Untitled images 1,2,4,5 [Photographs]. Premia de Dalt Archive. (Accessed 2021). • Iveson, M. (2017). Gendered dimensions of Catalan nationalism and identity construction on Twitter.

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