Monthly Archives: December 2014

Agnes Canuto publishes her first series in ARTSURPRISE

hyper consumption - artwork by agnes canuto for

hyper consumption – artwork by agnes canuto for

Hyper consumption is the theme of the first artworks the French artist Agnes Canuto has published in the European art project Canuto visited the artist residence in for some days in November 2014 and mounted the boxes in the residence.

This series is a sample of what happens in the think tank and creative free space in CASAdelDRAGON. Again and again artists visit the working studio of Sonia Eva Domenech and Juan Petry in Spain and are attracted by the project artsurprise.

Canuto is a famous artist in France. She has created a lot of visual artworks, especially for the French film industry, she has painted churches and has had a lot of exhibitions in Europe.

This French connection of artsurprise will also work out a first point of sales in France.

Enjoy the world of artsurprise and the art of Agnes Canuto.

Links: ARTSURPRISE | Series Hyper Consumption | Homepage Agnes Canuto | CASAdelDRAGON |

Francesc Urgell Montane talks about the colour garden of CASAdelDRAGON

The Catalan activist and friend Francesc Urgell Montane talks about the dye and colour garden project of CASAdelDRAGON and invites creatives to join the project and to develop a second location of the colour garden in Cataluña.

On 31 December 2014 (afternoon and night) we celebrate the the new year with some creative friends in the colour garden of the artist residence in Spain. If you like to join this event please post it to jp / at / or on the facebook – page of the CASAdelDRAGON.


New plants for the colour garden – cultivation and planting

CASAdelDRAGON - colour garden - cultivaction and planting - part 1

CASAdelDRAGON – colour garden – cultivation and planting – part 1

The aim of the colour garden is to cultivate plants – among other things – for illustrative purposes, for use in workshops and trainings and for exchange with other gardens. We use a mixture of good seed compost and local soil (in the ratio 1: 3) as well as wood ash and pieces of charred wood. Until the greenhouse will be finished, we use simple egg carton and a glass box.

The egg carton is cut to the size of the box. The mixed sowing soil is filled up to the ridge between the planting slots.

CASAdelDRAGON - colour garden - cultivaction and planting - part 2

CASAdelDRAGON – colour garden – cultivation and planting – part 2

The green bowl of the glass box is filled with rain water, the egg carton with the soil is placed inside. Then the planting holes are set. The different planting depths of seeds have to be taken in consideration.

CASAdelDRAGON - colour garden - cultivaction and planting - part 3

CASAdelDRAGON – colour garden – cultivation and planting – part 3

The small plants are distributed on the bed and it is mulched with straw or dried grass.

The advantage of the egg carton is easy handling. The plants do not have to be separated and transportation is easy. The box can also be planted at the destination, result: no shock of transplanting for the plants. Weaker plants (e.g. lettuce) should be planted with modified carton boxes. The basement of each slot is opened a little with a cutter before filled with soil.

Medieval Moorish water channel of the dye garden

arab water channel - before | after

Arab water channel – before | after

The colour garden of the artist residence CASAdelDRAGON is located in the district of Cervera del Maestre (Castellon, Spain). The village with the castle on top of the hill was under Iberic, Roman, Moorish and Catalan influence and is full of medieval monuments and historic places.

The colour garden is connected to a Roman water channel system, developed and optimized by the Moors in the time of their occupation in Southern Europe. Therefore it is also connected to a wide and great history – of Spain in detail and Europe in general – including the influence of Arabian knowledge, technology and culture.

The left photo shows the original situation in winter 2013, the photo on the right shows the current process of rebuilding the channel. We would like to say thanks to Sonia, Anna-Maria, Katharina, Sarah and all the other wwoofers who started to rebuild this ancient water pipeline.

The wild land of the garden and even the medieval channel were abandoned over years. The water broke out of the channel. The soil erosion was supported by roots of trees that had seeded themselves.

European history would be incomplete if we neglected the long experience of Arab and Islamic influence in Spain and Southern France: a lot of knowledge about architecture, art, culture and science in general.

