10/10/2002 The restoration of Vitoria-Gasteiz´s Santa María Cathedral,
seen through the eyes of prestigious photographers - this is the attraction
of the exhibition that will be displayed until the end of the year in
a select number of Spanish cities with a strong cathedral tradition. León,
Seville and Santiago de Compostela will all play host to the exhibition
compiled by the Galician artist Vari Caramés. This unique collection
of photographs offers an alternative and unique vision of the restoration
work being carried out on the Basque Country´s most emblematic gothic
cathedral. The exhibition, organised by the Santa María Cathedral
Foundation, forms part of the cultural activities linked to the restoration
of this priceless historic and artistic monument.
The collection of photographs travelled first to León Cathedral.
The exhibition opened on 28 September and during the first week received
a total of almost 30,000 visitors. In the Cathedral comprises 33 photographs,
15 in black and white and 18 in colour, in which Caramés offers
his own individual view of the Old Cathedral. The photographs focus on
a range of different aspects of this fascinating building which in a very
short period of time has become a symbol for the recovery of Cultural
The Santa María Cathedral Foundation launched this new cultural
initiative last year as part of its attempt to establish a comprehensive
project encompassing all areas of the restoration work. The aim is to
compile a collection of photographs which offer different views of the
process, from both a personnel and intimate perspective, from now until
its conclusion in the year 2009. The initiative also aims to promote the
cathedral project (described as ground-breaking and unique by top European
specialists) among major Spanish cities through the art of photography.
The result of this first experience is a collection offering an alternative,
individual vision of the various aspects of the cathedral, characterised
by the timelessness and ethereality with which Caramés imbues all
his work. The interest aroused by the photographs prompted numerous cities
with a cathedral tradition to extend invitations to the exhibition after
it left the Montehermoso Cultural Centre in Vitoria-Gasteiz at the end
After leaving the cloister of León Cathedral, the exhibition will travel to Seville, where it will be displayed in the El Mariscal Chapel and Chapterhouse from 28 October to 26 November, after which it will proceed to the University of Santiago de Compostela where it is due to open on 4 December. The Foundation has already received requests from other cities for the coming year.
The Santa María Cathedral Foundation chose the Galician photographer
Vari Caramés to launch the In the Cathedral initiative largely
due to the artist´s firm commitment to the restoration of the historic
building. Right from the earliest days of his association with the cathedral,
Caramés has been one of the project´s best and most dedicated
ambassadors. The photographer brought to the task his unique talent for
looking through the lens of his camera and seeing a magical world full
of endless possibilities.
In his photographs of the Old Cathedral, which envelop the viewer in
a tender, simple complicity, everyday objects gain new depth and time
seems to stand still. The images emerging from the artist´s unique
vision are fragments of reality, fleeting encounters. The Foundation plans
periodically to invite photographers of international renown to draw their
own individual portraits of the cathedral´s architectural and spiritual
legacy. The aim is to bring together the work of five prestigious artists
to form a travelling exhibition.