Immortal Seagull of Green Eyes by the San Juan River

Immortal Seagull of Green Eyes by the San Juan River
Fecha de publicación: 
26 April 2022
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Tata Mongo told Julia Rosa, while the green-eyed beauty ate a good and strange coconut sweet, that in her African tribe the great sorcerers could ask the gods to turn women into birds, and the gods did, and women once turned into birds never died.


According to oral tradition, Felipe no longer knew where to look for Julia Rosa, and in that spring of 1795, he was desperate by the San Juan River when he saw a green-eyed bird flying towards him. Months passed and the 25-year-old man died mad, in love with a seagull.


It’s spring again and more than 200 years after his birth, one of the Legends of Matanzas compiled by Américo Alvarado is presented in the language of visual art; about four meters wide by two meters long, the sculpture conceived by José Manuel (Noly) Díaz to revere the intangible heritage in the city of Matanzas.


The metallic seagull that remains by the San Juan during the Havana Biennial season in Matanzas is part of the exhibition Mundo Forjado, a project that, in addition to sculptures made by Noly, overlaps three-dimensional photographs and audiovisuals representative of the making of Esteban Grau, built under the eyes of Alexander Rodríguez, consistent with the second edition of Ríos Intermitentes.


It’s in the Grotto of San Juan, a space of the Antonio Núñez Jiménez Foundation of Nature and Man dedicated to promoting education on environmental heritage, where snapshots are exhibited, 3D audiovisuals are projected and other sculptures created by Díaz are shown.


Great is the work created from scrap metal by Noly, art with a lot of imagination, and Alexander managed to arrange the sculptures in a very effective way with the photographs that present little-known species, said Esteban Grau, also protagonist of the project.


We hope that in general Forged World moves towards human sensitivity, that achieves emotional involvement with issues of conservation and protection of our historical, social, geographical, cultural, and natural heritage; and we wanted to respect Matanzas from a beautiful sculpture, argued Alexander Rodríguez, curator of the exhibition.


Alexander came to me and said: “We’re going to make a seagull out of such a legend” and I didn't know the story but I always say yes; later at night I thought I'm crazy! How do I do that now, but reading the story inspires you. The play is like thanking for being from Matanzas, it’s an honor represented there, commented Noly.


A study was carried out to try to make the piece speak, I always work for all public, I try that when someone comes they understand what the figure reflects, and we try to recreate that moment in which Felipe understands that the seagull is the love of his life, and he lost it, explained the artist.


Right now, the Río San Juan Cultural Walkway is one of the most attractive arteries of this western town, a tourist destination city, sub-venue of the XIV Havana Biennial; locating the entrance to the Grotto in that segment of Narváez Street is now much simpler than before, all you have to do is find on the walkway a green-eyed seagull that cannot die.

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