The impressive water management for gardening contributed to a flourishing of agriculture  in Spain, and thus to a significant growth of the Spanish population. Imagine that there lived so many people in the country at that time, that, after the expulsion of the Moors, Spain needed more than 550 years to reach the same population again.

Imagine too, that the Arab influence had a stable period of more than 780 years, it is like being ruled by one administration from Dschingis Khan to Putin…

Especially in these times of conficts between the Middle East and Europe, it might be good to remember the common roots. Spain will play an important role for Europe in the future and will help to ensure a peaceful coexistence.


arab water channel - source

Arab water channel – source

The channel was reponsible for the irrigation of the whole valley (the lightl blue line from the higher level of the valley on the left to the lower level on the right). The colour garden plot – marked green in the map above – is centered at the bottom of the valley. The water channel enters the plot with a lowering surface – marked with a dark blue dot. The water is stored several times  in such basins (as on the right photo) on the way down out of the valley. This helps to reduce the flow rate.

Later the channel will pass the plot in its center and will give access to water in all lower levels of the garden for the future – as it was planned 800 years ago.


arab water channel - source point in the leaf - before cleaning

Arab water channel – source point in the leaf – before cleaning

The garden design is adapted to the water channel and the valley. The beginning of the leaf is also the source of water for the plot. The veins of the leaf transport food and water. The paths in the garden will be used in the same way. We will bring water and compost, and we will take out the gifts of the garden using the same ways.

From nature and fluid mechanics we know, that 45 degree is the best angle for a connection of two channels. So the design copies nature and also gives a symbolic view of the target to synchronize cultural and natural processes to get sustainable results.


arab water channel - after cleaning from plants and trees

Arab water channel – after cleaning from plants and trees

In the European Union 40% of water is consumed by nuclear and conventional power plants. 25% is used by agriculture. If a citizen uses less than 1000 cubic meters per year,  this considered as a good result.

Referring to aquastat database the cultivated area of Spain is less than 40% of the total country area. The main irrigated crops are cereals (36 percent), fruit (23 percent, including citrus and grapes), olives (15 percent) and vegetables (7 percent). Some fodder (temporary and permanent), sugar beet, cotton, sunflower, potatoes, pulses, flowers, tobacco and permanent pastures are also irrigated. Temporary crops are either winter crops (irrigated during dry periods from November to April or May) or summer crops (4 to 6 months from March to October). Permanent crops are assumed to be irrigated almost the whole year, either for water deficit in dry periods or for frost protection in winter/spring.

The Spanish agriculture sector uses more water than the industrial and public sector together. In this light it is one of the main tasks for us to figure out a smart water management system on our plot and optimize the usage.

We need many more helpers to continue the task. At the moment we are happy to clean the distance of one meter per day (1-3 persons) and we have still 100 meters to go. If you are interested in joining the group of helpers apply here.

Theory of the good

theory of the good

theory of the good – first beds in the colour garden of CASAdelDRAGON

After first little interventions at the plot of the colour garden (jardi de colors, laboratori d´artistas) of the artist residence CASAdelDRAGON in summer, we started in November 2014 to arrange the first beds and to develop the ground for the first plants.

One of the big questions was how to start a garden, how to develop a garden that would be at the same time useful, pleasant and accessible for larger numbers of visitors per year. How to arrange spaces for the plants, the workers and also – in respect to nature – how to embed the local environment with its many kinds of wild plants (e.g. old species of Amaranth).

We asked some professional gardeners in Germany and Spain, but there was no real answer, no guideline to start. It seemed to be a very special task to start such a garden and to design it. Maybe some landscape architect would have been useful, but that was not affordable for such a private cultural project. So we went back to research and designed the garden like a leaf.

This structure is based on our knowledge about physics, logistics, art… and life. Make it simple is one of the main rules. We combine best-practice solutions. We used some standards like DIN 18065 to define paths (for cars, for people, for workers with and without wheelbarrows).

