Joan Bennàssar's project "The Road to Lluc. Shelters of Love and good Will". | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter
"On the right side of love is the Beloved and on the left side is the Friend;
and this is why, to reach his Beloved, the Friend has to go through love first."
This last year a strange enemy has burned the hiding places in the forest where we kept our certainties and filled our minds with fears and doubts. We feel fragile and we have instinctively built walls to protect the future from the abyss.
The revolving doors, which once featured blue skies and starry nights are now mornings with wind and fog. It is difficult to deny the evil, this tragedy surpasses the disease itself, darkens a tomorrow of social and economic well-being and confronts us with the always impossible security. We entrust to a vaccine that they will undoubtedly dilute the pandemic, but it will take a many days to repair the damage caused, recover lost values and rebuild ourselves from the confusion caused by the fragility of our environment. Now we must now strive to rediscover the arguments that allow us to celebrate life and cultivate the courage of hope.
This is the main reason - created from the humility of tenderness - to try to turn The Road to Lluc. Shelters of Love and Good Will into a mirror of verse 259 of Ramon Lull’s Llibre d’amic i amat or ‘Book of the Friend and Beloved’. A proposal that links with the previous exhibitions in Pollensa and Torre de Canyamel, Human Reasons where I supported my faith in the enriching view of art and its social aspect, with the belief that culture lived with freedom, in addition to enjoyment it offers us, it dignifies human life and is a great anchor in times of doubt.
I am moved by the desire not to lose faith in man and I cannot allow fears, bewilderment or mistrust to paralyse me. I sense the world as a fascinating spectacle although half of humanity watches from the stands, the other half sweats, dances and plays the clown from the circus arena. It is life understood as a gift and as an act of courage. Not wasting time with the ephemeral, looking and living with curiosity and creativity is a transforming fact and without a doubt, it helps to ensure that human stupidity does not take over the planet.
Every creative act, as well as being an individual interpretation of reality, is an act of transgression and love, where observation and action go hand in hand. I am convinced that the search for truth and excellence is related to a job well done and individual and daily attitudes, who we are, how we are and where we are. I am aware that the artist’s message is his own work and the worlds that surround the memory, but also that the author’s doubts, surrounded by passion, sincerity and work, are what make creation a mystery.
“One more step that brings us closer to normal”
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed our day to day lives and hit us hard and we are still digesting it all. We have had a year full of difficulties in all areas, but little by little we are taking steps to regain activity and adapt to the new normal. In times of maximum uncertainties, our efforts have focused mainly on providing local solutions to problems and helping to maintain the dynamism of Inca and restarting the different productive sectors.
During these months it has become clear that whatever happens, we cannot put culture aside and hosting the sculptural and pictorial works of Joan Bennàssar is a sign of our commitment. All of us at Inca City Council are convinced that culture is and has to be, one of the main engines of our society and we work to promote and empower it every day.
During the pandemic, when non-essential activities had to be was temporarily shut down to deal with Covid-19, we have realised something that not all of us are always aware of and that is that culture is a commodity. Culture undoubtedly helps us to improve our quality of life and increase our well-being. In the last year, more than ever, culture has served as means of disconnection for many people.
Joan Bennàssar’s proposal aims to encourage and promote the reunion with this new normal and help raise the spirits of residents and visitors, after the complicated situation we have had to live with. The Road to Lluc. Shelters of Love and Good Will has filled some of the most emblematic places in Inca, such as Sant Bartomeu Convent and Plaça de Santa Maria la Major, with imposing sculptures. It also allows us to vindicate Inca as a gateway to the Sierra de Tramuntana over so many years,” explains Joan Bennàssar.
The urban sculpture project culminates in Inca with the plastic proposal, Human Reasons which is exhibited in Sa Quartera Centre of Art in Inca, which includes ten large works that perfectly showcase the essence of the artist, his experience and technique.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank Joan Bennàssar, for taking our city into account to develop such a fantastic and stimulating project. It is a real pleasure for us to host this exhibition of sculptures and paintings and for everyone to enjoy the work of one of the most internationally prestigious Mallorcan artists.
