Murals in Oviedo celebrate 5th Year of Parees Fest

The 5th edition of Parees Fest took place at locations in the Spanish town of Oviedo. Adding to murals already created over recent years, four more street art pieces have been produced. A mix of local, national and international artists have already created a range of pieces in the town.

Situated in the north of Spain, Oviedo sits within the region of Asturias. Many of the artworks created tend to pay tribute to some aspect of the areas culture and tradition. According to Parees Fest, neighbourhoods in the area now have “walls that are no longer just walls, but memory and people”.

Parees Fest 5th edition saw four artists taking part. Alba Fabre Sacristan and Foni Ardao from Spain joined Emily Eldridge from the USA and Luogo Comune from Bologna in Italy. It took place between 13-19 September 2021.

Emily Eldridge and helper painting her mural as part of the Parees Fest 5th edition

Murals of Parees Fest 5th Edition 2021

Alba Fabre Sacristan (Barcelona, Spain) – instagram

Catalan artist Alba Fabre Sacristan’s impressionist mural features two “Sidros” captured in full jump. Depicting an Asturian tradition the “Sidros” take part in the ‘Mascarada de Invierno‘ a celebration of the year. Traditionally an activity undertaken by men some some women can now also take part as of 2019. A costume is worn and the wearer will jump, dance, make noise with cowbells and offer improvised sarcastic comedy about what happened in the village during the year.

Image of the artist Alba Fabre Sacristan painted a mural for the Parees Fest 5th edition
Alba Fabre Sacristan painting her mural in Oviedo

It was a ritual that once existed across many places with links to pre-Roman times, though it almost died out during the Franco dictatorship. The tradition has it’s links to the Winter solstice and the celebration of the end of the year and the birth of a new one.

Two ‘Sidros’ taking part in a traditional end of year dance
Alba Fabre Sacristan with real life ‘Sidro’ who inspired her mural

Emily Eldridge (USA) – instagram

For the 5th edition of Parees Fest American artist Emily Eldridge created a colourful mural showing a ‘modern pilgrim’ walking happily along the primitive Camino de Santiago. It’s a route that starts in Oviedo and which leads pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela. It offers an alternative to the busier and better known French route crossing the regions of Asturias and Galicia.

Image of the artist Emily Eldridge painted a mural for the Parees Fest 5th edition
Emily Eldridge painting her wall in Oviedo for the Parees Fest 5th edition

Eldridge’s modern version brings the pilgrimage up to date for the modern day. Traditionally walked by men and devotees, now the route attracts a much more varied following and is a destination for nature lovers. The mural shows both flowers and thorns depicting both the beauty and harshness of the Camino.

The mural from Emily Eldridge shows a ‘Modern Day Pilgrim’ attempting the ‘primitive’ Camino de Santiago from Oviedo

Foni Ardao (Gijon, Spain) – instagram

Taking inspiration from Asturian literature, Foni Ardao gives us a scene from ‘Montesin’ by Maria Josefa Canellada. The book tells the story of Montesin, a lost goat and the children who find and look after him. In the mural we can see the goat in the arms of the girl whilst the boy plays the guitar. Surrounded by nature and heated by a fire it conveys a mural full of peace and sweetness

Foni added to his mural a tribute to his mother, Margarita, who died just over a year ago. It is represented by the flower bearing her name in the girl’s hair.

Image of the artist Foni Ardao painted a mural for the Parees Fest 5th edition
Foni Ardao painting his mural in Oviedo
Completed mural by Foni Ardao is inspired by the children’s story ‘Montesin’

Luogo Comune (Bologna, Italy) – instagram

Italian artist Luogo Comune painted a huge mural dedicated to Oviedo for the 5th edition of Parees Fest. The inspiration was taken from personal testimonies. These were the stories of dozens of people who participated in the design of the mural by answering the question “What do you think makes the city of Oviedo special?”

Image of the artist Luogo Comune painted a mural for the Parees Fest 5th edition
Luogo Comune taking a look at his work

Currated by Parees Fest and the ‘City Council’s Citizen Participation Area’ the answers were given to the artist. Comune then composed a work which combined the core themes within it. The final mural incorporates history, nature, the pre-Romanesque past and local geography.

Completed mural from Luogo Comune

The 5th Edition of Parees Fest took place in Oviedo between 13-17 September 2021. Your can find out more about the festival by taking a look at their website or instagram. All photographs used in this post are courtesy of Mira Hacia Atrás and Fer Alcalá

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