Excuse me, where’s the toilet?

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(English below)

Encontrar el baño (el lavabo, el retrete, los servicios, los sanitarios, el wáter, el WC, el tocador, los aseos, the toilet, the restroom, the bathroom, les toilettes, le cabinet, o como se prefiera llamarle) es muy importante. Por eso en cada lugar público alguien tiene que la enorme responsabilidad de colocar señales para que los clientes encuentren este indispensable lugar. Y algunas veces, a los encargados de tan importante tarea se les ocurren muchas ideas y cuelgan carteles muy creativos que le sacan una sonrisa a los visitantes (a menos de que sean clientes despistados que nunca se fijan en los detalles curiosos de la vida). Cuando noté que este era un gran tema de investigación, las señales del WC se volvieron una obsesión y me empezaron a perseguir por todas partes. A veces iba a buscar el baño con cámara o móvil en mano, no porque me urgiera hacer pipí, o quisiera hacerme una selfie en el espejo, sino porque quería ver como habían representado estas universales imágenes: “Hombres” y “Mujeres”.

Ya se sabe que los artistas también somos obsesionados coleccionistas compulsivos. A mi de pequeña en casa me decían “la basurerita” porque cada vez que veía algo interesante en el suelo lo recogía para “mi colección”. Tenía colección de gomas, de llaveros, de tazas, de latas de refresco, de sobrecitos de azúcar, de calcomanías, de postales, de portavasos, y por supuesto de timbres (un clásico gracias que me permitió aprender sobre la existencia de muchos países lejanos). Un día tuve que tirarlo todo y fue muy triste. La gran ventaja de coleccionar fotos digitales es que no pesan ni se llenan de polvo. Realmente son muchas las ventajas de vivir en el siglo XXI.
En fin, aquí están algunas fotos de esta colección y si quieres ver más te invito a visitar el álbum “Collection of WC signs” en mi website.
Vale la pena decir que algunas veces las fotos son bastante malas (borrosas, oscuras) porque generalmente las hago muy rápido, con el móvil y en esos pequeños lugares “al fondo a la derecha” donde la luz es casi siempre escasa.
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ENGLISH
Finding the toilet (bathroom, restroom, WC, or any other convenient name) is crucial. For instance every public place has someone in charge of designing or choosing clear signs to indicate the customers the location of these important places. Sometimes the person in charge of this mission has great ideas and finds very creative signs that make the clients smile (unless the customers are the kind of boring people that never notice the sparks of life).
When I realized this was a great research subject, WC signs became an obsession and started to appear to me everywhere. Sometimes I had to go very fast to the toilet with my camera or mobile phone in the hand, not because I needed to pee urgently or I wanted to make a selfie on the mirror, but because I was very curious to see how they represented these universal images “Women” and “Men”.
It’s known that artists we are also obsessed and compulsive collectors. When I was a child in my family they use to called me “La basurerita” (Little garbage girl) because every time I saw something interesting on the floor I had to take it for “my collection”. At home I had an erasers collection, a key holder collection, a mug collection, a soda can collection, a sugar pack collection, a sticker collection, a postcard collection, and of course a stamp collection (a classical that helped me learn about the existence of far away countries). One day I had to throw away everything and it was very sad. The advantage of collecting digital photos is that they don’t take much place and they don’t accumulate dust. It’s really convenient to live in the 21st century.
Anyways, here are some photos of this collection (the best ones) and if you want to see more I invite you to visit the album: “Collection of WC signs” on my website.
Important to say that many of the pictures are bad (blurry or dark) because normally I take it very fast, with the mobile phone and in those little places “down the hall to your right” where light is never very good.
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So many ways to color the 2016 Calendar!

It’s almost the end of 2016 and as I promised here is a post to show the collection of photos I have received through the year. Thanks a lot to the people who sent me these nice images showing their amazing coloring skills!

If you haven’t sent me your photo please do it! I would love to add it to this collection.

And if you are already thinking about 2017… Here you can order the new coloring calendar 2017! Have a look!

If you already purchased a calendar from my shop in the past you’ll receive a 15% discount coupon code by email.

For the curious people here is also a link of another photo gallery with images from the 2012 calendar (the first one I have made) hanging around the world.

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Carolina Izaguirre, México

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Multiple hands coloring at the Fantastic ETSY market in Barcelona

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Calendar in progress at La Shala Yoga studio in Barcelona

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Coloring finished at La Shala Yoga studio (Barcelona)

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Laura, Michigan, USA

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Uli and Loni, Berlin, Germany

Ingrid from Barcelona

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Tania Lasanta from Barcelona

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Kirana, Sant Pere de Ribas, Barcelona.