Virgilio Moreno Sarrió
Mayor of Inca
“The Transit of the individual to the community”
When visiting the surroundings of Sant Llorenç de Selva Parish Church, we can stop and contemplate the work of Joan Bennàssar. As we look at his artistic creation, we realise what he means to us: the transition from the individual to the community, from the life of each person to coexistence, to the collective development. Joan Bennàssar draws on the experience the pilgrim, who walks through life offering himself to others.
Bennàssar’s work is a song of life, because the one who offers himself, goes out of his way to meet others. Our town hosts the joins the old Lluc Road, which is also a meeting point for the villages of Inca, Selva, Caimari and Escorca and we are hosting the Joan Bennàssar exhibition.
In answer to the essential question of how to live, Bennàssar is clear: Living together ethically.
They are also reasons for proposing that people enjoy the personal experience of travelling the old Lluc road and staying in each village next to the sculptures.
As Pollensa poet, Miquel Bota Totxo used to say, “Selva is a balcony on the horizon; a horizon that another Pollensa resident proposes we reach from an ethical point of view.”
The Road to Lluc. Shelters of Love and Good Will is the title of the exhibition, which is in line with what Caimari poet, Bartomeu Matheu said. “Caimari, like any refuge, has the warmth of a nest.”
I invite you to visit the villages of the Municipality, to live together and offer yourself ethically.
Mayor of Selva
The Road to Lluc. Shelters of Love and Good Will
More than ever we need places where we can experience welcome and silence, peace and serenity, places of proximity and unconditional acceptance where we will always feel welcome, places where we are surprised by the beauty and mystery of life that creation shows us. In short, we need places to live a love that integrates and brings us together.
Since the 13th century, our ancestors discovered in the Sanctuary, the manor house here to live with simplicity and truth, the true meaning of life while feeling protected and accompanied by Dona Santa Maria. A collegiate church of priests and a tender and brave Escolanía began in those remote years and today the Institution bases its mission on faith, culture and nature.
Lluc is the place to experience culture, as Pope Francis proposes and accompanied by the ‘blaues’ from our Escolania de Lluc. We are very pleased to be able to offer this fantastic project, The Road to Lluc. Shelters of Love and Good Will by our dear friend and artist from the depths of the soul, Joan Bennàssar. Human figures, individuals or groups; offering or thinking, who admire, or are admired. Figures that give our pilgrims and visitors the feeling of unity nd harmony between art, nature and spirituality.
Don’t miss the opportunity to experience this beautiful exhibition in the most emblematic place in our land.
Mn. Marià Gastalver Martín
Prior of Lluc
“Humanity in a mountain range that is heritage”
In these times of pandemic, when we have lived, confined, with restricted movement and limitations in the exercise of any professions and activities, the cultural sector has been one of the most affected sectors. When faced with complicated situations, people with special values, like entrepreneurs and creators with an extraordinary capacity for work and humanity, want to contribute their knowledge, work and availability to society, to help to improve the situation despite the limitations.
One of those people that I have had the pleasure of meeting in this pandemic year is Joan Bennàssar, an internationally recognised sculptor from Pollensa. During a visit to the Sanctuary of Lluc, he talked about the possibility of placing a sculpture in the surroundings of the Sanctuary. He’s aware of what Lluc means to the people of Mallorca and the centuries-old custom of pilgrimages and wanted to do more than simply place a statue in the botanical garden. Instead he suggested an open air cultural itinerary, in a natural space and after a few weeks of conversations with the Prior of the Sanctuary and the Mayors of Inca, Selva and Escorca, The Road to Lluc. Shelters of Love and Good Will emerged.
This extraordinary exhibition consisted of a temporary exhibition of the artist’s work in the towns of Inca, Selva, Caimari and Escorca, an itinerary that has centuries of tradition, such as the Camino de Lluc and we can only thank Joan Bennàssar for his passion, dedication and drive to bring culture closer to the public, in the Serra de Tramuntana, which can be enjoyed in 2021. The project also coincides with the 10th anniversary of the Declaration of the Serra de Tramuntana as a World Heritage Site.
Escorca City Council wants to thank and give all our support to this initiative to bring culture closer to the emblematic spaces of each town. Culture is an essential and very important pillar in the welfare society and all these courageous and innovative actions contribute to their value, especially in difficult times.
For all this, thank you very much!
Mayor of Escorca