Joan Baiget is brand new in art, making his first exhibition in September 2018. He is a self-taught artist, without specific art studies. Joan is a Ph.D. in Knowledge and Information Society and a professor of Thought and Creativity at La Salle-Ramon Llull University (Barcelona). His project “Neorural Society” proposes a balanced return of Society to the environment, pointing out the vital need of human beings to strengthen the relationship with nature… relationship, however, which has been lost in the construction of large cities.
His work of art is a modest invitation to merge back human beings and the natural environment.
The Art of Nature aims to convey to the public the fascination that the author feels for the beauty and architecture of Nature. The works are usually composed of natural elements of wood and stone.
The materials used have been collected in a state of abandonment and have been deeply ‘recovered’, but minimally intervened in terms of changing its physical original appearance (sculpted, thus, by nature). The author, then, looks for the maximal conceptual transformation with an unforeseen presentation and a daring title, preserving, however, the essence of the original shape and structure of the element.
“My art pretends to encourage people to look at the Nature and to feel creative”
Hello Joan! You say you are brand new in the world of art. Tell us a bit more about that. And what did you want to become as a child?
Joan: I started in art by chance in 2017, seeing an abandoned tree root in a public garden. I sensed its beauty
and I took it to recover it. I removed the dead leaves, the dust, the dirt, the plastics … everything that ‘drowned’ it. It was my first work: ‘The thought of the tree’. It was nothing I had imagined as a child; it was an adult vocation.
How would you describe your artwork, medium, style, subject matter etc.
Joan: The subject matter is nature. I discover the beauty of a marginal part of nature that fills my soul … stones, branches, abandoned trunks … I collect them, take care of them, recover them (if necessary) … sometimes it demands a lot of work, sometimes a little work, and -usually- I don’t know yet what I will do with them. I just keep them. Then, at some point, pieces inspire something in me and end up in a plastic composition. I call it ‘Art of Nature’ because it’s nature that contributes to its beauty.
What is the most challenging part of your art?
Joan: To give a second life to the dead life, to admire what it was. To vindicate it nowadays with a fearless vision, to instigate the imagination of the public. To excite the imagination. Stimulate public creativity is in the center of the challenge. In each artwork there are many possible views, of which the author only exposes one …
What is the message you are trying to give with your art?
Joan: Nature call us. Disconnect from the rush in which we move. Relax the soul and look at the nature around you, calmly. We are beings to experience. Discover nature and claim its beauty. Experience yourself. Try to do your own artistic creations.
What does a typical day look like for you? Do you have a specific routine or process? How much planning do you do before you jump into creating an artwork?
Joan: In my life, there has never been ‘a typical day’, I’ve been, most of my time, a computers engineer. Hard work. Currently, I combine my collaborations with the university with personal aspects and with the artistic creation, without schedules, without routines… sometimes I just pick materials, sometimes the techniques needs prompts me to restore and preserve collected items … sometimes the art awakens in me and I make compositions. There is nothing predefined, everything happens spontaneously.
Tell me more about your “Neorural Society” project. What is the story behind it?
Joan: In the accelerated transition from agricultural-rural society to the urban-industrial society we have lost two key elements:
a) the man-community link. Men no longer need their immediate community to survive. His work is usually located in a remote environment. His community is virtual.
b) the community-environment link. The community is no longer dependent on his immediate surroundings, which it no longer cares about.
When the links between man-community and community-environment are broken, the decline is unstoppable. The Neural Society intends to reverse this historical error, which has led us to the doors of the planet’s destruction, by fostering small communities that are interdependent and that take care of their immediate environment. And the Art of Nature aims to help in this goal.
What are you currently working on?
Joan: I do not have long-term projects now. I alternate the collection of materials with the technical treatment of them and with their inclusion in composition when the muse wakes up. I have set up a workshop-warehouse beyond the one I have at home. With this, I will be able to undertake larger projects, with elements of greater physical dimensions.
What memorable responses have you had to your work?
Joan: After my first exhibition in my city Town Hall (September 2018), I did 4 more exhibitions (5 in my first year as an ‘artist’). I took a break to ‘digest’ what was happening… and the Covid arrived. In 2020 I had an exhibition granted in the second most important local administrative organization, the Provincial Council, and an Artists Residence also granted, but everything was stopped due to the pandemic.
What is the best way to reach people that are interested in your art?
Joan: I think everybody can be interested in what I do, but not for me, nor for the things I do. People should look themselves around, to nature, and do the same I do. Everyone has a part of creativity (perhaps dormant) and a need of nature (probably latent too) that needs to be awaked. I’m delighted to share with them my personal experiences to stimulate their own ones.
Are there any upcoming shows or workshops we should know about?
Joan: I suppose that the forecasted exhibition in Tarragona Provincial Council palace will take place as soon as the pandemic allows it. In the other hand, with the aim of better communicate nature’s beauty, I collaborate with a professional photographer to better illustrate my compositions. In the next weeks, I’ll release about 20 new compositions after photographing them. Also, with the recent setup of the external atelier, I expect to speed up the rhythm of creation as I have lots of pieces already collected and awaiting to shine.
What’s next on the horizon for you?
Joan: In just 3 years, with a very partial dedication, I have done more than 100 artworks. I think it is time to increase my dedication to art and to look for an agent to start the commercialization of my work. It doesn’t pretend to be an elitist work, nor expensive. My concern is to reach people and stimulate their creativity and their commitment to nature. I’d like my artwork (pieces and their pictures) to be acquired by hotel holdings. I spent 30 years traveling worldwide as a computer specialist. I have a collection of thousands of hotels accessories (combs, pens, matches…). I like the hotels’ luxury, but I have always missed their connections with nature. I would like to start a project that would include aspects of artwork, photography, and decoration. Let’s cross our fingers.
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