Muralism and Conservation in Trinidad Nova, Barcelona, Spain

Identity, Muralism and Conservation in Trinitat Nova

TIME in Trinitat Nova is an extension of the Nova project, a tool for social transformation through art in the Trinitat Nova neighborhood, promoted by Pla de Barris (Neighborhood Plan) and Difusor/B-Murals in recent years.

Characterized by a close and permanent collaboration with the neighbors, TIME includes multiple activities and spaces for exchange, culminating with the mural by the renowned international artist Franco Fasoli, inaugurated on Tuesday, July 6.

TIME is the reflection of the life, pride and hopes of a neighborhood, of multiple personal stories and memories, as well as a thinking about time and the feeling of community among multiple cultures.

time mural trinitat nova barcelona

A unique, collaborative and multidisciplinary project

TIME is a project that responds to a desire to transform an urban area with a global and integrative view, and at the same time reflects on time and in the field of contemporary art.

The project was launched by the Pla de Barri in Trinidad Nova, coordinated by B-Murals, Centro de Arte Urbano, with the collaboration of the School of Restoration and Conservation of Cultural Heritage of Catalonia. The synergy between these 3 entities allowed for the creation of a social, artistic and technical experience that responds to the needs and desires of the local population, changing the cultural dynamics of the city.

A revitalization and dignification of Trinitat Nova

The neighborhood of Trinitat Nova is one of the poorest in Barcelona with a very high unemployment rate. The area is losing a large part of the young population and lacks businesses and leisure or sport and recreation sites.

Since the 1950's, a very strong social and associative fabric exists among the population of varied origin, as well as a pride of the neighborhood and a feeling of community that remains palpable today, despite the social and economic difficulties.

The population was greatly affected by the problem of the presence of Aluminosis in the buildings, which led to the overthrow of more than 50% of the area (including important symbols, such as the Clock Tower) and the consequent evictions and relocations that continue to be a grievance and trauma for the neighbors. It is a neighborhood that feels forgotten for being "peripheral", despite being very well connected, being close to the natural park of Collserola and having spectacular views over the city and the sea, but does not have the necessary infrastructure and equipment.

TIME is the reflection about memories of a different time and desires and hopes of the inhabitants to create a dignified, strong, mixed and supportive Trinitat Nova.

Muralism and Conservation in Trinidad Nova

New 400m2 mural by Franco Fasoli

At a time when we see iconic murals disappearing from Barcelona, the TIME mural allows urban art to regain its space in the city. It is the result of a permanent dialogue between the neighbors, the artist and students and teachers of the Escuela Superior de Restauración y Conservación de Bienes Culturales de Cataluña (ESRCBCC).

The process was completed in 3 phases:

  • Contact with the population, interviews, collection of stories, memories and 
wishes, with the installation of “La Carpa” (the tent), a space that moved in different locations, with activities of reflection and creativity for the neighborhood open to people of all ages.
  • A roundtable of the ESRCBCC, with the participation of students and teachers who exchanged information and knowledge between specialists in restoration and the artist.
  • An exhibition at the Casal de Barri Trinitat Nova (a cultural local center), presenting all the material collected from the activities of the tent and a sound montage directed and recorded by the collective Talkartive that immerses us in the neighborhood through its noises and testimonies.

Muralism and Conservation in Trinidad Nova

As a final result of all these stages, Franco Fasoli made a mural full of emotion and nods to the neighborhood, its past, present and hopes for the future, fruit of the stories of its inhabitants and the interviews. The reception was very good throughout the process and the artist shared many unique moments with people of all ages, getting to include in the mural "neighbors" dogs he was meeting every day.

The mural, with the characteristic style of Franco Fasoli is full of details linked to the life in Trinitat Nova and the fighting spirit of its inhabitants, such as: bulls recalling the agricultural past, wild boars (there are many in the area), young people driving motorcycles with their fists up, flags representing the different communities, the Clock Tower that no longer exists, banners symbolic of the festive spirit of the neighborhood—despite everything—all carried by various characters, energetically advancing toward another future.

Artistic experimentation, conservation and restoration to reflect on the techniques of new muralism and graffiti

TIME is a work marked by Franco Fasoli’s close collaboration with ESRCBCC students and teachers. The mural was first made with fixative, a painting base and normal plastic paint, and then covered by a mixture of earth with the same binder used to paste paper on a wall, with the help of the students who made a report on the development of the work.

With time passing by, this layer will fade away, leaving only the first phase, which will be then studied and observed by the restoration team to see the evolution of the mural and how to conserve it.

The artist: Franco Fasoli

Franco Fasoli, also known as JAZ, is an Argentine muralist born in Buenos Aires. Inspired by the broad Latin American muralist movement, this internationally renowned urban artist and one of the best known of his generation, addresses in his work the depersonalization of the human condition. Whether through the representation of human figures in relation to animals or in characteristic everyday scenes, especially in his latest collages, he also shows a permanent interest in addressing the ephemeral character of art both in its material reality and in his discourse.

This aspect of his work was evident in the mural made in B-MURALS 2 years ago, painted entirely with organic materials rescued from the Nau Bostik (location of B-Murals), and that gradually disappeared over the course of 18 months until returning to the original white wall.
TIME gave Fasoli a new opportunity to continue researching the creative act from a temporal perspective. The result is this impressive mural that we are fortunate to see in Barcelona today.

mural painting in process barcelona

The organizer: b-murals, urban art center

B-MURALS is a center specialized in urban art with its headquarters in Barcelona. 
It is a pioneering and unique project for its complete approach, which combines support for creation (through the promotion of mural interventions, residencies and exhibitions) with community work, education, reflection and dissemination of this discipline, with the will to make it grow and bring it closer to all citizens.

The coordination of the TIME project was managed by the co-founder of B-MURALS, Ana Manaia. Organization with the support ofl Pla de Barri Trinidad Nova, Casal de Barri Trinidad Nova and the ESRCBCC (School of Restoration and Conservation of Cultural Heritage of Catalonia)

All images by Fer Alcalà

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