Castellers 1998-2001

Castells are human towers made by people climbing on top of each other. They are a popular public tradition in Catalonia. A castell is completed when a child scampers to the top and raises their arm in the sky to wave. It's quite dangerous, and the castells do sometimes collapse. I first came across them when I was studying in Barcelona, and became fascinated by the formal structures of this human social ritual. I got a big book on the subject and went to draw the castellers groups practising. I got quite obsessed and drew and painted several series emphasizing the formality and repetition of these structures that are made up of striving, fragile individuals, bearing a great weight in a moment of transitory poise. They became a sort of metaphor for me of human society.