Martha Jimenez pedaling against wind and tide
As a tribute to the 500th anniversary of Havana, a monumental sculpture by the Camagueyan creator Martha Jiménez has been placed on Paula Avenue.
The work, entitled “Against Wind and Tide”, was inaugurated only a few days ago in the context of the 13th Havana Biennial, in the presence of friends, colleagues and the City Historian, Eusebio Leal Spengler.
"It is a pride for us to see Martha's work finished, imagined, dreamed. Walking around the house is a philosophical, artistic reflection that leaves us as a legacy," said Leal Spengler during the inauguration of the sculpture.
In the piece, more than 7 meters high, a woman loaded with equipment is pedaling at the top of a tricycle. Even being on top and moving, it carries the culturally imposed domestic functions.
The series has previous pieces in ceramics, material that Martha has been dominating for many years. The multi-award-winning creative talked with OnCuba right in a part of her sculpture that serves as a seat.
Is it true that Eusebio Leal invited you to do this work? How did you take on the challenge?
My colleagues always encouraged me to take this piece to the big format. Every artist wants to reach bronze and large formats.
In a way, Eusebio Leal challenged me to erect it here in this environment, and I told him that, of course, everything was possible, and here is the large format piece, 7.5 meters high and made of steel.
Why a giant tricycle?
It is a figure that I have used in other sculptures. In another country I made a similar piece, but in Cuba I had never done it. This is part of the series "With the house on her back".
Cycles fascinate me just like circles. This evokes the velocity that I had as a child, the bicycle I walked on some years ago …
We were doing it for several months in Bauta in conjunction with the project of realization of Abel Gonzalez. The work of the forge, modeling and completion was magical.
Martha with this sculpture allows us, like her, to go through time, “go in this immense cycle, carrying our own house, fighting against the difficulties imposed by the wind, walking, going forward which is, in short, the most great challenge”, added the artist.
Jimenez dedicated the work especially to the Historian of the City and gave it permanently to Havana for its half-millennium. “It is a gift from all Camagueyans to Cuba and the capital, and will remain here, as a tribute to women and to life itself.
Author: Cecilia Crespo
Photo: Otmaro Rodriguez.