Sanctuary to the Souls of the 8th Island

Invited by the regional government of “Guía de Isora”, Tenerife, Canary Islands, to elaborate a proposal in public space, a work was created about emigrational relational patterns between individuals of Venezuela and Canary Islands. This work was also seen as a connection with the past, introducing the tale of the genetics of the artist in the panorama of the actual movement or emigrational flow. The piece is an ode to the great grandmother that flew to Venezuela in the 1900’s and never returned. The work consists on a little chapel in honor of those migrants that went away and died far away from home, people of the Canary Islands who, looking for a better life, moved to Venezuela and established themselves there. It is dedicated to those that did not have the opportunity to return and created in the new place a new hybrid “patria” inhabited by the descendents. This is a sanctuary for the prayer of their souls.

The objects that conform the installation are floats that the marine undercurrents take to Venezuela. They give the idea of floating sea structures of fixed origin surrounded by water as islands, fragmented by an unexpected situation, floating adrift to end up stranded as parts of another territory. Struck and transformed, willing to be part of a new geography. This is without a doubt a metaphor of the immigrant, the one who painfully leaves his own land to integrate into another.

Certainly the reaction of the people towards the monument was a surprise. With tears in their eyes, singing, praying and talking about vacations or experiences in the remote Venezuela, people came to the little house to pay homage for those who stayed back. Despite the action of the church against the little house, for being too laic, the acceptance of the viewers was total and became a subtle political statement for those whom in the time of the dictatorship of Franco disappeared. During that time it was common to hear when people asked about others who mysteriously disappeared: It’s ok, they were sent to Venezuela!

More information about the project can be seen