The important point was – exactly – the first point. The shape of the leaf is one thing,but in order to transfer this design to the ground, we needed the single anchor, the zero-point, the central landmark.


the first central landmark – CASAdelDRAGON – colour garden

One of my questions to the members of the living community familiafeliz was: what do you think should be the center of the garden? The response was clear and direct. We want a place to come together! My next question was: Do you want to have seats to sit there? The answer was yes. And my last question was: Do to want to face the garden when you sit in that place or the center (and the faces of the others)? The answer was: We want to look into the eyes of the others in this center of the garden of Epicurus! We want to see the happiness in their eyes!

Big thanks to Katharina, Agnes, Guy and Sonia to help measuring the first points and to start the first beds.


Bed covered with cardboard – CASAdelDRAGON

We devided the first part of the bed (parcela no. 1) in three pieces. On two pieces we dug the ground over in the classical way. On the third part we covered the ground with cardboard.


bed framed by natural stones and stocked up with the ground from the left path

The land was not used for more than three years. There are a lot of natural stones everywhere. We collected some of them and we used them to frame the pieces and – in that case – to hold the cardboard. We filledthe bed with the ground material of the little path on the left side of the bed. The idea of the leaf as ground plan adapts to the veins of a leaf on a tree. Each vein is a path between individual beds and spaces throughout the entire garden.


preparing the path for drainage – first habitants on the garden – CASAdelDRAGON

Sometimes it rains a lot in a few hours and the ground cannot cope with so much water. We use our veins for drainage.

We planted some vegetables for later spring (now in Spain is the right time to do this 🙂 …) for the helpers, wwoofers and for us.

If you want to join this place, this project, this spirit, please use our form to apply for a residence in the house of the dragon.


CASAdelDRAGON announce artists for the first land art convent in spain

guided tours to the land art content area every sunday at 10 a.m. (after 01.04.2015)

guided tours to the land art content area every sunday at 10 a.m. (after 01.04.2015)

The artist residence CASAdelDRAGON announces the group of pre-selected artists for the first land art convent in Spain in 2015 (April – July, official opening 18. July 2015 7 p.m.).

OLGAG team | Olga Gruszka and Agnieszka Żerdecka (NL/POL)
Björn Göttlicher (GER/CAT)
Ninette Koning (NL)
Berta Esteve (CAT)
Wolfgang Strecker (GER)
Nonato Cruz (BRA)
Martina Clasen (GER)
Irene Anton (GER)
Ryszard Litwiniuk (CAN)

The target is to define contemporary land art! What is the international artistic response in times of cyber wars, bank crisis and Euro speculation? How does the discussion about chemtrails and fracking influences artists? How do they think and react facing the population shift from rural to urban areas and the ways in which society adapts to the change?

Links: Land Art Convent 2015 |

Amor en guerras civiles – exhibition – intervention


Love in Civil Wars – Sonia Eva Domenech 2011

In Thusday 11.12.2014 the Auditori Ayguals D’izco in Vinaròs exhibit Amor en guerras civiles. After 3 years ( 2011 in MUCBE Benicarlo) and more than 6 events in Spain and Germany the moving exhibition project returns to the region of Castellon.

crisis – Euro speculation – African spring – fall of the Berlin wall – Ukrainian crisis – unstable stock exchange – high frequence stock trading – economical situation of Valencia and Spain – Catalan independence – what is the reply of contemporary artists in times of deconstruction and reconstruction – get it ! – join the show – meet artists and people interested in culture and future of Valencia, Spain and Europe.

The group exhibition shows works from Isabel Serrano, Sonia Eva Domenech, Renate Braendein, Rosa Soriano Marzal, Julieta Sol Bengoa, Emilio Martinez, Raquel Morón, Amalia Batalla and the initiator of this social sculpture Juan Petry.

Opening: 11.12.2014 – 7 p.m.

Links: Ayguals de Izco | Facebook Event |