Valldemossa was packed with visitors on Friday to celebrate 'Artdemossa', its annual evening dedicated to art, music and poetry. The pretty mountain village burst into life with entertainment for all the family; taditional giants and teasing demons, live painting and soulful singing were all essential ingredients of this cultural fair.
Latecomers might well have found themselves circling the town for quite some time in search of parking, as the popular event drew thousands to the narrow streets of Valldemossa. Via Blanquerna bustled with arts and crafts stalls selling everything from handmade knitted baby booties to owl lamps made from recycled cardboard. There were stalls dedicated to Mallorcan gastronomy; local olive oil, honeys, jams and pastries tempted passersby. Meanwhile the mouthwatering aroma of barbeque led many to buy freshly cooked hamburgers from enterprising teenagers.
There was a large gathering around Plaça Bartomeu Estaràs to listen to live music. Smooth bossa nova mingled with jazz, infusing the air with that relaxed summer feeling. The Mallorcan duo, Joana Pol and Pere Bestard of Donallop gave a short but intense performance, with songs from their new album Misteris de Sa Vida, "Misteries of Life". Meanwhile, more intimate performances were delivered from the heart of the Cartoixa gardens.
Spectators slipped in between the maze of hedges to listen to a Joe Orson and his acoustic guitar. Their hushed silence suggested they were well aware of what a treat it was to be part of such a personal gig.
Twinkling lights hung above the garden paths, illuminating numerous works of art. Visitors admired the detailed study of plants in Pep Ramis' photography, the bizarre and playful pen and ink sketches by Lola Fernandez Corral. Catalina Vidal Oliver of Miramar continued to paint into the night, her drawings and acrylics breathing life into fairytales, with pirates and princesses, knights and dragons. She told me that though her work might appear childlike, it isn't just for children but for anyone with an imagination or a dream. "Any of my princesses could be you," she said, "Any of my fishes could bring you flashes of joy."
Australian artist, Brendan McCann, was back for his second time at Artdemossa presenting a bold, cubist vision of Deià. Lying 10km north of Valldemossa, he first visited the town of Deià when he was four years old and it obviously made a big impression. He has now been living there for fifteen years. McCann was delighted to be back at the fair and told me it was even busier than it had been two years ago.
Poetry lovers gathered towards Miranda dels Lledoners for performances by six local poets. Julia del Olmo and Rafel Tross Sort presented their self-published pamphlet, Estereotipia Poética, a collaboration of poetry and photography, proving Artdemossa to be a dynamic platform and nourishing space for emerging artists.
Being Mallorca, the fair was never going to finish early. At midnight in Plaça Cartoixa there was reggae and ska music, followed by Dj's Ramon Rivera and Angel Romero keeping the party going until 03.00 in the morning. The tenth anniversary of Artdemossa was a resounding success uniting local and international artists. The quality and variety made for an exciting evening and visitors left inspired and enriched.
For more from Emily, follow her blog.