Tatiana Sarasa, artist and owner of OPENstudio79, talks to us about her art, her business and life on Mallorca
LB: You grew up in Barcelona – when did you move to Mallorca and why?
TS: Barcelona is my hometown where I spent my childhood as the daughter of a Spanish father and German mother. I studied Fine Arts at University and enjoyed my teenage and student years in such a cosmopolitan city as Barcelona, full of life, design and cultural heritage. Then I fell in love with a skilful Menorcan sailor, who became my husband and father of our two daughters. The winds brought me to Mallorca!
LB: How does living on Mallorca compare to Barcelona?
TS: Mallorca is a paradise, it is peaceful, handy, an island on which to enjoy nature and tradition. It is a great place to bring up your children but also to have a wonderful time with your friends enjoying everything from outside activities to late nights. Barcelona has a great beat, it is fast and fresh. It is fascinating! From time to time I love to go back, feel the pulse of the city and return to Mallorca, coming back home… with a big smile.
LB: You are an artist – tell us about your work and what you do.
TS: Art is to me questioning yourself, raising your feelings and exploring your inner being. My art pieces and installations talk about finding one’s own space, as a woman, as part of our actual society but also as part of life and nature. I use humble materials such as paper; fibres to talk about fragility but I also like to use the power of images and the use of colour as a metaphor and expression.
LB: You have an art studio – OPENstudio79 – tell us about it.
TS: OPENstudio79 is a space to share creative experiences, where I love to welcome everyone and transmit my passion for sustainable craft and design. It is also a shop that offers eco-friendly materials such as chalk paint, natural fibres to knit and crochet and little items made by local designers who share my philosophy. I organise creative workshops that are led by me or other crafters, designers and artists invited from around the world who inspire people and become part of this project.
LB: The studio is located in the Santa Catalina neighbourhood of Palma. Why did you choose this area? What do you like most about it?
TS: I have always loved the atmosphere of Santa Catalina. It is a unique place focused on a little food market which gives the surrounding streets lots of life, colour and movement. You can buy great ecological and fresh food from the farmers or enjoy a cup of coffee in one of the many nice cafés in the area. You can also walk through the little streets of El Jonquet, the old fishing quarter where my studio is located and where you can enjoy the peace and beautiful views down to the waterfront standing next to an old windmill. What more do you want?
LB: Can you tell us your 3 favourite ‘insider’ places in Santa Catalina?
TS: I love a little second hand shop Vintage Bconnected, run by a cool New Yorker and sweet German lady. Another place I recommend is Annett Levy’s Ayurveda Palma studio, where I give myself a treat from time to time. Don’t miss also having some tapas at Patxi’s, especially the stuffed sea urchin or tuna tartar.
LB: How does the art scene on the island compare to elsewhere in Spain? What does the island offer artists?
TS: Mallorca has a great art scene. There are many art galleries and interesting museums that offer a good cultural programme throughout the year. Despite local government cutting the budgets for culture, the art professionals in charge of museums, galleries and public spaces are making a huge effort to put on great art shows and events (Nit de l’Art, Palma Art Brunch). Mallorca has been and will always be an inspiring place for artists to live and create. The light and energy that this island has transcends and is palpable in the various artistic expressions throughout generations.
LB: Where do you go on the island to relax or find artistic inspiration?
TS: Every morning I walk my dog in the forest of the Castle of Bellver in Palma. I hear the birds, feel the earth under my feet, and look down from the hill to the bay feeling immensely peaceful. It is the best way to start the day and to fill up my happiness tank.
LB: Where do you live on the island and why?
TS: We own a little house in the neighbourhood of El Terreno in Palma. It feels like living in a small village, with its tiny streets, where you can still walk by some pretty houses that used to be the noble families’ summer villas outside of the city walls of Palma. In summertime you can smell the jasmine in some of the gardens, in wintertime it smells of fireplaces out of the chimneys! It is a pity that they allowed the construction of some higher buildings in the 1970s which transformed the skyline of the neighbourhood but the essence and beauty of its streets is still there and always will be.
LB: Finally, how would you describe Mallorca in 3 words?
TS: Authentic, beautiful and slow in the good sense of the word.
Photo courtesy of Laia Cocoi www.iaiacocoi.net