except the two pictures at the bottom, the pictures (2014)
are screenshots from the video by Serflac
However, there is an interesting art environment in Vilarnadal, which, although its creator passed away in 2011, for a large part has been maintained and currently still can be seen from the street, as demonstrated in above picture.
|view through the gate|
Francisco Subirá i Bertran (1924-2011)¹, the author of the site, was born in a remote and isolated community in the north of Catalunya. In the early 1940's the family moved to Vilarnadal, north of Figueres. The father could work there as farmhand, assisting farmers in taking care of the cattle and herding sheep.
Life had tragic moments for young Francisco, a sister died at young age, his mother died from tuberculosis in the late 1930's and some years later a brother also died.
swimmer, on the enclosure wall
Staying in the house in Vilarnadal he had inherited from his father, Subirá just as his father earned his living by managing a herd of sheep, a job he held for some forty years.
His rather ascetic and quite life was confined to provincial Vilarnadal, and holiday trips to Lourdes and Madrid may have been the only way to have more mundane experiences.
|sheep, on the enclosure wall|
The creations are distributed over two plots, an area enclosed with a wall, opposite Subirá's house as in the first picture, and another plot further down the street, where Subirá originally had his studio.
ensemble of "sirenes" (mermaids)
The tallest mermaid holds up a nameplate with the Catalan colours and the four smaller mermaids represent the four provinces of Catalonia: Lleila, Girona, Barcelona and Tarragona.
Above couple is entitled La Parella, Eròtic, the erotic couple. It is not located in the walled garden opposite Subira's house, but in the yard further down the street. The erotic aspect just manifests itself in the touch of hands and the way of looking, adding genitals would have been too much according to Subirá.
Above pictured high rising sculpture, the tallest Subirá made, located in the walled garden opposite the house, depicts a group of people making a human tower, a popular competitive activity at festivals in Catalonia.
The team members wear white trousers and a shirt with a specific color related to the city of origin of the team.
A rather impressive sculpture.
Future of the site
In 2005 Subirá and his wife decided to move to a residential home for older people near Figueres. Around 2008, to pay for the stay in that home, Subirá put the house in Vilarnadal for sale. The new owner promised to maintain the creations in the walled garden and so it happened indeed !!
The garden further down the street however was inherited by a distant family member and in recent years this site hasn't been maintained very well.
Francisco Subirá i Bertran passed away in 2011.
Actual situation (2021)
The pictures above and below, made in October 2021 by Tiramisu Bootfighter, who traveled through Spain in the context of his project La Valise, Galerie Ambulante, show that especially the part of the site down the street is deteriorating.
* Article and a variety of pictures (November 2018) on the weblog of Sophie Lepetit, here and here
* Scenes of the site (2014) on the Provincia de Girona (Catalunya) trip video by Serflac (YouTube,
starts at 27.03, cannot be embedded here)
Francisco Subirá i Bertran