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Ready to start the year! Barcelona, Spain

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Manuel and Marie Showing me the progress of the calendar on skype

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Marie, Oscar and Victor coloring in Paris, France.

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Godelieve Van Uden, The Netherlands

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Moira, from Grenoble France.

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Tania, Castelldefels, Spain.

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Miriam Van Uden from The Netherlands

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Moira from Grenoble, France

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Marina from Barcelona, Spain

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Adrien, Boston, USA

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Milena (5 years old) from Barcelona, Spain

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Marie-Pierre from Paris, France

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Nienke from Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

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The calendar next to Patti Smith at the Llibreria Proleg in Barcelona, Spain

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Coloring at the Fantastic ETSY market

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Ingrid from La Floresta, Spain

Lulú, Washington D.C. USA

Santiago, Washington D.C. USA


Silvia Bielas, Barcelona

Visualizing time

It all started when the first men looked at the sky and watched the stars in continuous motion, uniform and repetitive. The observations of the natural world made them understand that all events occur within a cycle: the migration of animals, flowering, seeding, maturation, harvest and so on.

Cyclic time in nomadic people and early tribes comes from a deep interaction between nature and man to the point of determining the idea of totality. No event in history that does not arise from other events that have preceded and which itself does not become a source of other events.

Civilizations have adopted various methods, using the movement of the stars, to measure time. The varying success of this operation is more or less depended on the astronomical knowledge each culture achieved. Religion, historians and even politicians have influenced also this major issue.

The ancient Babylonians and Greeks marked a transition in the conception of time. However, is until the arrival of Christianity when the ideas of linear time emerged, which would be fundamental to the foundations of the Western culture and its idea of progress.

The representation of time that we see in our clocks and calendars currently is a general convention in the world. Humanity has had to spend many stages for centuries to make big agreements about the date and time in which we live.

The conventional calendars measure time in a linear and progressive way. The model is highly deterministic linear thinking, as well reductionist since it breaks down the total into smaller pieces, reducing interactions between them. The whole is composed of independent parts.

The linear model is now contradictory, since we know that our universe is basically made up of nonlinear systems in the physical, biological, psychological and social levels.

Studying and reflecting about this subject I started to draw circular calendars as a way to understand time and search new ways to visualize it. In my head, since childhood, when I think about next summer or next winter, I always visualized the year in a circle, like a train in a loop track.

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2012

The circular calendar allows us to see that time is not unidirectional (from
past to future), but bidirectional. In indigenous cultures man lives in a reality of continuous cyclical movement of nature and culture. The end of the year is the beginning of a new life and not the sum of accumulated years. From this point of view everything is connected, nothing is separate from the totality.

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2015

The Spiral model is the model of thinking of indigenous people, is the alternative to linear thinking model designed by the European rationalism and positivist philosophy, origin of the existing mental model in the Western world for centuries.

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2016

This is the fourth edition of a circular calendar that I have designed. As the symbol of the Ouroboros (A snake eating it’s own tail) the circular calendars represents the cyclical nature of things, the eternal return and other items perceived as cycles that begin anew as soon as they conclude. In a broader sense symbolizes time and continuity of life. It offers the vision that things never go away, just change forever.

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2017

I have designed the last two calendars (2016 and 2017) as coloring calendars. They make a nice decorative item and also an illustration that people personalize coloring it day by day.

I drew the calendar illustration by hand, line after line, finding interesting to visualize a full year in one single image. An artistic piece and a functional object at the same time.

I have printed 150 calendars this year. If you want to purchase a print of the 2017 calendar and start to coloring it, you are welcome to  visit my ETSY shop.

I will continue my research about time and calendars. If you share the interest on this subject and you want to exchange ideas please write me at: beatrizchamussy@gmail.com

Art on your phone

Our phones deserve a beautiful case. Yes, these little objects that invaded our life and changed our way of doing things in the last 10 years are not only useful but also a fantastic place to display art. I’m very happy to collaborate now with Case Station, a company from the UK that prints chic and great quality phone cases.

 

 

 

Cover illustration for a World Bank book

 

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“La mujer Mochila”, Original drawing, Ink on paper, 12 x 17 cm, 2007

Very happy to see one of my drawings on the cover of such an interesting book just published by the World Bank: “Cashing in on Education : Women, Childcare, and Prosperity in Latin America and the Caribbean”
A document about child care, female labor force participation and the importance of women’s participation as a way to foster economic growth, authored by Mercedes Mateo Diaz and Lourdes Rodriguez-Chamussy.
Read the overview and download the PDF here: https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/25082

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“Cashing in on Education : Women, Childcare, and Prosperity in Latin America and the Caribbean” authored by Mercedes Mateo Diaz and Lourdes Rodriguez-Chamussy.