A small village in the north of Spain just went through an artistic re-decoration that honours the traditions of local women, with truly stunning results.
The village of Belorado, in the region of Castilla y Léon, has a very unique and peculiar tradition— the game of bolo beliforiano, a type of bowling played exclusively by women. And to celebrate that tradition, the local cultural organisation StARTer decided to paint the façades of eight houses facing the square where bolo beliforiano used to be played, as a way of “asserting the presence of women in the public space,” according to one of the two artists involved in the project.
Each artist focused on a different aspect of Belorado’s traditions. StARTer co-founder Regue Fernández took care of researching images of bolo beliforiano games and painted reproductions of early 20th century pictures depicting women having matches in the square.
Polish artist NeSpoon was invited by StARTer to paint traditional patterns on the rest of the houses, and she chose motifs of traditional lacework that were developed by nuns from the monastery that used to exist in Belorado. “I always try to use local patterns in my murals, if any exist,” NeSpoon told the Polish Press Agency. “I have to talk to the local community and see what kind of patterns are characteristic to the region”.
Both the reproduction of the vintage photos and the lace patterns work together to create a space that “restores tradition and builds community”. NeSpoon described the unveiling of the finished plaza as an event full of joy, one that joins past and present together. “Perhaps some of the older ladies playing bowling again are the girls from the black and white photos painted around,” she mused in a statement. To learn more about the project, you can check StARTer’s Instagram page here.