“Cartas a Pia” / Catalina Brenes / La Basilica Galeria Temporary Exhibitions, Barcelona / 10.07.2014 - 19.08.2014.

July 10 2014

It all started last November 2013 when I was offer by the director and owner of la Basilica, Piotr Rybaczek,  to do a solo show at his gallery. Nervs where high, gratitude and happiness where at it’s maximum and the will to hug him was extremely big...

Mails where written, things were talked and then a theme arrived from Piotr: “Why not work on the death? What would people bring with them when they died? ”  “ As you speak about death in your statement”... Silence. Total silence. What? Death? Me? I thought my work was about life... yet the theme was on the table.

For months I tried, I tried hard to search for literature, images, books, smells.. something which will let me create... Unfortunately the results where terrible, I was anxoius and didn’t know what to do.


Second meeting came up and confusion was at it’s maximum. So I gave myself a small break while visiting my family in Costa Rica, after coming back... the question was asked.. may I do the following ? ...

Back in 2012 my grandmother, Pia, was diagnose with cancer. Fighting through therapies and cures, finally it was said to be a lethal one and in a couple of months would take her from us. So I travel to Costa Rica as fast as I could and for two weeks we huged each other, we gave our best moments, we danced together, we tried hard not to think about anything else,but only that I was there for her. After this weeks with her, I had to go back to Italy. For a night I thought hardly what I could do to be beside her every day and for one second just forget everything. So the next night I wrote more than 90 letters, each for every day for Pia, each starting with a “Buongiorno”  and ending with “a domani”. I invented my life for the next 3 months. I invented my future, stories, colors, drawings, anything that would make her just for one second forget everything and be happy and loved. So every day for this months she had my letters, she waited every morning for it. I kept a diary where I wrote everything I had written in every letter so I could call her and know what to say. As strange as it may sound, many letters became reality, many days what I wrote was happening, and our love became stronger. There was a simple second in which all the fear, the sadness, the tears, became flowers full of colors in a garden. I loved her more than anyone. I hope I made her happy.

I had the honour to make this exhibition “Cartas a Pia” thanks to Piotr who accepted.
For months after I was very afraid, how can I make something as good as she deserves. And yet my hands where stuck, my mind was sad again. I kept a diary and little by little my soul opened. I accepted, nothing I will do will be as good but I just wanted to share her stoty, our story, the letters, our love. So I created, I painted, I cried, I danced, I call my family, I hug her every night.

So this is it “Cartas a Pia”, my most honest work.
Per lei, para mi Pia.

Baila, baila, que pronto nos veremos.

Catalina Brenes